Germaine Greer heard a close friend being raped – but did nothing to stop it and suggested she shouldn’t report it.
The outspoken feminist said people ‘take punishment’ in relationships and that reporting a domestic attack could break up families.
Her comments come just a day after she warned that accusers of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein could become ‘career rapees’.
Speaking at a debate about the MeToo movement, the 79-year-old said people were ‘completely confused’ by what sexual assault is, and gave her unnamed friend as an example.
The outspoken feminist (pictured on Good Morning Britain earlier this month) said reporting a domestic attack could break up families
She explained she had been staying at the couple’s home in Kent after a party, and heard her friend protesting against her husband’s advances from the bedroom.
She told the audience in London: ‘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.’
The writer claimed she later discussed the incident with her friend, who told her it happened ‘fairly often’.
‘She said, “was that rape?” And I said, well, “I don’t know. It might have been”,’ she explained.
‘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 and such an occasion?”’
The Australian writer also criticised the way rape is presented in films and television as a ‘bloody violent crime’.
She instead said it was a ‘domestic thing’ that happens when a couple ‘don’t understand each other terribly well’.
‘Sex is a blood sport,’ she said. ‘People take punishment. They get over it. The relationship survives, or it doesn’t.’
Miss Greer provoked anger this week by implying that some alleged victims of Weinstein have had ‘extraordinary exposure’.
She also accused A-list supporters of the MeToo movement of putting on a ‘staged performance’.
Greer’s comments came after she said the accusers of disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein (pictured) could become ‘career rapees’
The Hollywood-driven campaign began after more than 80 women accused Weinstein of rape, assault and harassment. He denied all allegations of wrongdoing.
In her latest controversial remarks, Miss Greer bemoaned women who do not stand up for themselves during an assault, saying they simply cry for help and don’t take charge.
‘Why have we all become so timid?’ she said. ‘Someone puts their hand inside our clothes and we ask for help. “Help, help!” The holy ghost is not coming.’
She also expressed concern about those who want to lower the burden of proof in rape cases to increase the chances of prosecution.
She said it would risk leaving young men in particular with damaged life prospects.
‘If it was your son, would you be happy to discover that the burden of proof had been lightened?,’ she asked. ‘If you look over the whole world spectrum of what is sexual offence, it’s completely confusing.’