[CN: transmisogyny, homophobia, misogyny]
Germaine Greer likes to think of herself as a feminist. There was a time when she might have been right. While I’ve never been able to stomach reading her work, I’ve heard many feminists speak highly of The Female Eunuch.
There are parts of Greer’s feminism that I even agree with. She’s talked about liberation and creating a feminism that isn’t about aping men or aspiring to be like them. Yes. A feminism that puts down women, femininity and traditionally female tasks is nothing more than patriarchy with breasts.
It’s easy to simply say that Greer is a TERF- a trans exclusionary radical feminist. After all, most of her recent controversial statements have centred around her transmisogyny. When I’ve previously criticised her, this is what I’ve focused on. However, having read more of her comments, it’s becoming clear that it’s not as simple as that. I think that Greer’s transphobia masks something else: a deep-seated homophobia and misogyny, directed almost as much at cis women as our trans sisters.
Here’s why. Continue reading “Germaine Greer: transphobe. Homophobe. Misogynist.”
Germaine Greer believes some transphobic things. This isn’t new. It’s not even the first time this year she’s been in the news saying something transmisogynistic. Back in January she told a room in Cambridge that she doesn’t believe in transphobia. She went on to say that trans women don’t know what it’s like to have a “big, hairy, smelly vagina”- implying, I guess, that the state of someone’s vag has an impact on whether they can be a woman or not. Of course, Greer has been openly spouting transmisogyny for years. Back in 2009 she described trans women as “some kind of ghastly parody” in the Guardian. As far back as 1997 she was campaigning against trans women’s inclusion in women’s colleges.
Greer is notorious, and she’s done some valuable work in her time. Her views on trans women don’t make her other critiques go away. However, the converse is also true: the fact that Greer has written interesting things about women, the family, liberal feminism and sexuality doesn’t mean that her transmisogyny deserves a platform.
Last week, a group of students petitioned for Greer to be barred from speaking at Cardiff University because of her history of transphobia. Now, it turns out that they probably won’t succeed- so far, the university is rejecting the petition. But let’s say that they did.
I’ve seen three reasons why Greer should have her university platforms. The first- that her views have merit- we can dismiss out of hand. Trans women are women, end of story. The other two, related to each other, do have merit (although I disagree with them both). These are the idea that denying Greer a platform is an attack on freedom of speech, and that even if her views are terrible, the best way to handle them is through giving them an airing- the ‘marketplace of ideas’ approach.
Both of these are wrong. Continue reading “Germaine Greer? The market has spoken. We don’t want the transphobia you’re selling.”
Germaine Greer isn’t a woman.
According to Germaine, you see, trans women aren’t women. Because trans women, she says, don’t “look like, sound like, or behave like” women.
Womanhood: how you look, how you speak, and how you act.
Germaine Greer isn’t a woman. She doesn’t look like a woman: I don’t know anyone who looks like her. Everyone knows that real women have side-mullets. She doesn’t sound like a woman: that Australian accent? None of the women I know speak like that. If people don’t sound like my friends they are strange and wrong. Women- proper women- have Cork accents. Bai.
She definitely doesn’t behave like a woman. A real woman would never be mean to Wee Daniel. Continue reading “Germaine Greer is not a woman.”