Y Repwblic
Conversations with Wales' Republicans : Poblachiaethwyr - Repwbligwyr - Gweriniaethwyr

Germaine is Not Much of a Sister
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Y Repwblic Forum Index -> Seiat Gwragedd - Women's Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 2116

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:46 pm    Post subject: Germaine is Not Much of a Sister Reply with quote

At the Hay Festival, Germaine Greer criticised Elton John for having the name of his husband David Furnish listed as 'mother' on their children's birth certificates. She complained that motherhood is being 'deconstructed', and that some women care about what happens to their eggs.

Perhaps the children do need to know who their biological mother is. It is only since the mid 70s that the law has accepted that children - in the case of adoptees - have a right to know about their biological origins.

It's not a right Germaine Greer then recognised. In 'The Female Eunuch', she daydreamed about how great it would be to bring up kids in a commune where childcare was shared. Her child need not even know that she was their biological mother. She then had a pretty cavalier attitude to motherhood.

Germaine has been quite cruel to transsexual people. You can understand why. In the 1970s, she was complaining that women were perceived as sexless, as castrated males. So she's not going to be happy about constructing women by a process which involves castrating men.

I have no problem with transsexuals and was happy when a transsexual friend won compensation for unfair dismissal by a 'transphobic' boss. But I did wonder if this person had made a mistake.

Post operation she was left with a bit of penile tissue which had been crafted to resemble a clitoris. But it was too painful to play with. She did have some regrets.

Although I respected transsexuals as individuals, I used to think they'd made a category error. I thought that men who liked wearing skirts and cooking thought they were in the wrong body, but their real problem was that traditional sex roles were too constricting.

I thought they didn't need to modify their bodies but their thoughts. They should just say, ''I like cooking. Therefore cooking is an appropriately masculine activity.''

But perhaps I didn't know what I was talking about. And even if someone has made a mistake, is that a reason to be cruel to them? Why would you not want to be kind and respectful to everyone?

At least there was a certain consistency in Germaine's stance. That's quite unusual.

When she appeared on 'In the Psychiatrist's Chair', she said her mother had been lacking in consistency. What she said in one sentence had no connection to what she had said five minutes ago. Germaine had found this scary as a child. What she can't see is that she has inherited this trait.

In 'The Female Eunuch' and articles like 'Lady, Love Thy Cunt', Germaine called for women to liberate their sexual parts. They shouldn't wear constricting bras or any lingerie at all but let it all hang out.

It's true that bras weren't even invented until the twentieth century. Furthermore, for many centuries there was a taboo against women wearing any clothes that came between the legs. This may have been logically based. When stockings were discarded in favour of tights, instances of thrush went through the roof.

But what Germaine forgot is that for many centuries, women wore long skirts. To wear no underwear at all in the era of the miniskirt was to invite arrest.

Germaine also said that no woman could really be liberated until she had tasted her own menstrual blood - I'm probably imagining that it was supposed to be from the tip of her boyfriend's penis.

Well, I have tasted it -though not in the manner prescribed - and I still prefer chocolate. What's the big deal? It sounds a bit bossy and arbitrary.

After recommending earthy celebration of having a vagina, Germaine has turned right round and supported female genital mutilation as normal and acceptable, both in speeches and writing. She thinks it is no worse than forcing your feet into crippling high heeled shoes or wearing nail polish.

She says that women from Sudan tell her that FGM makes childbirth a bit difficult but they can still have an orgasm afterwards. Of course some women can. Some women can have vaginal orgasms. Some people will have an orgasm if you stroke their tailbone or vibrate their ear lobes.

Germaine thinks it is Orientalist and prideful to say that only Australian orgasms count. As FGM often kills and leaves a person in lifelong pain, isn't it all the more frustrating that its cruel rationale is often futile?

Furthermore, some women can only have clitoral orgasms. Why is Germaine such a spoilsport that she wants to deprive them of one of their few pleasures in life?

In her later book 'Sex and Destiny', Germaine contradicted everything she said in 'The Female Eunuch'. She said how great it was that the sexes had separate spheres in the Arab world, with women spending all their time with the children.

She even made excuses for men in the developing world who saw their wives' lives as expendable or worthless, something she had severely criticised in the first book.

Julie Burchill gibed that Germaine Greer now thought women were better off in countries that had bride burning than in countries that had 'Bride' magazine.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali was disappointed that Germaine had no interest in supporting women in other cultures who had been oppressed, such as rape victims. Germaine said it was 'tricky' to tell people in other cultures how to behave.

Germaine has downplayed the significance of rape. It is something she experienced herself as a young woman in Australia, and she shrugs it off. She says it would have been much worse if her nose had been cut off!

No-one else took it seriously either. The culprit was just warned that he would not be welcome at beach parties at a certain venue. That was thought to be punishment enough.

It's great that Germaine's so resilient that she doesn't give a shit. But she might have some awareness that other people are more sensitive. Most people would have been devastated.

Germaine spoke of well endowed 'buck Negroes' in 'The Female Eunuch', but now she has become so up to speed on race issues that she embraces the elusive vision of the noble savage. It's great when she speaks of how awful it is for Native Americans on reservations or the plight of Aborigines.

It wasn't really convincing, though, when she wrote a whole book on how white Australians have adopted Aboriginal culture in its entirety, although they haven't noticed it.

