Germaine Greer is one of the stalwarts of feminism in the later 20th century, and contributed greatly to the freedoms that women enjoy today. She is also, however, a transphobic idiot:
“Nowadays we are all likely to meet people who think they are women, have women’s names, and feminine clothes and lots of eyeshadow, who seem to us to be some kind of ghastly parody, though it isn’t polite to say so. We pretend that all the people passing for female really are. Other delusions may be challenged, but not a man’s delusion that he is female.”
So, Queer Avengers in Wellington turned up at her book signing the other day, and glitter-bombed her.
Her statements on transwomen are so ridiculous they would be laughable if they weren’t so damaging. She thinks that they are just men who’ve put on a dress and castrated themselves—she seems to be unaware of what being trans actually entails. That she’s been saying this stuff since the 70’s, and has been called out on it time and time again, shows that she’s wilfully ignorant, and that she’s refusing to even listen to criticism. I get that she’s trying to defend womanhood, but if you’re defending womanhood from people who actually are women, then you either need to refocus your sights, or shut the hell up.
“The insistence that man-made women be accepted as women is the institutional expression of the mistaken conviction that women are defective males.”
“While you might readily admit that feminists can differ in their views toward their own femininity or identification with their woman-ness (whatever that might mean) you deny that right to others and see it as some sort of charade. You see it as a weakness that other women accept AIS individuals (and male to female transsexuals) as bone fide women.”
Transphobic feminism should be a thing of the past, and people like Germaine Greer do all of feminism a disservice by spouting such nonsense. And she did more of a disservice in the 1980s and ’90s when she effectively went on a witch-hunt for transwomen:
In 1996, Greer outed Rachel Padman, a physicist at an all-women college at Cambridge University. She stated that the “dignity of this college is marred by this unfortunate event.” Greer apparently had no interest in the dignity of Rachel Padman, who survived Greer’s repeated tabloid attacks and retained her position at Cambridge.
There’s a lot more to being a woman than having two X chromosomes and the matching set of gonads. You’d think that a feminist would agree, but for those like Germaine Greer, you need a full set to enter her house.
Glitter away, good heroes. Glitter away.