Germaine Greer criticises 'whingeing' #MeToo movement, saying in the 'old days' women would 'slap down leering men'

Helena Horton
The feminist claimed actresses

Germaine Greer has taken aim at the #MeToo movement, describing it as "whingeing", and claiming that women "spread [their] legs" for a role in a Harvey Weinstein film.

The 78-year-old was named Australian of the Year during a gala event at Australia House in London and spoke about her views in an interview before the event.

She said that "in the old days" women would "slap down" men who assaulted or harassed them, explaining: "In the old days, there were movies - the Carry On comedies, for example - which always had a man leering after women. And the women always outwitted him - he was a fool.

"We weren't afraid of him and we weren't afraid to slap him down."

"If you spread your legs because he said 'be nice to me and I'll give you a job in a movie' then I'm afraid that's tantamount to consent, and it's too late now to start whingeing about that,"  said the feminist writer.

However, she also said this doesn't excuse the behaviour of predatory men like Harvey Weinstein.

Greer explained: "I want, I've always wanted, to see women react [to sexual harassment] immediately", and said she thinks women facing sexual harassment should take "direct and immediate action" against their attackers. 

The writer said that women should be able to tell men to stop if they touch them inappropriately.

"I want women to react here and now. I want the woman o
n a train who feels a man's hand where it shouldn't be … to be able to say quite clearly, 'Stop'."

However, she did acknowledge that this can be difficult in situations where the man has financial power over the woman, and lamented that the campaign hasn't gone far enough in its aim to give a voice to regular women in normal jobs who are in some cases facing harassment from their employers.

Greer has previously started an argument with younger feminists because of her views on transgender women.

She said at the time: "just because you lop off your penis… it doesn’t make you a woman".

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