It's not so great that this so-called feminist thinks that what she wrongly perceives as racism is so much worse than sexism. Nor is it just women oppressed by black or brown people whom she won't support.

She blamed Salman Rushdie for his own predicament at the time of the fatwa, labelling him a 'megalomaniac'. But even if he had an over inflated ego -which I do not concede - he still had a right to be alive.

Germaine has been at it again, rubbishing Monica Ali's really excellent and engaging novel 'Brick Lane' because not all the fictional characters are exemplary. Germaine tore into Ali for a perceived attack on the whole Sylheti community. It was like the attacks made on Caradoc Evans when he published 'My People.'

Salman Rushdie said rightly that her words were 'philistine, sanctimonious and disgraceful, but it is not unexpected.'

'The Female Eunuch' has a punchy polemical style which you have to admire. I'm afraid Germaine's literary gifts have evaporated since. A reviewer said that reading her book on Shakespeare's wife just made him think longingly of all the more interesting things he could be doing instead.

But while the style of the first book is marvellous, it's short on logic. It could be read as a very anti-female book.

Germaine despised the strategies used by other women to cope in the man's world that was the early 70s. She thought they should subvert and overthrow it. But she praised Shakespeare's horribly misogynist play, 'The Taming of the Shrew.'

Even at the time, people were puzzled by her inconsistencies. On TV in the early 70s, she was always knitting furiously away at cock socks for her male friends.

There's nothing wrong with that, but some cynic was moved to remark,'Few radical feminists of the 70s spent much of their time knitting, and of those who did, few of them spent much time knitting cock socks!''

Germaine did not think she was getting enough publicity from the publication of her first book so, immediately afterwards, she did an unattractive 'split beaver' pose for 'Suck' magazine, in which you could see her anus.

I don't think Germaine is so much a feminist as an egoist. On late night chat shows, if someone else is speaking, she puts on a face of open mouthed amazement and contempt, as if they were saying something crazy.
This ensures that the camera is trained back on her.

She sometimes appears to despise other women. You would get that impression from her book, 'Slipshod Sybils.' In the 80s, she was demanding on a TV show, ''Has no-one got anything to say in favour of promiscuity? I am a promiscuous woman.''

But when Jade Goody was being victimised on 'Big Brother', Germaine called her a 'fat slag'. So what was the difference between Jade and Germaine's younger self? Is it that Germaine was a thin slag?

When Jade was bullying Shilpa Shetty, Germaine switched to Jade's side. She said that Shilpa's self esteem was annoying. She understood how the bullies felt. I may be imagining that she said she'd like to smash Shilpa's face in, but she definitely denounced her appearance, e g her 'putty nose'.

Germaine can't stand women with self respect. Hello! And this woman calls herself a feminist?

Last edited by marianneh on Thu May 11, 2017 11:46 pm; edited 3 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 2116

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:42 pm    Post subject: Germaine and Shilpa Reply with quote

I have a feeling the above post looks not a little spiteful. Let me defend myself. I've said that Germaine Greer has contradicted herself or changed her mind on a good number of things.

So what? We're all full of contradictions. That's one of the things that makes us so interesting. Gandhiji said, ''Do I contradict myself? Consistency is a hobgoblin.''

There's nothing inherently wrong with changing your mind. It can be a sign of strength and maturity. But Germaine never explained why she had changed her mind so completely between writing 'The Female Eunuch' and 'Sex and Destiny.' Nor did she ever acknowledge that she had done it.

My adoptive mother used to say that changing your mind is a woman's privilege. It was a little exasperating to see this tough talking feminist displaying this ditsy, traditionally girly trait. That's how it appeared when she wouldn't take the 'rational' route of explaining how and why her thought had evolved.

But I didn't dislike her for it. On the contrary, it made her a bit of a character that she was so capricious. You never knew what bizarre and outrageous opinion she would espouse next. She made life more colourful.

But when the Guardian invited her to write a piece explaining the abuse of Shilpa Shetty, and she just blamed the victim for the shape of her nose, the size of her earrings and having self esteem, I lost all patience with her.

I'm afraid I do dislike her now. So much so, that when I heard that she'd been kept prisoner in her own home by a deranged lesbian, I burst out laughing. It's bad of me, but there it is.

Last edited by marianneh on Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 2116

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 9:19 am    Post subject: trans Reply with quote

Over 3,000 people signed a petition demanding that Cardiff University should give Germaine Greer no platform because they found her views on transsexual people offenisive. Greer indicated that she would not come if the university could not reassure her that people would not throw things at her.

But she did come and said she did not believe a man without a cock was a woman. She did not accept that a post operative trans sexual should have the status of a woman.

She said womanhood was not just about cakes and jam. Her problem may have been that transsexuals would get the make up and the silky accoutrements but not the troublesome internal organs. To Germaine, if you haven't had the shock of finding your nether regions soaked in blood at 13, you're not a woman. It is as if it is a rite of passage sine qua non.

This sounds commonsensical at first but it is also reductionist. What of the chilldren born with female outer sex organs who don't have wombs or whose wombs don't function? What of the 24 year old severely anorexic student at Cardiff University who persecuted me indirectly? She had never menstruated in her life.

Germaine stuck to her guns. She said, ''You can hit me over the head with a baseball bat. It won't make me change my mind.''

