Should Germaine Greer Be Banned at Cardiff? No: Sign the Counter-Petition.
Germaine Greer’s Libertarian Zest at its Best.
The furore about banning Germain Greer from speaking at Cardiff University shows no signs of dying down.
This is the gist of what Greer said yesterday on Newsnight.
Australian-born academic and writer Germaine Greer has said that in her opinion, transgender women are “not women”.
Germaine Greer may be barred from giving a lecture on women’s rights at a leading British university after hundreds of its students signed a petition accusing her of holding “misogynistic views” about transgender people.
The petition calls on Cardiff University to cancel the event featuring the 76-year-old feminist author and academic, who has been invited to give a lecture entitled “Women & Power: The Lessons of the 20th Century” next month.
By late on 23 October almost 300 people had signed the petition, which was started by Cardiff Student’s Union Women’s Officer Rachael Melhuish. It claims hosting Greer would be “dangerous” due to her previously stated views on transgender people.
In a column written in 2009, the author of The Female Eunuch said the idea of being trans was a “delusion” and described trans women as “ghastly parodies”. Asked about the idea of transphobia at an event at Cambridge University earlier this year, she said she “didn’t know there was such a thing”, adding: “Arachnaphobia, yes. Transphobia, no.”
The petition reads: “Greer has demonstrated time and time again her misogynistic views towards trans women, including continually misgendering trans women and denying the existence of transphobia altogether.
“Trans-exclusionary views should have no place in feminism or society. Such attitudes contribute to the high levels of stigma, hatred and violence towards trans people – particularly trans women – both in the UK and across the world.”
Many young women during the 1970s were strongly influenced by Germain Greer’s book, the Female Eunuch (1970).
This summarises its message:
The main thesis of the book is that the “traditional” suburban, consumerist, nuclear family, represses women sexually, and that this devitalises them, rendering them eunuchs.
The Female Eunuch was a cry for freedom, and, whatever else you may think about it, helped instil a libertarian, joyful, strain into feminism.
Some of my close comrades, socialist feminist students at Westminster Further Education College in the mid-1970s spoke of how the book had given them the confidence to find their own voices.
Greer also wrote about the way men monopolise attention, their (our) desire for reassurance, right down to perceptive comments about how men who did the pleasanter domestic tasks, like preparing meals, always expected praise for their efforts.
I had a relationship with a woman who had been a member of Greer’s young women’s group in Leamington Spa.
I can vouch that I was reminded of the truth of these observations.
On Newsnight Greer stated that she felt that some transgender women seemed to also want to be centre of attention, even to “speak for” woman. She is known to have said that without a uterus you are not a “woman”.
But whatever anybody thinks about her views – and there’s a lot to dislike on her political ones she has, like her old mucker Tariq Ali, been a Liberal Democrat supporter to start with – the idea of banning her for being a contrarian feminist is absurd.
If not downright evil.
When the chips are down Greer is on the right side – as the evidence I have given indicates.
Counterpetitioning Cardiff University’s Hosting of Germaine Greer
This reactionary tactic of calling a woman a ‘transphobe’ is no different than calling someone a ‘commie’ in 1960’s America during the cold war. It’s a slur that contains no analysis, just an emotional response that is primarily used against women who talk about women’s biological realities, not gender identities.
Greer centers females/women in her work. I fail to see how anyone who centers women is encouraging violence against anyone.
Her position on gender doesn’t make anyone unsafe. The very marginalized group that Greer talks to and about is women. We are a protected class. Silencing her is silencing us.
Enough is enough. Stop no platforming women who only want to talk about women’s rights and women’s lives.