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Germaine Greer: damaged goods The feminist's imperfections make us think harder about what we believe

Germaine Greer in the 1970s. Credit: The Sydney Morning Herald/Fairfax Media via Getty Images

Germaine Greer in the 1970s. Credit: The Sydney Morning Herald/Fairfax Media via Getty Images


October 16, 2020   4 mins

Oh no, it’s Germaine Greer. Or: oh yes, it’s Germaine Greer. I always feel a bit of both when she makes one of her re-eruptions into public consciousness — this time, on account of a reissue of her 1970 polemic The Female Eunuch, with an excellent new introduction by Hadley Freeman. The “oh yes” is for the obvious reason, which is that Greer is ferociously interesting. She might be appalling (how people love to be appalled by the things she’s said), but she is not dull, and cleverly outrageous beats bland rectitude any day for me.

The “oh no”, though: that’s because, while Greer herself is interesting, the people talking about her very rarely are. Most discussions of Greer turn rapidly into a trial of her as a woman, then veer into trashing, and finally reach their ecstatic consummation in a ritual expulsion of her from the entire history of feminism. According to her critics, she’s old, outdated, unrepresentative, a betrayal of the movement she helped to inaugurate — in short, flawed. And women are not supposed to be flawed. Feminists, especially, are not supposed to be flawed. There’s no room in the sisterhood for damaged goods.

Feminist histories tend to devolve into what Helen Lewis calls (in her book Difficult Women) “a shallow hunt for heroines”. First there’s the role-model business, where women are plucked out of their context and shined up into secular saints; then come the debunkers to point out all the ways in which this or that woman was problematic and therefore not worthy of remembrance, never mind celebration. It is, on both sides, a tedious and exhausting process, and one that serves to knock all the politics out of the story of women’s liberation.

Turning feminism into a hunt for good women is not exactly new. Actually, it would be fair to say that the hunt for good women is a kind of proto-feminism. When the fifteenth century writer Christine de Pizan took issue with men’s characterisation of women, she did it by writing The Book of the City of Ladies — essentially, an epic work of revisionism. Where men had portrayed women as dim, scheming and slutty, she would refute the slander by filling her allegory with angels. “Only ladies who are of good reputation and worthy of praise will be admitted into this city. To those lacking in virtue, its gates will remain forever closed.”

It’s a brilliant, witty and defiant piece of writing. It’s also perverse. When she writes about the mythological witch Medea, de Pizan lavishes praise on her subject’s learning and power. What she doesn’t mention is that in all tellings, Medea is a murderer, and in most tellings she murders her own sons in revenge against their father for deserting her. In miniature, this preempts all the problems with heroine-hunting: de Pizan purifies Medea into being actually a bit boring, and all anyone has to do if they want to debunk her argument about feminine virtue is copy out the relevant section of Ovid.

Nearly 400 years later, Mary Wollstonecraft was wise to all this. She recognised that purity was a trap. When you are praised for being something beyond human excellence, you are simply being put on notice of your inevitable failure. “Why are girls to be told that they resemble angels; but to sink them below women?” she asked in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Not, of course, that this observation stopped future generations from putting her through exactly the same mill — and if it’s misguided when applied to a mythical witch, it’s flat-out inane done to a real-life, flesh-and-blood woman.

Here’s how the feminist writer Sady Doyle, in her 2016 book Trainwreck, summarises Wollstonecraft’s great work: “Her points have been so widely accepted that they neither shock nor enlighten: education for women? Sure! Women voting? Why the heck not? Letting ladies be doctors? Yes, yes, very good. Let’s move on to the hard stuff.” In other words, Wollstonecraft is to be valued inasmuch as Vindation anticipates a Sady Doyle version of contemporary feminism; and inasmuch as Vindication anticipates a Sady Doyle version of contemporary feminism, it can only be a feeble prelude to the real thing.

Actually there’s lots that’s still provocative about Vindication, if you actually read it. It’s a claim for women’s rights, but large parts of it read as an attack on Wollstonecraft’s female contemporaries who, deprived of education, accept their lives of infantilised triviality. Her opinions on abortion, too, are a rough ride for the twenty-first century feminist: the enervated state of women, writes Wollstonecraft, means that they “have not sufficient strength to discharge the first duty of a mother; and sacrificing to lasciviousness the parental affection, that ennobles instinct, either destroy the embryo in the womb, or cast it off when born.”

