Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Germaine Greer and the "feminists"

I don't have a whole lot to add to this most recent free speech debacle. (Ophelia and Glosswitch have nicely summed it up). But there much to be said on how older women, particularly older women who refuse to kowtow to current ideology, are treated within feminist circles. It also pains me that to even write about this I have to list my credentials within a community I no longer feel a part of and haven't for some time. I don't agree with Greer's views on transgender people. However, this is completely irrelevant to the disappointment I feel watching her being treated as some sort of bigoted dinosaur who should learn to sit back and shut up. Helen Lewis from The New Statesman asks, "Why are women always punished more harshly than men for having controversial opinions?"
It’s interesting that it is Greer's views on gender that are the flashpoint, because she has been flat wrong about many things in her career – FGM, for example, which she has defended given its “cultural” element – without anything like the same backlash. Put simply, trans issues are the new dividing line for progressive activism; the way for younger activists to kick against their foremothers in the feminist movement. Feminists are like Batman: they either die heroines, or live long enough to become villains.