Life can be tough for transsexual people. Germaine acknowledged that name calling might make a person's life harder but so what? Transsexual people are not her concern. She is just concerned with the 51% of the population who are real women.

Last edited by marianneh on Thu May 11, 2017 11:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 2116

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 9:38 am    Post subject: bundle Reply with quote

But Germaine is a delightful little bundle of contradictions and she did change her mind -briefly. The Cardiff Univesity fracas which had demonstrators with banners outside, as she gave her defiant lecture came in late 2015.

In April 2016, Germaine was in her usual guest spot on an Australian talk show,'Q&A' where Christopher Htchens and Richard Dawkins had often appeared. She accepted that she had been wrong in her views on transsexual issues.

She said she had subscribed to the belief that a man is a person with XY chromosomes and a woman is a person with XX chromosomes, and never the twain should meet. She wasn't taking into account that intersex people existed naturally for instance. But she was not totally unreceptive to information, and she had moved away from her former opinion.

But she went on to say that it was 'not fair' that Caitlyn Jenner, a transsexual celebrity, had been made woman of the year. Jenner had lived for forty years as a man and had had the unpaid services of a wife, which very few women had. She ended by restating her former views.

The chairman said he had thought she was going to dig herself out of the transsexual hole, but she was digging herself further in. Germaine said, ''I belong in this hole!''

Last edited by marianneh on Fri May 12, 2017 11:41 am; edited 4 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 2116

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 10:00 am    Post subject: belinda brown Reply with quote

Germaine Greer must be the person whom we all think of as the face of second wave feminism. But, ironically, her attitudes have much in common with those of Belinda Brown who shuddered with horror when asked if she was a feminist.

Belinda is the writer of 'The Conservative Woman', She came across as a female misogynist when she appeared on 'The Big Questions.' On a later episode she wrinkled her brow as she disagreed with those like Jack Monroe who don't want to be addressed by a limiting masculine or feminine pronoun ie 'he' or 'she' but want to be called 'they' instead.

Belinda said a person is either a man or a woman. Why pretend otherwise?

Sex is biological. Gender is cultural.

I may be very wrong but I have heard that Kalahari Bushmen and some Native American languages don't have personal pronouns based on sex. Perhaps this is liberating.

With a sex free pronoun, you can be whatever you want. Even old fashioned Westerns sometimes gave an insight into the fluid ideas the Sioux had on how many genders there were.Even in Albanian hill tribes, a woman could elect to have a masculine identity.

My cousin didn't want her daughters to be limited by an over girly self image so she gave them adrogynous names. Margaret Shriver became Lionel Shriver on the same principle.

I thought this was unnecessary. I thought you could have a girly name and still be a lumber jack or a long distance lorry driver. But I have since heard that there is some evidence that girls are held back by ultra feminine names, especially those that end in 'a'.

Last edited by marianneh on Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:21 pm; edited 3 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 2116

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 11:05 am    Post subject: rosie Reply with quote

Rosie Boycott writes that when 'The Female Eunuch' was published in 1970, women's expectations were low. They might expect to work in a dead end job for a while between leaving school and marriage.

They couldn't get a mortgage or even buy a car unless a male guarantor counter signed the papers. They knew they would be underpaid. It's no wonder they looked to marriage as a desirable escape route. The average age for a woman to marry was 22, the lowest it's ever been.

So rather than developing their intellect or their professional skills or even their personalities, they would often have a self image based entirely on how attractive they were to men. They might look down on women who weren't, or feel sorry for them.

The Daily Mail would have articles on how men weren't aggressive and dominant enough. They needed to try harder. So there was something inauthentic about the dating game. Neither partner could be themselves.

There was an element of acting, of playing a role. So Germaine would write of how women fluttered their false eye lashes, which obscured their vision as they hung breathlessly with false awe on the words of some oaf pretending to be Tarzan.

Germaine saw the emphasis on presentation and what was seen as femininity as a rather despicable attempt to ensnare men. She didn't see it as self expression but a disguise.

She didn't bother to hide her scorn for women who were in effect like Danny la Rue, female impersonators. She didn't make any allowances for conditioning. She knew they had been brought up to behave like this, but didn't think that was an excuse.

So she thought male transvestites and male to female transsexuals must be full of self loathing, that they were crawling masochists as it were, creatures beneath contempt.

She didn't consider any other motivation they might have had. 'Virago' published a study of a snobbish Victorian academic, Munby who had a thing about servant maids. He had a servant Hannah whom he later secretly married.

Chattel slavery was still going strong in the USA. Munby would get Hannah to black up and call him 'Massa.' He took pictures of her in full slap as a slave.

Germaine would probably think this no more degrading than the usual mascara and eye fluttering on the paradigm that 'Woman is the niggah of the world.'

She was still blasting transsexuals as 'pantomime dames' in 'The Whole Woman' her much later sequel to 'The Female Eunuch.' She never thought that a transsexual person might have grown up in a home where women were dominant, and associated the whole business with power.

A transsexual friend told me during a car journey that as a small boy, she had been forced to perform sex acts on men, adding, ''So I learnt to be a girl very early.'' This might give some back up to Germaine's stance, though that vignette shouldn't be seen as a reprsentative sample.

If having the op is sometimes the end of a journey which started with abuse, is that a fit subject for scorn? Or does empathy have any place?

