Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Germaine Greer: Lacks Female Understanding

From the Australian:
GERMAINE Greer was wrong about women: wrong about their attitude to romance, about how they would wield power, and how they would organise things, if allowed to rule to world.

Most of all, however, she was wrong about their desire for what she called "fripperies" -- shoes, pretty clothes, and make-up -- which they indulge in now more than ever.

These are the conclusions of the writer Louis Nowra in an essay in the independent The Monthly magazine marking the 40th anniversary of the publication of Dr Greer's seminal feminist text, The Female Eunuch.

The book, published in Australia in May 1970, and in London in October 1970, was a key text of the women's liberation movement. It has never been out of print, and has been translated into 11 languages. Sales figures are difficult to find, but they are in the millions. Dr Greer was in Sydney for the Writers' Festival last May and all her shows were sold out.

Nowra, an essayist and playwright, argues that Dr Greer must, however, be disappointed in the world of contemporary women, for it does not resemble the model she envisioned. Women are, for the most part, married, and have children. They live in nuclear families, in the suburbs. Their orientation is capitalist.

Nowra's critique of Dr Greer neither starts nor ends with The Female Eunuch, however. He says Dr Greer is now a "befuddled and exhausted old woman" who reminds him of his demented grandmother. "There is no doubt that fame and celebrity have seduced Greer," he writes. "She will say and do anything to get noticed."


Hels said...

Louis Nowra is very nasty. The language he used does not analyse or enhance the rights of women.. it just degrades Germaine Greer. This is downright vulgar: "Dr Greer is now a befuddled and exhausted old woman who reminds him of his demented grandmother. There is no doubt that fame and celebrity have seduced Greer. She will say and do anything to get noticed".

Greer's entire career has been dedicated to analysing and enhancing the rights of women. Even when I don't agree with everything she wrote, I still want to honour her as one of Australia and Britain's most brilliant women.

Nowra's views are retrograde and offensive. How was _he_ selected to mark the 40th anniversary of The Female Eunuch's publication?

Melisende said...

Hels, I find it amazing that they even considered one man's views at all. Why not the views of those to whom "The Female Eunuch" was originally directed. Did he even consider the context of the times when it was written.

I agree his view is irrelevant and should be ignored by all women. It certainly sounds like the rantings of someone who has not - himself - progressed with the times.

And like you, whilst not always agreeing with what Germaine has to say, this bile was undeserving - and just shows his own true character..