I don’t raise all this because I want to chuck Mary Wollstonecraft out of the canon for wrongthink. I bring it up because I think the woman you will meet in Vindication — the woman who was angrily alive to the politics and philosophy of her time — is vastly more exciting than the vague prophetess invoked by Doyle. It is good to take my belief that abortion is a general benefit and sharpen it against someone braver and smarter than me who held a very different view; better, certainly, than mulching my brain in slogans that only echo what I already think.

Perfection is a kind of death, and a version of feminism that can only make room for the perfect — either by casting out the sinful or by trimming the almost-saved into saintliness — is a dead one. Politics, like human life, is messy, raw and ragged. Greer has offended by saying that rape (her own rape, in fact) doesn’t lead to monolithic trauma, by pointing out that women are primary consumers of much material that turns our own destruction into titillation (relentless reader of serial killer wikis reporting for duty here), by saying men can’t become women. I agree with some bits, am aghast at others, and almost all of it forces me to think harder about what I think. Oh yes, it’s Germaine Greer.


Sarah Ditum is a columnist, critic and feature writer.

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Julia H
Julia H
3 years ago

She’s fantastic and fearless. She cuts through all sorts of crap to say what needs to be said, and always has.

Kiran Grimm
Kiran Grimm
3 years ago
Reply to  Julia H

Thank you for that pointless display of hero-worship ““ reminiscent of a football fan declaring support for their team or a Rock fan for their band.Do you have any actual insight to offer?

Julia H
Julia H
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

No, that’s it. How about you? Any ‘actual insight’ to offer? Any opinions? Anything to say about the wonderful GG? Anything of your own to contradict my view? Actually, why have you bothered to comment here? You haven’t exactly tried to talk me out of my heroine worship (not that you could) so what was the point of your contribution?

Kiran Grimm
Kiran Grimm
3 years ago
Reply to  Julia H

I’m not remotely interested in talking you out of your hero-worship. I was simply trying to show that your comment amounted to nothing more.

It’s as though you hadn’t bothered to read Sarah Ditum’s article (if you had you certainly offered no actual comment on it) but on seeing she was writing about Germaine Greer you decided to display your solidarity/approval in what was little more than a fan cry of “Go Germaine!”

Why have I bothered to comment? Irritation mainly ““ so many forums of the current affairs type degenerate into places where people do little more than shout out their political/cultural allegiences (or prejudices if you will). Unherd is fairly new with a good readership. I worry that it may degenerate into a forum for the merely belligerent and opinionated. That field is most certainly oversubscribed.

Julia H
Julia H
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

I find that many forums degenerate into places where people abuse and bully others either under a cloak of anonymity or with knowledge that there is sufficient physical distance that they won’t be hunted down and punched for their rudeness. Your worries about Unherd degenerating into the sort of place you’d rather not be are noted. However your job is not to police other contributors, particularly when you appear to have nothing useful or interesting to say yourself.

Kiran Grimm
Kiran Grimm
3 years ago
Reply to  Julia H

To “police” other contributors I would need to have moderating power. I don’t have a “job” here as you put it. I commented on the nature of your comment. In response to your objections to that comment I offered an explanation of my motivation. That’s free speech.

By “…nothing useful or interesting to say…” I assume you are referring to the fact that I did not comment on the Sarah Ditum’s article. However, I would defend my comments (about your comment) as useful if irksome crticisms. As for “Interesting” ““ well, that’s very subjective.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

F…k off and stop gaslighting.

Kiran Grimm
Kiran Grimm
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Dunn

Well, I do seem to have touched a nerve! In spite of your protests it is obvious my comments actually do concern you. In response you resort to crude abuse ““ amply demonstrating a point I made earlier about the risk of degeneration in the quality of contributions on sites such as this.

I am amazed at your lack of self awareness. You make it obvious you have taken my criticism of Julia Hollywood’s comment as an attack on the kind of contribution you yourself enjoy making. Instead of intelligent argument you offer jeering and heckling. Am I supposed to take you seriously?

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

Other than blowing your own trumpet you’re still not saying anything.
Who gives a f…k about your irritation?
Try some of mine.

Eugene Norman
Eugene Norman
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

If you are worried about it becoming belligerent then stop posting. Julia merely praised the subject of the piece. You have clearly gone ballistic.

Kiran Grimm
Kiran Grimm
3 years ago
Reply to  Eugene Norman

For goodness sake, don’t exaggerate. “…ballistic”(?!) “…clearly gone…”(??!!)

Do get a grip and try to cope with a little dissenting opinion ““ criticism even. I was quite clear and honest in stating that my motivation was irritation. There is difference of degree between that and “going ballistic” ““ wouldn’t you agree?

