ONTD Political

Germaine Greer glitter-bombed for trans comments

11:53 am - 03/14/2012
Feminist writer Germaine Greer has been glitter-bombed at a book-signing today in New Zealand for her comments about trans women, including a 2009 column which said they ‘seem to us ghastly parodies’ and claimed being trans was a ‘delusion’.

The Queer Avengers group took exception to Greer’s brand of what it termed “transphobic feminism” and delivered the glitter in a move more often seen deployed on homophobic politicians in the US.

Germaine Greer unsuccessfully opposed the election of a trans woman to the staff at the women-only Newnham College, Cambridge in the 1990s and the group highlighted her opposition to regarding trans women as women.

In her 1999 book, The Whole Woman, she wrote: “Governments that consist of very few women have hurried to recognise as women men who believe that they are women and have had themselves castrated to prove it, because they see women not as another sex but as a non-sex.

“No so-called sex-change has ever begged for a uterus-and-ovaries transplant; if uterus-and-ovaries transplants were made mandatory for wannabe women they would disappear overnight. The insistence that man-made women be accepted as women is the institutional expression of the mistaken conviction that women are defective males.”

In 2009, Greer wrote in the Guardian that being trans was a “delusion” and that trans women “seem to us to be some kind of ghastly parody, though it isn’t polite to say so”.

She said: “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.”

Stacey of the Queer Avengers said: “Transphobic feminism is so 20th Century.

“It wasn’t okay then and it’s not okay now. Women’s liberation must mean the right to refuse imposed gender roles, to fight for diverse gender expression.”

The Queer Avengers also handed out leaflets saying “transphobia is bullshit”, a reference to Greer’s 1972 arrest for using the swearword in a speech in New Zealand.


Hell yeah. :D
mushroomnoomi 14th-Mar-2012 01:08 pm (UTC)
I'd never read those comments before and they are all disgusting. I don't understand why a feminist feels the need to undermine such an important issue by spouting sick crap about transgender women.
kittymink 14th-Mar-2012 08:59 pm (UTC)
Never read the comments!

I do read them sometimes though, expecting lulz and just getting confirmation of my own misantrhopy
icanseenow 14th-Mar-2012 01:10 pm (UTC)
lovely non-violent way to show her what a fucking asshat she is. Seriously, it makes me cringe so much that people will read some of her bullshit with "feminism" all over it.
All this feminism ala "real women are better" shit is so fucked up. its the same people who say "oh, women shouldnt even try to go to the army, we are so much better than these silly fighting men" etc etc
mephisto5 14th-Mar-2012 01:11 pm (UTC)

....good, I hope it fucking scratches her corneas something rotten.
paulnolan 14th-Mar-2012 01:16 pm (UTC)
*beseeches Eris that the concern trolls won't start with that bullshit again*
mephisto5 14th-Mar-2012 01:20 pm (UTC)
IDGAF. She's saying that trans* women wouldn't transition if they had to have overies and a womb. The first ever medically assisted transition for a trans woman involved an ovary/womb transplant. The patient died. She's basically mocking trans* women's sterility which is just fucking callous and vile and really fucking hurts a lot of my friends.

chaya 14th-Mar-2012 01:27 pm (UTC)
“Governments that consist of very few women have hurried to recognise as women men who believe that they are women and have had themselves castrated to prove it, because they see women not as another sex but as a non-sex.

That... is not nearly how that works.
akycha 14th-Mar-2012 01:45 pm (UTC)
Greer has also said untrue, hateful, disgusting things about intersex women (such as women who have AIS or CAIS). This kind of biological essentialism is complete bullshit because it leads directly to the idea that women who are infertile or post menopausal or who even CHOOSE not to have children or are not having children RIGHT NOW are ALSO not "really" women which means that MOST women are not "real" women and sweet baby buddha in a cupcake shop, what the hell are the rest of us, then?

Also, I know that most fertile women I know just LOVE being categorized as a womb on legs and being told that's "feminist." /sarcasm.
akycha 14th-Mar-2012 01:49 pm (UTC)
I didn't mean to detract from her hatefulness towards trans and intersex women, which is the most vile part of this. Why do I only ever see that AFTER I post and I can't edit because I'm not a paid user?

