Students at Cardiff University are petitioning to cancel a lecture by iconic feminist Germaine Greer. The online petition, which was started by Rachel Melhuish, Women’s Officer at the university’s students’ union, takes umbrage with Greer’s views on transgenderism.
While debate in a University should be encouraged, hosting a speaker with such problematic and hateful views towards marginalised and vulnerable groups is dangerous. Allowing Greer a platform endorses her views, and by extension, the transmisogyny which she continues to perpetuate.
Greer’s response questioned the idea that some views are simply too dangerous to be allowed to be heard. Via the Guardian:
“What they are saying is that because I don’t think surgery will turn a man into a woman I should not be allowed to speak anywhere.”
Greer said that she did not understand the mindset of those who had signed the petition, adding: “I do not know why universities cannot hear unpopular views and think about what they mean.”
The woman who once stood toe-to-toe with Norman Mailer – the man for whom the term “male chauvinist pig” was coined – is now considered the enemy by third-wave feminists. It’s with bitter irony: Greer fought for women to be heard, who in turn try to silence her.
Greer is due to speak at Cardiff University on 18 November. Her lecture is titled “Women & Power: The Lessons of the 20th Century.”