I suspect (only suspect, mind you ““ I don’t claim to know) that you need to see me as some sort of social media troll, sitting at the keyboard and spluttering with rage. I wonder why.

Eugene Norman
Eugene Norman
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

You need to relax, mate. Take it easy. Protect the heart.

Kiran Grimm
Kiran Grimm
3 years ago
Reply to  Eugene Norman

Actually no, I don’t need to relax.
Both of your “Calm down dear” messages have completely missed the mark and are in fact rather pointless. You could have criticised the actual content of what I said.

What, I wonder, is your motivation? Are you concerned that my initial criticism of Julia Hollywood’s comment might apply to the kind of comments you, yourself like to make and therefore I must be told to simply shut up and go away?

jencabraja
jencabraja
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

I think a show of solidarity is absolutely germane to the conversation, seeing as she’s recently been gagged in spectacular fashion in her late 70s/early 80s.

x there’s a sneaky little cheer in there for the fans x

roger wilson
roger wilson
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

“Do you have any actual insight to offer?”

Well you certainly don’t. JH made a clear statement of whatt she likes about Greer, you’re just sneering.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

Do you?

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago
Reply to  Julia H

Totally agree.

But you need to stop feeding trolls ðƾ˜€

Daniel Björkman
Daniel Björkman
3 years ago

I quite agree, and I’m eternally frustrated with how feminism keeps furiously asserting that women never ever do anything wrong – or at least that if they do, it’s because they were so badly traumatised by living in a world full of evil, misogynist men, and so they’re really the victims here. I’m not going to lie, I deeply resent being told that everything is always my fault. But I don’t think it’s good for women either. Victims lack agency. If you’re not responsible for your actions, then that means you’re not capable of making decisions – and if you can’t make decisions, you certainly can’t be put in charge of anything.

The message that I think feminists should aim for isn’t, “I’m perfect and infallible and shame on you if you don’t think so.” It’s, “yeah, I’m flawed in many ways. And I’m going to stay flawed. Deal with it.”

I mean, let’s face it. Men have spent the last half a century talking about how horrible we are. It doesn’t seem to have done us any harm. In fact, arguably it has served to lower expectations of manhood to the point where (sigh) electing the most loathsome man imaginable into the highest office of the world seemed reasonable. I don’t think it’s psychologically healthy for men to hold themselves to such a low standard, but it can’t be denied that it has a lot of practical benefits.

robert scheetz
robert scheetz
3 years ago

Yes, me too, as far as it goes; but, the modern woman does have a profound problem: her biological destiny is in direct conflict with the present need of the species. Her equipment is not only useless, but, a nuisance. She is encouraged to sterilize with the incentive of an upper-middle class professional career. Though for 99% of her gender this is a simple absurdity. Hence, her feminist ideology is narrow interest, always incoherent, perverse, and objectively bad faith; while the genuine problem is not even begun to be addressed.

Claire D
Claire D
3 years ago
Reply to  robert scheetz

Entirely agree with you. But perhaps it’s nature’s way of breeding out a certain set of characteristics. Plenty of ordinary women are still having babies, their caring role is of course being compromised to some extent by feminist inclined legislation and market forces, but 27% of mothers in the UK are still managing to be full time giving their offspring a significant advantage over others, especially if there’s a father alongside, which is highly likely under the circumstances.

Daniel Björkman
Daniel Björkman
3 years ago
Reply to  robert scheetz

Yeah, but the problem is that women’s “biological destiny” is martyrdom – to be consumed from the inside and out, used up and discarded. That’s a crap destiny. Insofar as feminism is about wanting to opt out of it, I’m very sympathetic.

But again, the problem is that recognising that the female procreative instinct is inherently self-destructive means implying that women aren’t perfect and right about everything, and feminism is deeply invested in womanhood’s complete infallibility. And again, this is one area where they could stand to learn from male self-deprecation. While there’s plenty of tiresome macho men who insist that manhood’s completely infallibility, conventional wisdom is that “thinking with your d**k” does not lead to good life decisions – though it’s also taken for granted that any man is going to spend a lot of time doing so anyway. If feminism took a similar attitude towards “thinking with your uterus,” I think it would be a lot more coherent and effective.

Claire D
Claire D
3 years ago

I think you are mistaken.

“women’s biological destiny is martyrdom” !! You’ve bought feminist ideology wholeheartedly have’nt you, it’s ridiculous.

Being ALIVE uses all of us up, having a family and children brings most women joy, heartache too sometimes, but joy, satisfaction and often self realisation.