She's so awful and makes me see red and one of my students had to read her bullshit and deal with it in a thesis (her choice, not mine) and it was like trying to handle toxic waste with inadequate gloves.
zombieroadtrip 14th-Mar-2012 02:15 pm (UTC)
Just so you know, LJ allows you to edit your comments even if you're not a paid user now, and as long as someone has not replied to you.
paulnolan 14th-Mar-2012 02:17 pm (UTC)
Ooh I didn't know that - nice. :D
akycha 14th-Mar-2012 02:20 pm (UTC)
I didn't know that either! Thanks so much for telling me!
akycha 14th-Mar-2012 02:22 pm (UTC)
At this point it's water under the bridge, but I shall remember for future.
zombieroadtrip 14th-Mar-2012 01:46 pm (UTC)
Hope she inhaled some and dies tbh
redstar826 14th-Mar-2012 01:47 pm (UTC)
huh, I'd heard her name before, but didn't know much else about her. I had no idea she was so awful.
mycenaes 14th-Mar-2012 04:34 pm (UTC)
yep. She's been around for a while. She's a big second-waver. And she's awful wrt transphobia.
myrana 14th-Mar-2012 01:51 pm (UTC)
I get really frustrated by feminists who refuse to move beyond the essentialist second-wave ideas from the 1970s. So much valuable work has been done - most obviously in promoting intersectionality. In Greer's case I feel like it's almost... stubbornness, idk? She just refuses to engage with any of the really important issues that have developed in feminism over the last couple of decades.
mycenaes 14th-Mar-2012 04:35 pm (UTC)
yeah, it's sort of creepy tbh. like, she just wants to be stuck in the past because it was...easier to understand? I dunno.
myrana 14th-Mar-2012 07:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I really don't get it either. She did a lot of important work back in the day - The Female Eunuch is a key text in feminist history - but she doesn't seem to want to develop her ideas any further. And I get that it must be hard to accept that some of the stuff you were so passionate about in the 1970s is seen as out-of-touch or downright offensive today (e.g. focusing so much on body criticism, how 'being a woman' is all about having boobs and a vagina)... but there are plenty of other feminists who've got over that, and moved the dialogue forward.

And the thing with Greer is that she's been openly transphobic for a long time. This was back in 1996 (taken from her wiki page): "Greer unsuccessfully opposed the election to a fellowship of her transsexual colleague Rachael Padman. Greer argued that Padman had been born male, and therefore should not be admitted to [Newnham College, Cambridge, where she was a fellow], a women's college. Greer resigned in 1996 after the case attracted negative publicity." That was well over a decade ago, and yet her opinions haven't changed one jot since then. Which makes me think she's basically just stuck her fingers in her ears and shouted "la la I'm not listening".
kittymink 14th-Mar-2012 09:00 pm (UTC)
>And the thing with Greer is that she's been openly transphobic for a long time

This is so true.
its_anya 14th-Mar-2012 02:08 pm (UTC)
And this idiot is pretty much the most famous 'feminist' in the UK. No wonder no one listens to me when I try to explain to them that feminists aren't some nutjob wing of misandrists and biological essentialists -_-
kittymink 14th-Mar-2012 09:01 pm (UTC)
Its amazing how famous she is and that she gets taken seriously. smh
valarltd 14th-Mar-2012 10:32 pm (UTC)
Her work was and still is ground-breaking. "Women don't realize how much men hate them, and how much they are taught to hate themselves," is still a true yet controversial statement.

But she is a product of her time. And it is past time to move on. Just because someone was born male and raised with male privilege doesn't mean they aren't a woman (if they continue to exercise it, I will, however, question whether they are truly committed to being a woman). What makes a woman is in the heart and head, not between the legs.

Edited at 2012-03-14 10:34 pm (UTC)
kittymink 14th-Mar-2012 10:40 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I know she's done good things but it is past time to move on.
pandaseal 14th-Mar-2012 04:20 pm (UTC)
Good. I hope it takes her years to stop finding glitter.
kittymink 14th-Mar-2012 09:03 pm (UTC)
ha ha ha ha!
jettakd 14th-Mar-2012 04:28 pm (UTC)
Hope it scratched her corneas out and she breathed it into her lungs.
dustbunny105 14th-Mar-2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
I'd heard her name, but didn't know about the things she said. What an utterly vile person.

In what world does she live that trans women are more accepted by governments than cis women? Or that no one questions a trans woman's "delusions" of being a woman? Has she had anything to say about trans men?
kittymink 14th-Mar-2012 09:14 pm (UTC)
I've never heard her say anything about trans men. I would like to know what she thinks. It's funny how the existence of trans men blows away a lot of the BS transphobes spout. So much transphobia is transmisogyny.

It does seem a lot of transphobes ignore the existence of trans men altogether or worse, in the case of many leftists, accept trans men but not women or even worse, they fetishize and describe trans men as "de-caf men". However, the transphobic radfem rants I've read describe trans men as women who are being gender traitors by acting like men. smh
mephisto5 14th-Mar-2012 09:41 pm (UTC)
From the interactions I've had with feminists similar to Greer, I'd say they see us as women, as blinded by patriarchy to the extent that we idolise men above all others and thus want to become them and as victims of the medical establishment which they see as preying upon us poor deluded creatures.

So... patronising, erasing and dismissive, which I guess is better than the outright hate and vitriol they tend to direct at trans* women. Nevertheless, some of the lies they spout (e.g. all trans* men end up regretting it, unloveable and alone, that the partners of any trans* men will dump them within a year of transitioning, that if any trans* man chooses to detransition they will be hunted down and ostracised by the trans* community) are very harmful, especially because they prey on the anxieties that a lot of us have.
bethan_b_bad 14th-Mar-2012 10:53 pm (UTC)
So, Ms Greer, what you're saying is that women are only what's between our legs? That there is no more and no less to being a woman than that? That having a vagina must be all that defines us, and only what defines us, and that who we are as people doesn't matter?