Last edited by marianneh on Fri May 12, 2017 11:46 am; edited 4 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 2116

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 11:37 am    Post subject: sultana Reply with quote

My friend Liz Jones thought the detested - by us - warden of the hall of residence, known to some as 'Chastity Castle', was such an artificial woman that she must have been a transsexual. I don't think she meant this literally, although the woman in question was an endomorph, almost a giant, with big bones.

The warden would bark sadistically at me like a rabid thing, then answer the phone and switch instantly to a charming 'sweetness and light' manner. She belonged to an Anglican subculture that believed that women should be subordinate, at least in marriage. She became chairman of a society for keeping Anglican priestesses out of Wales.

I never saw it, but I heard from independent sources that she became witless when she saw a male priest, just about throwing herself literally at his feet. I also heard that one vicar deliberately spilt a glass of red wine over her feet to repel her advances, and the joke kept the priestly clique chuckling for ages.

They would have been shaken up if they had witnessed her bullying of female students or had heard how loud her voice was when she shouted at them. She was an artificial person, never mind an artificial woman. This doesn't mean she was a robot. But it was all an act.

She had taken minor vows and was a lay nun. In 'The War on Women', Sue Lloyd-Roberts spoke of nuns who bellowed at and humiliated girls at their mercy. Then they would speak to the bishop on the phone; their voices would soften, they would coo and simper.

Sue was reminded of the 'Daughters of Zeinab' who enforced strict morality laws on women in Iran with brutal sadism. They too gushed and simpered on the phone to imams.

These women had abjured intimate contact with men but were still desperate for male approval. They enjoyed vicarious power by battering other women into submisssion with 'unquestioning zeal.'

To a lesser extent, in the past, married women were often manipulaitve, and I understand that in Saudi Arabia they still are. That was one reason that Germaine's directness was shocking in the 70s. It was unusual for a woman to be so blunt, to say exactly what she meant.

But transsexual people? What of them? What evidence is there that they are not being authentic?

Last edited by marianneh on Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:42 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 2116

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 12:04 pm    Post subject: Miss A Weston, secretary Reply with quote

In late Victorian and Edwardian times, it was avant garde, the cutting edge for the New Woman to learn to type so she could earn a living. Family friends would urge parents, ''Teach your girl secretarial skills.'

Somebody joked that New Women said, ''We will not be dictated to'', and immediately afterwards, became stenographers.

By 1970, when 'The Female Eunuch' came out, it was taken for granted that secretaries would be women, and there was nothing liberating about it. Businessmen would advertise for pretty secretaries. They often had hopes of exercising their droit de seigneur over them.

There was something offensive about it. The secretary might be much brainier than the boss, but was in a subordinate and uninteresting role. If she did exercise her initiative, it was in order to rescue her boss from his own folly.

In 'The Female Eunuch', Germaine suggested that secretaries should put their wits to quite another purpose, to declare a secret war on the boss, to undermine and at length, overthrow him and take over his job.

That sounds OK if your starting point is that he has an undeserved position of privilege as a man, that it's acceptable to double cross him for that reason alone. It's a limited outlook. It's like racist street fighters who think their role is to defend the white race against perceived threats from Pakistanis, West Indians and other outsiders.

But what if you see people as individuals who didn't ask to be born male or a Pakistani? There shouldn't have to be a battle of the sexes, any more than there has to be a battle of the races.

Since the coming of the personal computer, people are their own secretaries and typists. But what if Germaine advertised for a PA? It would have to be open to both sexes.

What if that person took advantage, what if they stabbed her in the back, and tried to steal her fame? Would she say that was legit beacuse all's fair in love and war?

Last edited by marianneh on Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:35 pm; edited 4 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 2116

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 12:43 pm    Post subject: guile Reply with quote

Elsewhere in 'The Female Eunuch', Germaine says that women should not be 'meek and guileful. Truth cannot be served by dissimulation.' You can't take the book as a blueprint for action. It's too contradictory.

Germaine saw a self sacrificing wife as making a big mistake. When her husband left her, she would be indignant after all she had done for him. So she wasn't altruistic and saintly after all! She expected a reward.

There must have been some happy marriages in the 70s, but Germaine was not entirely wrong in thinking marriage a set up that stank of inauthenticity. It was a time when women were much more objectified than today. It was not unusual for men to brag about their wives' vital statistics as if that was the most important thing about them.

If women were pretending to be something they were not, so were men. It was a time when biographers had to assure us that although Mary Whitehouse was visible as the face of 'The National Viewers' and Listeners' Association', she wasn't dominant at home. Her husband was definitely the real head of the family.

It must have been agonising for sensitive men that they had to pretend to be Rambo or at least the strong silent type. I can remmber newspapers reporting a cultural shift. Instead of putting on a James Bond or John Wayne act, it was now OK for men to be themselves, to show a caring side, to admit uncertainty.

A newspaper warned of a downside to this mostly positive trend. 'A nasty person pretending to be nice is more dangerous that a nice person pretending to be nasty.'

Last edited by marianneh on Fri May 12, 2017 11:50 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 2116

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 1:03 pm    Post subject: pluck Reply with quote

No newspaper would be condescending enough now to describe Germaine Greer as 'the saucy feminist even men like.' Germaine tried and failed to make pornography accessible to women in her dealings with 'Suck Magazine.'

