Feminism Turns On One Of Its Fore-Mothers.

 

 

The iconic Australian  “second wave” feminist Germaine Greer has been in a lot of hot water lately with her own movement.  As we all know, Left wing thought tends not to be very tolerant of any deviation from the accepted orthodoxy. Greer has taken the unacceptable position that “transgender” men are actually men rather  than women, and that they therefore do not fall specifically within the scope of Feminist concerns. For this she has been accused of speaking against the transgendered, and expressing “transphobic” views.  Cambridge University which was set to give her an honorary doctorate reversed its decision. From Greer’s own perspective  all she has done is continue to stand where she has always stood. She originally entered into a social movement which, in her mind, was devoted to the purpose of preventing the unfair mistreatment of a particular group of people because of the way they were born.  Now all of the rules have suddenly changed on her.

Germaine Greer was a prominent feminist writer who, in the early 1970′s, helped popularize the idea of a culture of misogyny (with the famous quote, “Women have very little idea of how much men hate them”) and the idea of the harmfulness of the nuclear family to women’s interests. But she was distinct  in that she was not an “equality feminist”. Her brand of Feminism  was not about women becoming like men, or about destroying the distinction between the sexes, it was about women being “liberated” in order to find their own way as women. The androgynous understanding of  humanity traditionally promoted by mainstream  “equality feminists” melds perfectly with the notion of  choosing one’s own gender, but for a Feminist like Greer it verges on a betrayal of Feminism’s original purpose. If gender/sex is to be reduced to merely a  choice that anyone can make at any time we can understand why  she would feel this way. Now if the equality Feminist adopts the far more popular idea of  individuals  being born with “sexed brains ” we are left with one of the most obviously self contradictory stances in all of Leftist thought.  It is clearly contradictory to argue that gender is a social construct, while at the same time arguing that some  people are born with brains that confer upon them the natural tendencies of a particular sex.

I don’t agree with Greer on much yet I have always respected her intellectual consistency. But a commitment to being intellectually consistent can be very costly if you are a crusader on the left..

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