I am, quite possibly, the only transgender female on this planet who does not think Germaine Greer is a vexatious old cow who ought to give earnest ponder to the notion of zipping her lips.
While true that I experience a certain level of discomfort with many of the words that have flowed from her brain to the tip of her tongue and beyond the point of no taking back in recent days—and even as many shriek and flog her as a maniacal transphobe—I cannot join the chorus that would censor or silence the once-celebrated wordsmith whose most notable feminist work, The Female Eunuch, was delivered in 1970, long before today’s politically correct army had been mobilized and began to bludgeon anyone brandishing trandition-honored inclinations about girls and boys.
I do not agree with much of what Greer said when interrogated about her views on transgender women and, indeed, I find much of it offensive, insulting and wrong-thinking. Still, I defend her right to voice an opinion, daring as it might be as it runs against the grain of an increasingly liberbal-leaning landscape.
I shant go into all the incendiary details of Greer’s recent rantings. Suffice to say, this is no small brush fire she has ignited with her torch of potty-tongued tripe.
Among other things, the Australian-born academic holds firm to the notion that transgender women are not real women, once describing them as a “ghastly parody.” Asked by Kirsty Wark on Newsnight if a man who completes gender corrective surgery can be a woman she delivered a terse, one-word reply: “No.”
Period. End of debate.
Except it is not the end of the debate. Not when Wark persists, suggesting that transgender females might find Greer’s remarks insulting.
“I don’t care,” barked an unflinching Greer. “People get insulted all the time.”
She then submitted, accurately so, that she surely is not singing solo in her belief.
“I think a great many women don’t think that post-operative, or even non-post-operative M-to-F transgender people, look like, sound like or behave like women, but they daren’t say so,” said Greer.
This is where I take the strongest measure of issue with Greer.
What exactly is a woman supposed to look like? What exactly is she supposed to sound like? How exactly is she supposed to behave? Who decides what or whom a woman is and does? Is Germaine Greer our judge, jury and executioner?
I mean, to be recognized as a woman, need I use profanity to deliver my bons mots?
“Just because you lop off your dick and then wear a dress doesn’t make you a fucking woman,” Greer said on the Victoria Derbyshire Show. “I’ve asked my doctor to give me long ears and liver spots and I’m going to wear a brown coat, but that won’t turn me into a fucking cocker spaniel.”
Perhaps that’s how a woman talks, but certainly not a lady.
In the world according to Germaine Greer, one is not truly female until one is familiar with the curse of a “big, hairy, smelly vagina.” Hmmm. I have a vagina. It isn’t hairy and I’ve never actually measured it, but I know it’s capable of accomodating a vibrator of substantial size. As for smell, I wasn’t aware that I had to pass some sort of sniff test. But if and when I find myself a girlfriend and we get down to the nitty-gritty of lesbian sex, I’ll be sure to ask.
Seriously, though, cocker spaniels and Germaine Greer’s big, hairy, smelly vagina aside, I am quite uncertain what her girl guidelines might be because she failed to spell it out, but the notion that womanhood is one-size-fits-all is absurd. I need not conform to her constricted interpretation of female to confirm that I am female any more than a snowflake need prove it is a snowflake or a meadow need prove it is a meadow.
I am reminded of this each time I walk the downtown streets and men, some creepy and some nice, hit on me.
And that’s for real.