I don’t think there is anyone who seriously thinks that offensive comments are on par with violent rape, but Greer’s absurb position to minimize rape is counter-productive to any kind of rational discourse on this serious issue. As it is, only about 6 out of 310 reported rapes will ever end in incarceration, and rape is already vastly unreported because victims are routinely retraumatized by the police and legal system. It’s a topic that needs to be taken a lot more seriously; not less so. How can you seriously entertain anything said by someone who in the face of that is suggesting that rape should be downgraded to an offense where we “tattoo an R on a perpetrator’s hand” (OMG, so many things wrong with that, from a moral and a legal persepctive, for both the victim and the perpetrator)!
If you or Greer don’t think that catcalling is harmful or can cause PTSD you might want to read my article, France Outlaws Catcalling and do some research into “predator stress.” Why on earth wouldn’t routinely being dehumanized, followed, groped and wondering if you are going to be killed for not responding as desired not cause incredible stress, particularly in children, which is when all this starts. How can you minimize the wholesale assualt of girls that happens on a daily basis?
“Men are afraid women will laugh at them.
Women are afraid men will kill them.” — Margaret Atwood
More than 12 million people responded to the #MeToo hashtag in 24 hours. You may not think that it’s a productive movement, but it’s clearly an insidious and deeply entrenched problem and that fact has been made even clearer in it’s wake. Nearly every woman you know, including your mother and grandmother, has been groped or followed on the street or has had to evaluate whether or not it was safe to get into an elevator or some other public space with a man she didn’t know. You don’t walk with your keys in your hand like a weapon when you go into a dark parking garage, but most women do. This type of constant vigilance and fear for your safety is not something that half of the population should be routinely subjected to. #MeToo is not just about workplace impropriety, which is rampant in all kinds of industries, from ambassadors to hotel workers(8 of 10 have been sexually harassed), and everything in between, but what I don’t understand is why that isn’t enough for you? What do you get from continuing to minimize the ongoing dehuminization and trauma that most females have experienced routinely from a young age — particularly in the face of overwhelming evidence that is exists? Why on God’s green earth should they be sitting still for it any longer?
And if you have some better ideas for dealing with this epidemic, I’d be interested to hear them, because if you continue to act like it’s one big over-reaction you are going to continue to get lengthy, citation-filled rants from me in response.