Perhaps in the early 70s, feminism was associated with primness and abhorrence of sex. Germaine was interested in sex, although when she said that dildos were little used by lesbians who preferred tribadism, she sounded like an anthropologist describing a rather distasteful lost tribe.

She abjured titivation and underclothes and perhaps make up, but thought that sex itself was something to be celebrated. Again, she didn't think women should prettify themselves to attract repugnant men, but her eyebrows looked as if they had been plucked from here to eternity.

Latterly, she has given talks on the beauty of the pubescent male, and written on the subject too. Oddly enough, in her early 30s when she became well known, she looked to me like a lanky adolescent boy in drag.

More recently, she appeared on chat shows in a short skirt but with thick opaque tights, and said, ''Can you see my private parts? People are always writing to complain that they can.''

Last edited by marianneh on Fri May 12, 2017 12:04 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 2116

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 1:21 pm    Post subject: a bully Reply with quote

Because she didn't simper or flirt, Germaine appeared to be a breath of fresh air in the 70s. So when some male person in the audience who had been grappling with her bombshell of a book, said in polite bewilderment that he still didn't know what women wanted, she derided him loudly, ''Whatever it is, you can't give it to us!''

It sounded a much worse put down from the stage than it looks in print. This was a silly question that was bandied round at the time, as if all women wanted the same thing. The question deserved to be blown out of the water, but what about the questioner?

Germaine came across like a bully who enjoyed humiliating people. You can call it feistiness if you like, but Germaine is a bully. It was not that she was a man hating misandrist. She bullies women too.

On a talk show a few years ago,she derided Julia Gillard, a prime minister of Australia for having a big arse. She didn't say it to her face mercifully. But she incited the audience to join in the big arse body shaming fest.

Let's not mistake bullying for strength. Her friends just shrug and say it is Germaine being Germaine.

Last edited by marianneh on Fri May 12, 2017 12:06 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 2116

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 1:38 pm    Post subject: hogan Reply with quote

John Hogan was on a 'make or break' holiday in Greece with his wife who really believed the marriage might be salvaged. It became obvious it couldn't be when he threw their small son to his death from the balcony of their holiday flat, and then jumped off himself, holding their daughter.

Both he and the girl survived. We heard a lot of pub talk about this when the case came to trial. One man wanted me to agree with him that Hogan should be strung up by the balls, or at least strung up.

On another day in the same pub, a serially odious old man was saying it was the wife's fault. You couldn't blame Hogan because of his psychological issues. He even said ''The woman is always to blame!''

He meant it. As I went past, I said to the poor woman he was arguing with, ''There's nothing someone won't justify.'' She agreed with me. I was sorry to hear later that she was this character's wife.

His attitude was not much different from that of lawyers who blamed John Hogan's now ex-wife Natasha Visser for not understanding him. Germaine Greer wrote an article about this. It is the only time I have known her to stick up for a woman.

Last edited by marianneh on Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 2116

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 1:58 pm    Post subject: bb Reply with quote

Germaine stood up for the inadequate people who bullied Shilpa Shetty on Celebrity Big Brother. She felt quite differently when she was a house mate on Celebrity Big Brother in 2005.

John McCririck, a fellow contestant, presents as an objectionable old man, especially in his attitude to women and most especially his wife whom he always spoke of with contempt. He never referred to her by name but always called her the Booby.

Yet it was partly in sympathy with John that Germaine launched a blistering attack on Big Brother. She agreed that John had behaved childishly, but that was no excuse for how Big Brother had treated him.

Germaine didn't last long. She stormed out of the Big Brother House. She said it had been like a 'fascist prison.' Furthermore, the toilet arrangements were so nasty that you could get bladder and bowel problems from trying to hold everything in.

She said that Big Brother had behaved like a child, not a parent. The whole point is that Big Brother is a bully.

Big Brother did have a conflict of interests. It was supposed to reprove or expel house mates for bigotry or bullying. But it also messed with their heads for the entertainment value.

Last edited by marianneh on Fri May 12, 2017 12:08 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 2116

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 2:23 pm    Post subject: a ponce Reply with quote

In 'The Female Eunuch', Germaine thought women were wrong to concentrate on housework and childcare. Housework was not creative, and children come up, whether they're brought up or not.

In 'Sex and Destiny', Germaine was suddenly taking child rearing much more seriously. She was critical of the culture of the UK for not liking children. She now thought that peasant communities and Arab countries had it right.

Women spent more time with the children and their female friends, instead of trying to have a companionate marriage. This was a good thing.

The reader might be surprised to hear this from Germaine Greer, but it was not a totally worthless argument. But she also criticised doctors who thought Arab men were wrong in that their wives' lives often meant nothing to them. The doctors just had no understadning of their priorities.

Julie Burchill filched a copy of 'The Female Eunuch' from a bookshop as a teenager. When she saw the direction that Germaine Greer's so-called thoughts were moving in, she was glad she hadn't paid for it. She wouldn't want Greer to get the royalties.

Julie was contemptuous when Germaine Greer walked from Celebrity Big Brother. She had spent all her time shouting the other women down, and standing up for 'that 'obnoxious wanker', John McCririck.

Julie Burchill says that Germaine Greer is a ponce, a hypocrite and a bore. Julie can be cruel, but I'm afraid she's right this time.

