Rape seldom violent, so doesn't deserve jail sentence - Germaine Greer

XXX Germaine Greer XXXXX during a media call at the NSW Teachers Federation Conference Centre on March 13, 2008 in Sydney, Australia.
Photo credit: Getty

Australian public figure Germaine Greer has suggested rapists shouldn't have to serve prison terms and should instead be given community service.

"Most rapes don't involve any injury whatsoever... Most rape is just lazy, just careless, just insensitive," she told an audience at the Hay Festival in Wales, according to The Telegraph.

"Every time a man rolls over on his exhausted wife and insists on enjoying his conjugal right, he is raping her. It will never end up in a court of law."

Ms Greer, who became a household name during the second-wave feminist movement, also seemed to question the existence of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in relation to rape victims.

"The official position now is that 70 percent of rape victims suffer PTSD and only 20 percent of veterans," she said.

"At this point you think, what the hell are you saying? That something that leaves no sign, no injury, nothing, is more damaging to women than seeing your best friend blown up by an IED is to a veteran?"

Ms Greer argued that it's difficult for rapists to be convicted in court, and juries would be more likely to convict if the penalties were less severe.

"Where it's his word against hers and the penalty is seven years or something, juries won't convict," she said.

She was skeptical about whether Harvey Weinstein, who is accused of sexually assaulting and harassing dozens of women, will be convicted in court.

"Everybody thinks that the #MeToo generation is going to make such a big difference," she said.

"It will be extraordinary if it makes any difference at all, because they are still going to have to argue the issue of consent."