Germaine Greer On Consent

Academic and feminist Germaine Greer speaks to The School of Life about the history and complexities of consent.

Modern society is deeply attuned to the issue of consent. We refuse to turn a blind eye to the pervasive nature of predatory behaviour and to the intractable statistic that one in five women will experience sexual violence.

Consent is at the very heart of the difficult conversations we are attempting to have – but our understanding of its underlying complexities is often limited or, worse still, simplistic. Consent is not just something lacking in cases of sexual assault or in unhealthy power dynamics, it is often something lacking in the everyday sex lives of many Australians.

Germaine Greer will offer a short introductory examination of the history of consent, its current legal frameworks and the problems of prosecution. From there, The School of Life will interrogate the issue of consent with Greer and explore the practical implications of her ideas.

This event is likely to raise more questions than it will answer. At The School of Life we believe in creating spaces for rigorous discussions about the emotional concerns of everyday life. While we do not purport to have the answers, we are interested in asking difficult questions and engaging with the world’s great thinkers to solicit their ideas on these subjects. We acknowledge that Greer is an undeniably controversial thinker, and we ask you to join us for this difficult, yet mature and necessary conversation. 

Some of the questions we aim to address include:

  • How do unbalanced power dynamics complicate the nature of consent?
  • How can the discussion of consent help us build better support, education and legal systems?
  • How can we empower ourselves and future generations to navigate consent in an increasingly complex world?  
  • What are the practical steps we can take to create meaningful change?

We understand that this event addresses topics that will be confronting for some people. If you feel this event is right for you, we ask that you trust The School of Life to explore the subject through an emotionally mature and respectful dialogue with one of this century’s most prominent and outspoken feminist thinkers.


6.10pm            Doors Open
7.00pm            Welcome and Introduction
7.10pm            Germaine Greer On Consent
7.30pm            In Conversation
8.10pm            Audience Questions
8.30pm            Event Concludes 
8.40pm            Book Sales and Signing 

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Click here to book for the Sydney event on Wednesday 5 September.

This event is presented in partnership with Melbourne University Publishing and will draw from Germaine Greer’s upcoming essay On Rape.

Please note this event is only suitable for persons aged 16 and over as the subject matter contains themes and content that some people may find confronting, including explicit discussion of sexual assault and rape.

If you or someone you know needs help or information about sexual assault or domestic violence, contact 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit

“The double bed has a lot to answer for.”

– Germaine Greer

About Germaine Greer

Germaine Greer was born in Melbourne and educated in Australia and at Cambridge University. Her book, The Female Eunuch (1969), remains one of the most influential texts of the feminist movement. Greer has had a distinguished academic career in Britain and the United States. She makes regular appearances in print and other media as a broadcaster, journalist, columnist and reviewer. Since 2001 she has been involved in rehabilitating sixty hectares of subtropical rainforest in south-east Queensland; in 2011 she set up Friends of Gondwana Rainforest, a UK charity to help in financing that and similar projects.

About Special Events

Leading writers, economists, historians, philosophers, psychologists, artists and other thinkers offer provocation, inspiration and consolation in the form of advice for living better. Speakers for this strand have been invited by The School of Life to present their own material. Session formats will vary depending on the subject.

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Germaine Greer On Consent

Major Event
When and where:
  • Thu 6 Sep 2018 7 – 8.30pm
    Plenary 1, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Convention Centre Pl, South Wharf, VIC 3006

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General Admission: $60.00
Concession: $50.00
General Admission + Copy of On Rape: $70.00
Concession Ticket + Copy of On Rape: $60.00
Double Pass + Copy of On Rape: $100.00
(+ $2 booking fee and 1.5% CC fee) 

Valid concession cards include a Health Care Card, Seniors Card, Pensioner Concession Card and current student cards.

Please note that we are unable to offer refunds or transfers with less than 7 days cancellation notice before the original event date.

For ticketing and box office enquiries please call 0434 492 669 or email