Last edited by marianneh on Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:43 pm; edited 4 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 2116

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 2:40 pm    Post subject: white beech to thetford Reply with quote

After writing 'The White Beech Years', Germaine Greer had a right to be considered something of an eco warrior. Now she wants to destroy Thetford Forest.

She opposed the motion in a debate that animals may have some rights. She remarked en passant on that occasion that we are not here to enjoy ourselves.

She opposed the hunting ban. She said she could see no difference between a fox and a rat.

She approved of student protests, and said she would be proud to have a child who took part. She opposed free university education.

So you might think that when in 'Sex and Destiny' she criticised those who objected to contraception being banned in Romania under the totalitarian dictatorship, it was just Germaine being Germaine.

But it might have been a warning sign as with her disturbing views on Arab men in the same book. She was in the process of surrendering her critical faculties on the altar of cultural relativism. That process is now complete.

Last edited by marianneh on Fri May 12, 2017 11:55 am; edited 6 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 2116

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 3:07 pm    Post subject: what now? Reply with quote

Most early editions of 'The Female Eunuch' have an arresting picture on the front cover. It is a femle torso hanging on a rack like a swimming costume. Germaine thought women were effectively eunuchs, that they had been castrated to please men.

She thought it was terrible.She opposed pointy bra cups which gave breasts an 'unnatural' appearance. She has been crtical of British prime minister, Theresa May for wearing those bloody leopard print shoes.

So she must loathe FGM which is just about akin to literal, phyical castration,and is not even voluntary, mustn't she? Not at all!

She has defended it. She says it may cause a few problems with childbirth, but it doesn't prevent orgasm. It often does.

The problems with childbirth are not trivial. They often include the death from suffocation of the baby who can't get out of the unnatural, entirely artificial aperture.

Why on earh would Germaine support something like this? Could it be for the same reason that she opposes citizenship tests for immigrants in Australia? She says the tests are based on a 'fear of a caricature of Islam.'

Can it be that she thinks we should make more allowances for people with 'different' cultures and religions than we do for ourselves? And if so, how far is she going to take this stance?

Last edited by marianneh on Fri May 12, 2017 6:01 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 2116

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 8:18 pm    Post subject: sister? Reply with quote

Present day feminists, who have kept up with her recent output, often see Germaine Greer as an embarrassment. Helen Lewis says she is like a batty old auntie who sits in the corner at parties, making disquieting remarks about the Germans.

Sharon Lapkin had the right sow by the ear when she was in the audience of Australia's prestigious 'Q&A' show. She challenged Germaine:

''At least 5,000 women and girls are 'honour killed' every year by their own families for violating the restrictions on female sexual freedom imposed by Islamic culture.

''In your book 'The Whole Woman', you defended the practice of female genital mutilation as a legitimate facet of 'cultural identity.' And you've also justified your failure to speak out against honour killings on the grounds, ''It's very tricky to try and change another culture...What good would it do for me to go over there and try to tell them what to do?''

''As an outspoken advocate of female sexual rights for forty years, why are you hiding behind cultural relativism and not condemning the murder and mutilation of women?''

This sums up perfectly what I simply can't stand about Germaine Greer. To answer her own question, as a famous 'larger than life' personality, she could do a world of good by drawing attention to these atrocities. Unlike humble foot soldiers in the field, she will be instantly listened to, because she is already a famous face.

She doesn't need to go out to a jungle full of poisonous insects where she will get prickly heat. She doesn't have to slog round from one hut to another.

She doesn't have to get off her fat arse in an air conditioned studio. She just has to say that black and female lives matter. But she won't even do that.

I hadn't realised how bad she was. I was familiar with the 'tricky' part of Sharon's quote, but didn't realise that Germaine wouldn't even say a word against honour killings. That's not quite the same as defending them, but it comes very close. It's a case of 'Not A but not not A.'

It seems to me that she shouldn't be able to have it both ways. If FGM is a legitimate facet of someone else's culture, why aren't pointy bra cups a legitimate facet of Germaine's own Western culture?

Australia is not geographically a Western country of course, but it is culturally. It's a first world country unless you're an Aborigine.

We've seen Germaine as a wacky, thrilling outspoken person for all of her public career. Maybe, that's how she was perceived from the minute she came to the UK in her 20s. But it's possible we were ascribing to her individual personality what was just a cultural facet of her Australian identity.

At that time, British people were more reserved. Australians in general sounded outspoken to them.

Another possibilty is that she was not a brave iconoclast but just a bully. Maybe under the bravado is a moral coward and a creep. Or perhaps she just doesn't care about anyone except herself.

She's obviously not good at putting herself in the shoes of the victims. She might see certain flavours of murder or GBH as quaint and delightful. But only an outsider can think that. There's nothing fascinating about it for the victims.

Honour killing is not always a Muslim thing of course. It is committed by Christians, Druze, Yazidis and many other religious groups. But we can't deny that a good number of the victims do come from Muslim families.

Last edited by marianneh on Fri May 12, 2017 6:06 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 2116

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 9:43 pm    Post subject: banaz Reply with quote

Here is an example of what the world's most famous living feminist refuses to object to.

Banaz Mahmod was an Iraqi Kurd born in 1986. She was 12 when her family arrived in the UK to escape the evil dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. But it was no more evil than the domestic dictatorship run by Banaz's father in Mitcham, and no more dangerous either. The kids sought the help of children's services.

