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.