Fighting and competing, men risk injury and death, they die younger than women and are more likely to die these days with modern obstetrics.
Men’s feeling of “infallibility” is helpful from an evolutionary biological perspective to enable them to go into battle and face demanding, dangerous projects with confidence, in order to protect their families and create the material future.

Feminism is not human progress, it’s a response to the requirement of the state for women’s labour and productivity over and outside the home since the Industrial Revolution, and the problems of directly competing with men which is the result of that.

Daniel Björkman
Daniel Björkman
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

You’ve bought feminist ideology wholeheartedly have’nt you, it’s ridiculous.

Trust me, any feminist could tell you that I’m not a feminist. The feminist position is that there are no inherent drawbacks to womanhood at all and that everything wrong with women’s lives is due to male sabotage. My position is that I have neither the time, the ability or the inclination to commit as much sabotage as the feminists claim I’m guilty of.

Being ALIVE uses all of us up

But at very different rates, I’m sure you’ll agree. You can savour the opportunities you have been gifted with, or you can throw them down a deep hole because that’s what evolution has ordained that you do. It’s of course up to you, but you can’t possibly be surprised that some people at least occasionally toy with the idea of telling evolution to take a hike.

having a family and children brings most women joy, heartache too sometimes, but joy, satisfaction and often self realisation.

Being drunk makes you happy too. Still isn’t too good for your liver. Or your brain.

Fighting and competing, men risk injury and death, they die younger than women and are more likely to die these days with modern obstetrics.

Indeed they do. Like I said, men’s hormones make a lot of bad decisions for them also. The difference is, saying that men need to chill out for their own good is reasonably socially acceptable.

Men’s feeling of “infallibility” is helpful from an evolutionary biological perspective to enable them to go into battle and face demanding, dangerous projects with confidence, in order to protect their families and create the material future.

Yes. Again, we’re idiots also when we let our glands do our thinking for us. And again again, there is at least the idea out there that maybe we, y’know, shouldn’t do that, or at least not do it quite so often.

Feminism is not human progress, it’s a response to the requirement of the state for women’s labour and productivity over and outside the home since the Industrial Revolution, and the problems of directly competing with men which is the result.

And slavery was abolished in the US mostly because industrialisation made it financially suboptimal. Social change rarely happens for noble and uplifting reasons. Doesn’t mean it can’t be for the better.

Claire D
Claire D
3 years ago

It seems to me your position is egotistical, cynical and amoral, the Self appears to be your primary concern, eg, equating giving birth to drinking too much alcohol and calling men who fight in wars “idiots”.
My position is the opposite, there is more to life than just Me.

robert scheetz
robert scheetz
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

I think you’re right. In terms of Capitalism, individualism, and the profound impoverishment of spirit obtained by its “sex & the city” /”will to power” paradigm.

However, given the threats to the species, I don’t think we have time to evolve. The present feminism is destructive and a devolution. We all, sine qua non, have to come to terms with the contingent facticity of our existence -the famous litany of race, gender, economic status, country of origin, historical time, etc.- blaming the other is a personal nihilism. Given the enormity of the threat, It won’t in itself be sufficient, but it allows us to make a start. Whereat, again, we agree: Capitalism and Individualism have to be displaced by Socialism & communitarianism, …to which I’d like to add the ascent of Cultural Humanism over the cult of Science.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago

I quite agree, and I’m eternally frustrated with how feminism keeps furiously asserting that women never ever do anything wrong….

The article says, does it not, that Greer has been severely criticized and even posits personal internal conflict about her in its first lines. There is, in fact, a great deal of controversy within groups of those who describe themselves as feminists, which leads me to believe that you don’t know much about the subject except maybe from sources that feed your prejudices. Greer is exactly one of the subjects feminists disagree about.

plynamno1
plynamno1
3 years ago

Good article. It’s worth speaking up for someone as interesting and courageous as Greer. Perfection, i.e. without flaw, isn’t a necessary part of anyone’s life. She analyses, she has a framework for her criticism, comments intelligently and has a lovely sense of the ridiculous. It amounts to charisma. I’d love to spend time in her company in a way that I happily avoid the kind of institutional, publishing, academic gatekeepers, or newbies yearning to be one of them one day, whom I’ve heard badmouthing or doubting Greer. She’s leadership material ” and that’s rare enough to be cherished.