Banaz was 14 when her sister Bekhal , two years older, ran away from home rather than marry her Iraqi cousin. Bekhal survived a murder attempt by her extended family. To this day she goes round in a burqa not out of modesty or religious conviction, but so that she won't be recognised. She is in daily fear of her life.

Banaz had no illusions about what her family was capable of. Bekhal said Banaz was 'loving and caring.' Her other relatives didn't care about that. To them, she was a thing to push around.

She was forced into an arranged marriage with a Kurd straight from Iraq. Banaz later told the police, ''He slapped me, he beat me, he raped me, he kicked me in the head and he dragged me by the hair. I was only 17 when I got married. I didn't know whether this was normal.''

She added, ''He had the thinking of fifty years ago. He always had to have his own way. In our culture, we are not allowed to call our husbands by their names in front of other people. We had guests around and I called him by his name. He told me he would kill me if I ever did that again. I told him, 'But this is Britain!' ''

Banaz really trusted the enlightened British state to protect her. She was an unusually beautiful young woman with thick dark hair, a charming heart shaped face and hazel eyes.

She was able to attract men less perverted and contemptible than her husband without even trying. An Iranian Kurd Rahmat Suleimani fell in love with her, and she returned his feelings.

She walked out on her husband. She wasn't mad enough to tell her family that she was now living with Rehmat, but she couldn't keep it a secret in a small community.

She was stalked in the streets by her husband's friends. She feared they had thoughts of honour killing in mind. She poured out her fears to the police. She described someone who was always following her in a car.

She said that if anything happened to her, it would be one of them to blame. ''Now that I have told you, what can you do for me?''

The short answer was nothing. The police made no inquiries and gave her no protection.

Perhaps they thought she was a paranoid idiot. If Germaine Greer or another celebrated feminist had publicised the reality of honour killings, they might have reacted differently.

On New Year's Eve 2005, Banaz rashly agreed to meet her father at her grandmother's house. Bekhal said later that he had a bottle of brandy in one pocket and a big blade in the other. He plied Banaz with brandy, telling her to drink slowly.

He drew the curtains and told her she would be feeling sleepy. He left the room and came back in, in trainers and gloves. Realising he intended to kill her, Banaz ran out of the back door and broke a neighbour's window to alert passers by in case her father was coming after her.

She appeared at casualty with bleeding wrists and hands from the broken glass. The staff had never seen anyone so frightened.

The policewoman who came to interview her, told her she was lying, accused her of being drunk and threatened to arrest her for criminal damage. No one checked the police computer to see if she had asked for help before.

A few weeks later Banaz disappeared. It was another three months before her body was found in a shallow grave under a fridge freezer. Her father and uncle had hired a gang of Iraqi Kurdish thugs to eliminate her.

Secret recordings made in prison caught them bragging of how they had raped and sexually abused Banaz, for two hours, and then strangled her and stamped on her chest to 'get her soul out.' They had crammed her body into a suitcase and driven it to a house in Birmingham.

The police had been worse than useless up to this point, but they did get some of the thugs extradicted back to the UK. They have apparently learnt from their mistakes.

We'd love to think that lessons had been learnt. A police spokesman said later that violence in the name of culture will not be tolerated. Of course it won't be - except by Germaine Greer.

Last edited by marianneh on Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:45 am; edited 4 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 2116

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 11:34 pm    Post subject: chide Reply with quote

In the 70s paedophilia nearly went mainstream. As for hebephilia, British newspapers were reporting that the age of consent would soon be reduced to 14. For some years, police treated 14 as the de facto age of consent, but after a scare about child pornography, the zeitgeist moved in the opposite direction, and the legal change never came in.

I have a vague memory that Germaine Greer may have been one of those big mouths who thought it was an offence against children's rights to say they should not be allowed to have sex with adults. But it is an extremely vague memory. I may well be doing her a grave injustice.

She definitely wrote a defensive article on how her mother had allowed her to go round as a small unaccompanied child to the home of an old man, to learn to play the piano. On the whole, Germaine can't stand her mother. She thinks she was crazy, and says she was violent.

But on this one subject, she thought that other parents should be more like her mother, instead of harbouring ridiculous fears about paedophiles.

No public figure would dare to defend paedophilia openly these days. When Germaine Greer was growing up, Australian courts accepted petitions from immigrants requesting that their chidren be allowed to marry before they were 16. They only rarely granted permission.

Australia is not even that lax now. In April 2017, the 'Q&A' show was discussing how much immigrants should be expected to fit in, and adopt Australian values. There would be zero tolerance of FGM, honour killings and child marriage.

Germaine began in a rather benign way. She had taken out dual Australian and British citizenship, and lamented Brexit partly on the grounds that the British wanted the right to belt their kids, which European law didn't approve.

She was facetious about the British on the topic. You could get the impression that she had an enlightened attitude to children.

It was not long before the audience was disabused. On the panel was Chido Govera from Zimbabwe who had narrowly escaped being forced into marriage at the age of ten. When the subject of child marriage came up, Germaine let rip.

She delivered the cultural relativist line about how arrogant we were. Who were we to think our values should apply to everyone?

She told the panel off for assuming that a little girl who was married would be subject to sexual intercourse.

