In contrast to last year’s Hay Festival… the annual literature and arts festival conducted each year in Hay-on-Wye, Wales, comedian Jo Brand gave rousing support to the #MeToo movement. As reported by The Guardian, she stated: “I feel it is something we need to keep pushing at. It was going in the right direction until certain people said, ‘Oh they’ve had their say, can they not be quiet now?’” She blamed most of the negative backlash on men, many of whom worked for the Daily Mail.
Last year, Germaine Greer, an Australian academic, writer and intellectual often associated with the feminist movement, actually stated “Most rapes don’t involve any injury, whatsoever.” She cavalierly likened “nonconsensual sex” to “just bad sex.”
Brand is no stranger to sexual harassment.
Brand was threatened with gang rape at the age of 20. And while performing a comedy routine, a heckler pulled out his penis and demanded that she “Suck my d##k!” She ran off the stage in horror and was admonished by management for ending her set 2 minutes early.
Although Brand’s Hay Festival comments were an uptick from last year, they still lack clarity on the importance of defining #CONSENT in our laws – the single most critical key to conquering sexual assault! Perhaps next year will find us closer to achieving the real recognition that wakes up society and brings this defilement and the predators who commit it to their knees!
On May 30th, at the Hay Festival in Hay-on-Wye Wales, an annual literature and arts festival, Germaine Greer made some devastatingly damaging claims about rape including that rape is just ”bad sex” and calling for lower penalties for sexual assault. Greer is an author and academic born in Australia and residing in the UK.
Her comments not only fly in the face of #MeToo and #TimesUp, but also my TEDxYouth@UrsulineAcademy talk (#TEDxUA and #TEDxUrsulineAcademy) that’s soon to be released.
“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.)
At one point, Ms. Greer said the punishment could be an “r” tattooed to the rapist’s hand, arm or cheek.
While Greer is correct that not all sexual assaults are violent rapes, she fails to recognize the destruction of a victim’s self worth in all sexual assaults. So while not all sexual assaults are violent, and therefore punishable as an “aggravated” crime, they should still be punished, and a tatoo doesn’t cut it!
Every human being deserves the right to freely give knowledgeable and informed agreement #FGKIA every time they engage in sexual conduct. Without that willingness to engage, – whether undermined by force, duress or ripped from them by deception – they are being assaulted, not seduced. Force, otherwise known as violence, is only one of several ways a victim is deprived of consent (#FGKIA.) But all nonconsensual sex harms the victim. And everyone engaging in sex is entitled to consent to both the action itself and the actor.
How do we fix rape?
Our laws must reflect the proper definition of consent…. #FGKIA! in order to properly deal with sexual assaults of all kinds. Properly defining consent as freely given knowledgeable and informed agreement, #FGKIA, is the solution….. not decriminalizing this egregious and life altering crime!