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Germaine Greer speaks

Now it’s Germaine Greer’s turn to speak out.

Of Caitlyn Jenner she says:

“I think misogyny plays a really big part in all of this, that a man who goes to these lengths to become a woman will be a better woman than someone who is just born a woman. It seems to me that what was going on there was that he/she wanted the limelight that the other, female, members of the family were enjoying and has conquered it. I’m not saying people shouldn’t be allowed to go through that procedure, what I’m saying is that doesn’t make them a woman. It happens to be an opinion not a prohibition.”

I may not be Caitlyn Jenner’s biggest fan (or the Kardashian clan for that matter) but even if Greer were to be technically correct, what is the point of her remarks and how does it help the dialogue in a world where transgender women are routinely discriminated against?

Even as they now move about the world with more transparency than ever before, the majority of them do not have easy lives. Not everyone is beautiful and famous like Lea T, Andreja Pejic or Laverne Cox or has the financial assets of a Caitlyn Jenner. Most are gainfully under-employed and many still viewed as freaks of nature.

It would be nice to see a feminist who knows something about the marginalization of women recognize another marginalized group and find a common bond instead of trying to wield a branding iron. It looks like a wasted opportunity to me and more confirmation about how the world often works.

Of course Ms. Greer has a right to free speech and I would not deny it, but why choose division instead of rapprochement and what is gained by such commentary about such a tiny fragment of the general population whose only goal is to lead as normal a life as possible?

There are a host of young transgender women out there trying to make a life for themselves who certainly didn't need this input.

The author and blogger Helen Boyd, who is married to a transgender woman, gives a well reasoned retort. Please read it here.


  1. Even as a life-long femulator, I'm with Germaine on this. If my daffy uncle claimed to be Napoleon, I would politely use his preferred salutation. But that don't make it so.

    1. I understand your point Paulette but there are many trans women out there trying to make a life for themselves who don't need more ammunition from people like Greer. You and I have chosen not to transition and that's fine but others require it and even if we can make arguments all day long about DNA and genetics its more about how these people are treated by society. I for now wouldn't deny them their right to be addressed as and treated as women.

  2. meant to say I for one would not deny them....

  3. I have always liked and admired Germaine Greer. For her to speak out like this is enough to make me sit up and take some notice.

    I don't really see that Caitlyn Jenner transitioned just because the other Cardashians had a bigger share of the limelight. In a sense, it's a double-edged sword that Jenner is associated with the Cardashians: without that publicity, nobody would know who she is, but that same publicity tarnishes her and slightly invalidates her journey, as if it were only about seeking public adoration.

    But I do accept part of her point: that there is a notion out there that a man can become a better woman than someone born female. I don't accept that automatically holds true, but the publicity (including the front cover of Vanity Fair) seems to be suggesting exactly that. For a diehard feminist like Germaine Greer, I can see how that would be hard to take.


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  5. Vivienne I am on record here as saying that a gender role transition does not make you a woman. It is a change of social role brought on by the need to address extreme gender dysohoria.

    Not only is Greer abusive and insulting in her use of language she is also clearly not versed in gender theory otherwise she might have chosen her words more carefully.

    There is more than enough evidence here to suggest that this is sour grapes and frustration talking. 

    People don't transition because they want to. They do so because they have to. I know some err but the process generally weeds them

  6. I meant to end with weeds them out.

    using inflammatory language also shows an attempt to injure instead of understand.

  7. My colleagues were wanting a form last year and saw an excellent service with lots of sample forms . If you are looking for it too , here's


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