Su Mac
Su Mac
3 years ago

Anyone else who wants to line up for a bit of pointless hero worship of a unique, rough edged, smart as a whip, complex and very real woman the queue starts here 😉

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago
Reply to  Su Mac

Not sure I want to hero worship, and there’s plenty I disagree with her on. But yes she’s smart and always worth listening to. And if she believes something she says it. There is nothing of the sheep about her. If you disagree with her she’s a challenge. She is worth disagreeing with!

Gerry Fruin
Gerry Fruin
3 years ago

I saw ‘Germaine Greer’ Ah! I thought this could be interesting. Well if it had been about Ms Greer it could have been. It strikes me that some of the writers seen on Unheard are overly keen to impress the readers with endless references to others works. Particularly if it’s likely few have heard or read the work in question. It’s a worn out ploy to avoid writing original and thought provoking essays. Or perhaps the writers who use this method can’t? No matter I read Unheard for the many and varied comments, Hope the site continues.
Regarding the always interesting Ms Greer I thought when she first became to the public’s attention she was very special and I still do. Clever lady. Good on her.

David George
David George
3 years ago
Reply to  Gerry Fruin

The reference to Helen Lewis (and her book) caught my eye, she from the Jordan Peterson GQ interview on YouTube. A fascinating battle between wisdom and ideology with 17 million views now; well worth the time to watch.

Ari Dale
Ari Dale
3 years ago
Reply to  Gerry Fruin

Citing the work of others, as Sarah Ditum did, is a mark of being well read and aware of subject matter. Her own analysis was sufficiently present. You got up on the wrong side of the bed, Gerry.

Gerry Fruin
Gerry Fruin
3 years ago
Reply to  Ari Dale

Ari I’m just glad to have got out of bed. In general I would agree with you about a writer using references to enhance their opinion.
However, over many decades I’ve come to suspect authors who seem to me to be desperate to impress the reader on their widely read knowledge. It’s like having a dummies guide to Shakespeare and ‘impressing’ guests with your with and wisdom.
Oh! well fingers crossed I get out of bed tomorrow, to hell with which side:-)

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago

First article by this author I think I’ve agreed with.

Even the best of us are flawed.

And very timely, as currently we seem to be dead set on calling out everyone, dead or alive for their imperfections. Even when they are overshadowed by their strengths. And even when they were just the “imperfections” of their age.

I wonder what future generations will think of us? Pygmies who wanted to put giants on trial for being too small?

Graham Giles
Graham Giles
3 years ago

For just once I’d like to hear Germaine say, when asked about a topic, “I don’t have an opinion about that.” I suspect that on some level she would find it a relief to say that as well.

Janet George
Janet George
3 years ago

I first became aware of Germaine Greer in the late ’60s, in Melbourne. Friends and myself followed her lead and took to walking into ‘popular’ (with men) pubs – thick with smoke, booze and sweat – into the public bar which SHOULD have been called ‘Men only’ because that’s what the public bars were. Women were allowed into the private bar, but only if ‘escorted’ by a man! We sat at the public bar to be ignored by bartenders and groped by men while they were being served!! And when the bartender finally relented, we walked out (putting them on the list for a visit the next day!)

Al Tinonint
Al Tinonint
3 years ago
Reply to  Janet George

Since you introduce the subject, I know very few men who have never been groped by a woman. And that includes unattractive men.
#MeToo

.

Ari Dale
Ari Dale
3 years ago
Reply to  Al Tinonint

I don’t know any men who have been groped. We inhabit different worlds, it seems.

Troy MacKenzie
Troy MacKenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Ari Dale

You haven’t spent much time around drunk women then. They don’t just grab a butt either. They will go straight for your package. But let’s be honest here, it isn’t the same when a woman does it. I’m not saying it isn’t inappropriate, but a woman just isn’t threatening to a man in the same way that a man is threatening to a woman.

Andrew Crisp
Andrew Crisp
3 years ago

Abortion IS factually a kind of murder, BUT it is up to to the individual to decide what they do with their body.

roger wilson
roger wilson
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Crisp

“Abortion IS factually a kind of murder”

No it’s not, that’s rubbish. Murder is the illegal killing of another human. Abortion within the legal term, by definition, is therefore not murder.

Andrew D
Andrew D
3 years ago
Reply to  roger wilson

You’re right, there is a legal distinction – unlawful killing of an unborn child is called child destruction. Whether there’s a moral distinction is more debatable

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  roger wilson

It was also perfectly legal to send people to gas chambers in the 1940s. No doubt people in the future will regard us with a similar horror and ask, ‘what madness caused people back then to kill off their own unborn offspring?’

cap0119
cap0119
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

Very much doubt, actually, because through all of recorded history women have been ending pregnancies. Even female animals kill and eat offspring they can’t handle.

