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Germaine Greer Stirs Furor With Call for Lighter Rape Penalty

“Most rapes don’t involve any injury whatsoever,” she said. “Centuries of writing and thinking about rape — as inflicted by men on women — have got us nowhere.” Rape, she said, should be viewed as a “lazy, careless and insensitive” act.

“Every time a man rolls over on his exhausted wife and insists on enjoying his conjugal rights, he is raping her,” she said. “It will never end up in a court of law.” She added, “Instead of thinking of rape as a spectacularly violent crime — and some rapes are — think about it as nonconsensual, that is, bad sex.”

She said the penalty should be 200 hours of community service: “If we are going to say trust us, believe us, if we do say that our accusation should stand as evidence, then we have to reduce the tariff for rape.” (In England, the maximum sentence for rape can be life in prison.)

Germaine Greer Stirs Furor With Call for Lighter Rape Penalty
Germaine Greer Stirs Furor With Call for Lighter Rape Penalty

At one point, Ms. Greer said the punishment could be an “r” tattooed to the rapist’s hand, arm or cheek.

She expressed pessimism about the case against the movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who was indicted in Manhattan on Wednesday on rape charges — the culmination of what many described as decades of predatory behavior. Ms. Greer predicted that the only winners would be lawyers.

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