Melanie C thinks the Spice Girls were never harassed because men were ''petrified'' of them.

The 46-year-old singer has insisted she and her bandmates - Geri Horner, Emma Bunton, Mel B and Victoria Beckham - never experienced any kind of inappropriate behaviour because they ''always had back up'' in one another, and no one would dare cross their paths.

In a candid chat with Jessie Ware on her 'Table Manners' podcast, Sporty Spice said: ''I get asked quite a lot about the MeToo movement and about that within the music industry and if I ever experience anything.

''And I'm like, 'Are you kidding me?' No one would come near the Spice Girls because they were petrified of us.

''Often with these situations there can be vulnerable people that are targeted, aren't there? Of course, there are some vulnerable people in the Spice Girls.

''But because you knew if you messed with one of them, you'd have to deal with the other four, so we always had back up.''

The 'Wannabe' hitmaker also revealed they started using the feminist slogan ''Girl Power'' after facing sexism in the music industry.

The girl group popularised the phrase after being told they would never be successful because girls only buy records by the opposite sex.

However, the comment only made them even more eager to become major stars and prove the sexist music industry professionals wrong.

Melanie explained: ''We started talking about girl power because we experienced sexism in the industry.

'''Cause we were just five girls, we wanted to be famous, we wanted to be pop stars and quite quickly we were being told girl bands don't sell records, you can't be on the front cover of magazines because girls buy records by boys.

''We were like, 'Seriously, don't say that to the Spice Girls, that's like a red rag to a bull.'

''So that's when we started talking about girl power and we knew, actually, we had a really important point to prove, and it was great because it gave us a fire in our belly.''