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Germaine Greer ‘heard friend being raped’ and ‘did nothing’

Extra.ie logo Extra.ie 22/03/2018 Emma Vince
Germaine Greer that is standing in the dark © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland

Just days after calling the alleged victims of sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein ‘career rapees’, Germaine Greer has now revealed that she heard her close friend being raped and ‘did nothing’ about it.

Speaking at a debate about the MeToo movement, the 79-year-old author said people were ‘completely confused’ by what sexual assault is and used what happened to her unnamed friend as an example.

Greer explained that she was staying at her friends house, which she shared with her husband, after a party and heard the woman’s protests against his advances from the bedroom.

Germaine Greer, Author and Lecturer, at the University of Warwick, has written a shortly to be published book entitled The Female Eunuch, picture shows her at home in Kensington, London, 18th August 1970 © Catalyst Germaine Greer, Author and Lecturer, at the University of Warwick, has written a shortly to be published book entitled The Female Eunuch, picture shows her at home in Kensington, London, 18th August 1970

Speaking at a debate about the MeToo movement, the 79-year-old author said people were ‘completely confused’ by what sexual assault is. Pic: Getty Images

She said: ‘I was woken up by shouts, ”Get off! Leave me alone! No, no!”. And I thought, ”What do I do?”, and of course, like most house guests, I did nothing’.

She told the audience she later discussed the incident with her friend, who revealed what Greer overhead that night happened ‘fairly often’.

‘She said, ”Was that rape?”, and I said, well, ”I don’t know. It might have been”,’ she explained.

a woman smiling for the camera © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland

‘And then I said to her, ”Why would you send your husband away for years — which is the tariff for rape — because he overrode your unwillingness on such occasion?”.’

The writer then went on to criticise how rape is represented in the entertainment industry, describing it as a ‘bloody victim crime’, before going on to explain it as a ‘domestic thing’ that happens when a couple ‘don’t understand each other terribly well’.

She said: ‘Sex is a blood sport. People take punishment. They get over it. The relationship survives, or it doesn’t.’

Harvey Weinstein wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland

Greer was criticised earlier this week after she warned that accusers of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein could become ‘career rapees’.

She said that some alleged victims of Weinstein have had ‘extraordinary exposure’, adding: ‘Some of whom have been paid six figure sums in the form of non-disclosure agreements’.

Harvey Weinstein and woman posing for a picture © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland

The feminist previously accused female stars of ‘spreading their legs’ for the movie producer.

In an interview before being named Australian of the Year, Greer said: ‘I want, I’ve always wanted, to see women react immediately. 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 we weren’t afraid of him and we weren’t afraid to slap him down.’

a man and a woman looking at the camera © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland

‘What makes it different is when the man has economic powers, as Harvey Weinstein has. But 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 tantamount to consent, and it’s too late now to start whingeing about it.’

Related: 30 inspiring women who changed feminism (Harpers Bazaar)

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