God, I hope glitter spends months irritating that vagina she's so goddamn proud of being born with.

Edited at 2012-03-14 10:55 pm (UTC)
bleed_peroxide 15th-Mar-2012 03:08 am (UTC)
I can't stand when other so-called feminists do that.

Is it great to feel pride in being a woman? Fuck yeah! Is it great to feel pride (instead of shame or revulsion) over having a vulva and accompanying genitalia? Fuck yeah!

But that's not all that we are. Woman are more than our parts - isn't that one of the major tenants of feminism? That our worth and identity as woman are not solely comprised of what's between our legs? To hold that "real" women cannot be born as men complete undermines feminism and hurts both sides of the fight for equality.
sarahofcroydon 14th-Mar-2012 11:16 pm (UTC)
Fucking hell, I'm really uncomfortable with some of the wishes for bodily harm going on in here. Yes, Germaine's comments were horrible and transphobic; do you really need to go on about the damage you want done to her body too?

Edited at 2012-03-14 11:16 pm (UTC)
tabaqui 14th-Mar-2012 11:38 pm (UTC)
mephisto5 15th-Mar-2012 09:56 am (UTC)
That's nice. I'm uncomfortable with this bigot basically taunting trans* women for being sterile and trying to get one of them fired. Somehow I don't think a few comments riffing on earlier concern trolling about glitter bombing are quite in the same league as the shit she pulls or cause even remotely the same amount of harm. But you concern for the feelings of one cis woman who probably won't even read these comments over the justified rage of people she's done her best to erase and condemn is noted.
sarahofcroydon 15th-Mar-2012 11:05 am (UTC)
Please show me where the concern for Germaine's health is expressed rather than a dislike for reading people's violent fantasies
mephisto5 15th-Mar-2012 09:53 am (UTC)
Yes, actually, it's cathartic.

The stuff she and similar feminists pull has resulted in trans* women being denied access to rape shelters. A few graphic comments about glitter on a website are the least she deserves, so take your concern trolling and shove it.
sarahofcroydon 15th-Mar-2012 11:03 am (UTC)
I'm not concern trolling for Germaine's health at the hand of a few sprinkles. It's about language.
I don't enjoy reading about people's graphic desires to have the insides of her vagina scratched or corneas scratched out. It might be nice for you but it's pretty distressing for me to visualise it, particularly when it's sexual violence and sounds a hell of a lot like the sorts of sexual harrassment that's been directed at me.

And yes, the same goes for all the 'cut his dick off' or 'testicles in a meat grinder' style comments in posts about Santorum or any other dickweed of a man. If ONTD is basically a place where people express their desire to see violence against somebody else, maybe I plain don't belong here but I somehow thought it was better than that.
tabaqui 14th-Mar-2012 11:37 pm (UTC)
What a revolting person. May the glitter stick to her scalp for *ages*!
booksforlunch 15th-Mar-2012 01:04 am (UTC)
I do not want to presume to talk for trans women (or trans men, for that matter).

I can only comment on it as an outsider, who considers it only fair to allow others to find and define themselves as I find and define myself. If a person lives as a woman, presents as a woman and damn well FEELS as a woman, she is a fucking woman. d'uh.

And as for myself:
Hey Greer, I'd be fucking grateful not to be reduced to my fucking PLUMBING. Which in my case isn't planned to be in use, ever.

I am not, nor will I ever be my vagina, my uterus or my ovaries.

This comm is chock-full of news about assholes bending over backwards to reduce women to their reproductive organs. And if you feel the need to start that, TOO, I can only tell you the same I'd tell them: FUCK you.
bleed_peroxide 15th-Mar-2012 03:12 am (UTC)
Hey Greer, I'd be fucking grateful not to be reduced to my fucking PLUMBING. Which in my case isn't planned to be in use, ever.

I am not, nor will I ever be my vagina, my uterus or my ovaries.

Precisely. I'm proud of being a woman, and that identity is not contingent on the fact that I have a uterus and ovaries (that will never be used). I'm a woman because that's what I am - not simply what I was born with the "right" anatomy. That kind of proud identity is the right of everyone - you are who the fuck you say you are.
angry_chick 15th-Mar-2012 06:03 am (UTC)
Another feminist is assy to people who aren't in her personal box of what constitutes a proper woman.

News at 10.
johnjie 15th-Mar-2012 06:29 am (UTC)
I find it amazing that Greer can be so openly transphobic, for so long, without ever once realising the parallels between the narratives she wrote for women in the West in the 70's correspond closely (not exactly - no two oppressions are the same) to the position transgender people find themselves in in the Western World today?
oudeteron 15th-Mar-2012 09:45 pm (UTC)
Good. Now I just hope she loses all her utterly undeserved influence.
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