The inability to understand or acknowledge the overwhelm of an unwanted pregnancy, risk of childbirth and the psychological destruction that goes with it is really the madness that needs explaining. And if you aren’t vulnerable to rape, pregnancy and childbirth, then you probably shouldn’t be using the term “us”.

Sheryl Rhodes
Sheryl Rhodes
3 years ago
Reply to  roger wilson

Murder has both a legal and a moral meaning. Right now, for instance, in America there are many states in which the legal definition of murder encompasses certain types of intentional abortion. See, e.g., Dr. Kermit Gosnell. People disagree vigorously on whether this legal line is drawn correctly, and that’s based on competing moral claims. Then we have the related concept of homicide charges that can be brought against a person who attacks a pregnant woman and causes the death of the fetus. That’s murder, legally—I’m not sure in how many states but I think it’s virtually all of them. In my opinion, it’s also murder, morally.

Al Tinonint
Al Tinonint
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Crisp

I have always been in a great dea of conflict over all angles of the abortion debate, but…

“BUT it is up to to the individual to decide what they do with their body.”

So if I decide to throw my body off a tall building onto a person below, is that all right?

.

Lydia R
Lydia R
3 years ago

I was forever put off her after her half baked defence of FGM on the grounds it was “cultural” and the school girl who took her school to court for not letting her wear an even more extreme form of Muslim attire than the one already agreed with the school. Her argument that the girl should be allowed to wear what she likes was naive considering this child was being manipulated by extremists at her Mosque. Let us also not forget the role of that other “feminist” Cherie Blair, the Human Rights lawyer in the case.

connieperkins9999
connieperkins9999
3 years ago
Reply to  Lydia R

I had no idea and I”m dismayed.

I don’t think she deserves to be lumped in with Cherie just based on that though.

Al Tinonint
Al Tinonint
3 years ago
Reply to  Lydia R

She also pointed out at the time, when much of the FGM was being blamed on men, that in most cutures the choice, and the act, was being made by the matriarchs. Something the WHO’s research highlighted.Also that the vast majority of FGM was nort of the WHO/UNHCR most sever classification.

Greer also pointed out that far, far more men in the world have undegone MGM, but no-one ever kicks up a fuss about that, passing it off with false claims about hygiene and it being harmless.

.

campioni
campioni
3 years ago

As a radical feminist who is years older than Greer, let me say, after reading the kerfuffel below, you have no idea what it is to have been a feminist for fifty or more years, when you were not even born, it is like talking about Wollstonecraft as being just reformist thinker…….Greer’s Female Eunuch came as a breath of fresh air because it was not holding a torch for feminism, just expressing the anger many of us felt in the early 70s, but with wit, this is what has characterised Greer’s work ‘cutting through the crap’, and she did that with a lot of research, such as in ‘The Change’ about the male hormone industry to keep women forever ‘lubricated’, and she does it again to just refuse to seriously discuss whether males can be females……the anger about ridiculous assertions is what has kept feminism alive, even when it seems it is incapable to do so against woke or so-called identity politics which is characterised by always first having to be aware of all the people you might hurt, before you speak! I have hated her and loved the woman, but never been unamazed, and would suggest everyone to find the Scum Manifesto by Valerie Solanas as an example of ‘cutting through the crap’ of male culture!

Alison Houston
Alison Houston
3 years ago

I noticed a rather nice Victorian housekeeper cupboard and large late Victorian or early 20th century plate rack were being sold last month, (Rowleys Fine Art, Ely) at auction provenance, the property of Germaine Greer. I was quite tempted to bid, but I don’t really have any more room in the house. I imagine she must have bought them when that sort of thing was fashionable in the late sixties or early seventies at the height of her fame.

Andrew D
Andrew D
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Surely in the late sixties she would have been throwing out rather than acquiring such blatant symbols of the subjection of women?

John Lawton
John Lawton
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Err, maybe she has a dishwasher

Ralph Hanke
Ralph Hanke
3 years ago
Reply to  John Lawton

She probably does, but I am sure she doesn’t use it. 😉

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

No, there was a fashion in the Sixties among the hip for certain kinds of old stuff. That sort of thing comes and goes.

Robert Forde
Robert Forde
3 years ago

Funny. I thought an article that proclaimed it was about Germaine Greer might actually be about Germaine Greer.

But it did remind me that I really should read the Vindication.