Germaine Greer has stirred up a hornet’s nest with her latest claims, suggesting women are more enthusiastic than men when it comes to depictions of sex and violence. We asked leading crime writers for their views
You can say what you like about Germaine Greer, but she’s not afraid of anything – not controversy, swimming against the tide or sounding like the feminist who doesn’t like women very much. In a Radio Times article this week, she lays the proliferation of sexual violence in TV drama – almost all of it against women, of course – squarely at the feet of the female viewer. Women consume 60% to 80% of crime fiction (that is quite a large tolerance band, but let’s not nitpick), and are the main viewers of true crime drama. Why? Because fear of being raped occupies our consciousness, posits Greer, and imaginary rapes bedeck our fantasies. She cites a study by the University of Texas, which found that nearly a third of women regularly fantasise about being violated: “In my view, the fantasy is commoner than these figures suggest,” writes Greer.