Germain Greer, Free Speech, Female Genital Mutilation, Islam and the Benefits of the Veil.
But not the Full Shilling.
More reasons to loathe and despise Germain Greer as the past comes back, “She said that women should have the right to undergo genital mutilation as a form of “self-decoration” and posed the question: “If an Ohio punk has the right to have her genitalia operated on, why has not the Somali woman the same right?” (Thanks: R.Mc)
MPs attack Greer on female circumcision BBC 1999.
This argument is part of a wider claim, which is related to a dense passage in her book The Whole Woman (1999) which deals with,amongst other subjects, episiotomy.
The statement on female genital mutilation has to be put further into this context,
Greer opposed the practice and said that feminists fighting to eliminate FGM in their own countries “must be supported,” but she explored the complexities of the issue, and the double standards of the West, and warned against using the issue to “reinforce our notions of cultural superiority.” She wrote that the term female genital mutilation was itself simplistic, arguing that it was used to describe practices that, she said, varied from “nicking the prepuce of the clitoris to provoke ritual bleeding,” to the extreme mutilation of infibulation. She questioned the view that FGM is imposed by men on women, rather than by women on women, or even freely chosen, adducing some anecdotal evidence to the contrary, and discussed the issue in relation to genital and other bodily mutilations carried out in the West on men and women. She wrote that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends surgery on baby girls with clitorises regarded as too long, and that five such procedures were carried out every day in the United States, without being included in FGM statistics.In particular, she compared FGM to male circumcision.
Any suggestion that male genital mutilation should be outlawed would be understood to be a frontal attack on the cultural identity of Jews and Muslims. The same issues are raised by female genital mutilation. As a practical note for activists: As UN workers in East Uganda found, women would not abandon female circumcision until some similarly significant procedure could take its place.
Margaret Talbot summarsied Greer’s cluster of opinionated assertions in which these claims further embedded,
She professed to see more hope in the rigid gender segregation of certain Middle Eastern cultures than in anything in Western society. She took the feminist critique of the medical establishment to absurd extremes, denouncing pap smears, fertility doctors, pre-natal screenings, and C-sections with equal vehemence, while perversely defending female genital mutilation as a cultural practice that Westerners had no right to speak of.
Greer was also (and who knows, is, though her views spin with the speed of a weather vane) a fellow-traveller of all those apologists for Islamism and the ‘Caliphate’ who assert that the ‘West’ has no right to lecture Moslems for Sharia law punishments as “cultural practices”.
It comes as no surprise to learn that the old fool has expressed this judgement,
…when you bring up freedom for women under Sharia law, she’s quite honest about the fact that she doesn’t have the answers. “You have to ask women who take the veil. There are English women converting to Islam. It’s interesting that they say they feel free behind the veil because they are not being looked at, “she said. “Nowadays in England, little girls can’t grow up to be women because they can’t put on enough flesh to become a woman. They’re terrified because they must have no body and a huge pair of breasts. If that commoditisation of women revolts you, you might think the strict rigour of Islam has to be better. It allows women some dignity providing they keep their modesty. You know, women are modest and diffident by nature unless societal pressures force them to be otherwise. “
Germaine Greer on why English Women are Converting to Islam. Shalini Umachandran. 2011.
Greer is clearly a reactionary cultural relativist.
Her unpleasant views on on transsexuals stand apart, and barely need further discussion after the last days’ controversy.
None of this means that Greer should be ‘no-platformed’.
Though it would be preferable that she is left alone, to moulder in the last circle of Hell: Great Chesterford, Essex.