In an Indian village, say, the mother-in-law would probably control access to the child. Only probably? So there is an element of doubt.

She said the marriage wouldn't be consummated until the child was considered ready. Considered by whom?

By her mother-in-law? Wasn't the girl herself the only person qualified to say when she was ready?

Derryn Hinch protested that the in-laws might think she was ready at 14. Germaine's riposte was that that used to be the age in the West.

She was wrong. For centuries, 14 was the minimum age of marriage, but only for boys.

A few boys were marrying at 14 in the Republic of Ireland as late as the 70s

The Church thought girls matured faster. As they charmingly put it, 'ill weeds grow apace.'

Remember what Chaucer's Wife of Bath said? ''Lordings, sith I tweelf year were of age, five housbondes have I had at the chirche door.''

Yes,we had child marriage in the West once. So what?

We were wrong. Just becasue we screwed up, that's no excuse for anyone else.

The former nun and apologist for Islam, Karen Armstrong, stated that Mohammed married Aisha when she was nine but 'there was no question' of intercourse until she reached puberty. Jeremy Stangroom and Ophelia Benson pointed out that this was a lie.

But even if it had been true, it wouldn't be right. Aisha had been forced into marrige as a child. She had no say in it.

For sexual intercourse to be morally acceptable, it is not enough for both parties to have reached puberty. They must be able to make an autonomous decision.

How things have changed! Germaine used to despise the institution of marriage, when it meant that girls would aspire to marry a few years after leaving school and labour as unpaid housewives in their husbands' homes.

Now she has come out in favour of children marrying. When I first heard of it, I wasn't aware of her craven attitude to honour killings. So I was still capable of being shocked.

I thought, ''Oh God, she's really lost the plot!'' Viewers tweeted their disgust. They said Germaine should never be invited on the show again.

I don't know how Germaine can be qualified to speak as she does. Has she been a fly on the wall in every family where there is a child marriage?

It wouldn't be right for adults to force chidren into marriage, even if it doesn't involve sex.

I'm afraid Germaine's confidence in her own opinions is misplaced. Child marriage often does involve sex.

Last edited by marianneh on Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 2116

PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 7:32 am    Post subject: nujood Reply with quote

Long before Caitlyn Jenner, Nujood Ali was woman of the year. Here's why.

Nujood was born in a small village in Yemen in 1998. The family had to leave the village in disgrace after Nujood's sister was raped.

They moved to a strange town. Nujood's father signed a contract with a man in his thirties, Faez Ali Thamer. He agreed to give Nujood to Faez as a wife.

Her elder sister asked him, ''What do you think you're doing? Nujood is much too young! She's only nine!''

Their father argued that the Prophet Mohammed had married Aisha when she was nine. So it must be right.

The minimum age of marriage in Yemen was then 15. It may have been lowered or abolished since after lobbying by imams.

But there was a loophole. Child marriage was legal as long as it didn't involve sex until such time as the child was deemed to be 'ready.'

Faez took Nujood to a remote village. She hadn't wanted to leave her home and her siblings, but she had no say in it.

She was asleep that first night. She was woken by the door opening and a strong breeze. She felt a hairy body on top of her. She knew it was Faez. He stank of cigarettes, onions and qat.

She shouted, ''No, stop it!'' He said, ''You're my wife! You have to do it.'' Thinking her mother-in-law would save her, she called out, ''Auntie! Please! Come quickly!''

No one stirred. When Faez raised himself, Nujood saw her chance. She ran out into the courtyard but there was no exit into the street. He chased her round the house, until they were back where they started.

He cornered her on the mat. He was pulling at her nightdress. She curled up into a ball.

When the hedgehog defence didn't work, she said, ''I'll tell my father!'' ''You can tell him all you want. He signed the contract giving you to me.'' Nujood tried to fight him off but after she felt a burning pain entering 'the inmost parts of me', she passed out.

For the next few weeks Nujood was physically abused by her in-laws by day, and raped by Faez at night.

Finally she walked into the lobby of the family court and sat there until the judge agreed to see her. The lawyer Shada Nasser felt maternal towards her. She took her in her arms and told her not to worry. She agreed to represent her for nothing.

The judge failed to convince Nujood that she needed only a temporary separation, and should go back to Faez after five years.

Shada Nasser was a feminist who opposed forced marriage and child marriage. She pushed through Nujood's divorce. The title of Nujood's book says it alll really: 'I am Nujood, Aged Ten and Divorced.'

Under Yemeni law, Nujood couldn't be paid royalties or for appearing on TV to share her story. So the money went to her father.

It was supposed to fund the education of Nujood and her siblings. For some years, they did go to school.

But a leopard doesn't change its spots. We have heard that Nujood's father has thrown her out of the house, planned a forced marriage for her younger sister, and has blown the money on buying two new wives for himself.

Nujood has changed her name which means 'hidden' to Nujoom' which means 'stars in the sky.'

On the whole, I don't think this story gives much back up to Germaine Greer's stance. What do you say?

Last edited by marianneh on Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:56 pm; edited 3 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Y Repwblic Forum Index -> Seiat Gwragedd - Women's Forum All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Page 1 of 4

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

© 2007-2008 Informe.com. Get Free Forum Hosting
Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group
PurplePearl_C 1.02 Theme was programmed by DEVPPL JavaScript Forum
Images were made by DEVPPL Flash Games