[Trigger warning, transphobia and heterosexism] Germaine Greer glitter-bombed for trans comments
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.”
Germaine was left showed in glitter. (Photo: Alastair Reith for Newswire.co.nz)
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.”
The feminist writer was unimpressed by the glitter-bomb. (Photo: Queer Avengers)
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.
Greer is not only hateful, but also extremely dishonest and a misogynist. Take for instance her comment above claiming that “No so-called sex-change has ever begged for a uterus-and-ovaries transplant.” OK, first, there is no such person known as a “sex change,” so-called or otherwise. This is a hateful, dehumanizing objectification used (much like the misogyny that is the basis of her disparaging and stereotyped remarks about the appearance of to trans women) to devalue trans women. But more than being hateful and misogynist, it’s simply not true. The fact is Lili Elbe, a Danish artist at the beginning of the 20th century, recieved transplants for both ovaries and a uterus. Elbe body rejected the transplanted ovaries, which had to be removed. In 1931, she died due to complications related to transplant rejection sortly after receiving her uterus. This is a significant reason trans women are not seeking transplants. A mandatory transplant requirement would in fact be a death sentence for many trans women.
Trans people don’t get transplants because even nearly 100 years after Elbe’s death, transplant rejection is still a serious problem. In order to reduce rejection, patients receiving organ transplants are required to take immunosuppressant drugs that literally inhibit the patients own immune system. This makes transplants ill advised in those cases that are not life threatening. This is why existing procedure for trans people use the patient own tissue. Furthermore, the vast majority of trans people can’t even access these existing treatments, even when they are deemed medically necessary for those who need them. (See the previous post on self-castration.)
Also, there is no need for a woman (cis or trans) to have a uterus unless she wants to become pregnant. While many trans women would indeed like to become pregnant and give birth to a child of their own, many would rather not. Many cis women also don’t want to have children. It’s not hard to see where Greer’s argument for a “mandatory” uterus transplant, if it were to be taken seriously, would begin to erode the very foundation reproductive justice which opposes similar policies that would force women to carry a pregnancy to term and/or forces women to under go sterilization.
Then there is the reality that many cis women are either sterile or lack a uterus because they have an intersex condition like CAIS or had it removed due to cancer or other illness. Would these women be required to under go dangerous transplant procedures to satisfy Greer reductionist world view that equates women all women with a fully functioning uterus? I wouldn’t think so. Obviously then making a uterus mandatory for trans women would be a ridiculously unjust burden on them. Even the requirement that trans women have reconstruction surgery to construct a vagina before being legally recognized as women is an unjust invasion by the state into a woman’s body. Again, the vast majority of trans women do not even have access to these procedure when they are deemed medically necessary.
TL;DR: Germaine Greer is a trans-misogynist who is even willing to throw other cis women under the bus if she believe it would further her own genocidal hatred of trans women.
Greer also hates intersex women. She has asserted that all women who have any form of Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (whether PAIS or CAIS) are actually men because of their chromosomes and believes they should be treated as such. Apparently, chromosomes are magical things that erase the social construction of gender and actual bodily realities. Basically, Greer is an awful excuse for a feminist and a thinker.