Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Germaine Greer should really keep her opinions to herself

Germaine Greer
Over recent months, Germaine Greer's rants about transgender people have become the stuff of legend - from her obnoxious "Trans women are not women because they don't know what it is like to have a smelly vagina" (we do - but we choose to wash them to keep them clean) - but it would appear from this comment that Greer is simply equating women to be walking vaginas (should have chosen your words better Germaine). Then her comment recently about Caitlyn Jenner "........Jenner’s transition was nothing more than a “desperate attempt” to steal attention away from the other females in her infamous family" (as if any transgender person would go through the pain and ostracisation of transition just for that - plus the occasional obnoxious remark from Ms. Greer) to her now most famous rant on BBC's 'Newsnight' show after she had been "no-platformed" by students at Cardiff University “Just because you lop off your d**k and then wear a dress doesn’t make you a f***ing woman. I’ve asked my doctor to give me long ears (that must be why she wears her hair long over her ears then) and liver spots (hmmmm, can't comment on that bit Germaine) and I’m going to wear a brown coat but that doesn’t turn me into a f***ing cocker spaniel." (no Germaine, I doubt you have ever identified as a cocker spaniel - but trans people have identified with the gender that we transition to since a very young age). It is also extremely strange that she never, ever rants about trans men having chest surgery or phalloplasty - all her venom is directed towards trans women. Maybe she is just insanely jealous of Jenna Talackova, Janet Mock, Laverne Cox and the many other beautiful transgender women out there in today's society. 

Let me inform you Germaine, it is never about being a better woman than you or any other women, it is about being proud of who we are, the battles that we have had to overcome, about being true to ourselves in a world that is hostile towards transgender people and made more hostile by your increasingly shrill and strident (and generally completely nonsensical) pronouncements about us. 

Whilst the concept of free speech should be upheld wherever possible, when that free speech threatens the life of people who are already victimised, then maybe it should be curtailed slightly. Nobody objects to the the voices of the far right BNP and Britain First being censored, yet there is a huge outcry by the TERF's when similarly damaging opinions expressed about transgender people (and transgender women particularly) are sought to be suppressed. Germaine Greer has immediate access to lots of publicity (so she is hardly being no-platformed) - she just picks up the phone, plays the "poor me, people are picking on me" card and she is immediately invited onto major television shows to discuss her opinions - opinions which are hugely damaging to transgender people. If I tried to do the same, then the BBC wouldn't even bother to return my call. When a prominent actress was invited onto the Victoria Derbyshire show to rebut Greer's outburst, Greer was also invited onto the show to debate the issue - she decided that she wouldn't debate it and just sent in a repeat of her previous foul mouthed statement.

Maybe the answer would be for Greer to read up about how eminent neuroscientists and other medical practitioners regard the aetiology of transsexuality and to see that the world (and gender) is not binary, a black or white choice - but a dazzling array of colours. Rather than expect the world to adjust to her myopic view of transgender people, for her to shift her way of thinking and to become more inclusive.

Whilst I would agree that as a young woman she shifted the dynamics of feminism in the sixties and seventies radically to change hearts and minds, she now fails to grasp that feminist theory has moved on since then and she is stuck in the past.

Any scientist will tell you that if the data doesn't fit the theory, you don't try to erase parts of the data so that the remaining data does fit the theory, you modify the theory so that all the data is explained by the theory. Greer and others such as Bindel, Moore et al, have failed to grasp that simple concept and so remain firmly welded to the past.


  1. For all the pose about her own freedom to insult and offend people, Greer is a bully, pure and simple. Her comments are childish, offensive and ridiculous. They demean and diminish her reputation and, frankly, they make her look pathetic. There is nothing sadder than yesterday's firebrand not realising she has become today's has been.

  2. You argue that gender is a rainbow (and I agree) but this is exactly Greer's point! - that gender as we understand it is fake - Someone who does not fit in with societies' narrow definition of what a 'man' or woman is should not have to switch sex in order to fit in but should be fighting to redefine those expectations. Having a vagina does not mean that you have to be femme and wear a dress and having a penis should not mean that one has to be butch and never wear one. Her point about Jenner winning 'woman of the year' is made in light of the glam 'perfect woman' persona that Jenner has adopted and the fact that a trans-man would be highly unlikely to be named 'man of the year'.

  3. Yes, but Greer argues that she is a woman and yet denies transgender women that same right to claim whatever gender identity that they feel fits them - I call that policing other people's identity - something she is allegedly against - in other words she is a hypocrite.
    We fight to define who we are on a personal level - yet Greer calls out that trans women are "men" - again defining gender in rigid binary terms and denying transgender women the same rights that she gives herself.
    I am curious why you have brought up clothes as it has very, very little (or absolutely nothing) to do with what clothes you wear, how short your hair is, whether you wear make-up or don't - it is all about how you self identify. I am a female and Greer tries to deny me that right to self define myself and as a result is a hypocrite - nothing more, nothing less.
    If you want to define yourself as a woman - you know yourself far, far better than I do and I will accept without question however you wish to define - that is your fundamental human right, but please do not EVER question how I choose to define - I have lived with myself for over 70 years now and I know who I am and have done since my earliest memories when I was around 4 or 5.
    You are wrong about the trans man by the way - a trans man is in the running for that.
    How Caitlyn Jenner chooses to look is up to her, it is not up to you, me or anybody else to tell her how she should present - in much the same way that I would never dream of telling any other beautiful woman how she should dress - or, in much the same way that I would never dream of telling Bugs Brennan how to dress - that is everybody's personal choice - so if she wants to dress like a butch dyke that is her inalienable right - but I won't police her, but by the same token she cannot police me or how I define.


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Thank you for your patience -- Carol