Who’s Afraid of Germaine Greer?
“Reminder that sex is fake”
— Jenna Costigan (male transwoman)
Early on in my transition, when I was living in Vancouver, I was physically assaulted whilst boarding a bus. My back had been turned, my hands occupied with digging in my purse for a ticket . . . when a solid fist struck me from the side, a peripheral sucker punch in the form of a hockey player’s slug.
He yelled “TRANNY!” and trotted away at a mild gait, unhindered by any witnesses.
This thug’s annoyance resulted from me having just declined his offer of a nugget of crack cocaine (or meth, as if I can tell …) in exchange for an alleyway blowjob. Since I was a transwoman waiting for public transit, I was clearly available to be propositioned for sex.
One thing I know for certain as I look back on that incident: this viscious bloke had never read Simone de Beauvoir. He had never read Germaine Greer.
He was a homophobic arsehole whose insecurities and male privilege entitled him to random acts of violence.
But, in the butterfly-effect politics of transgenderism, an academic lecturing in Wales who can define woman (adult human female), without mealymouthing around the issue, is somehow responsible for me getting smacked on the skull in YVR … and more so for the murder of transwomen (too often poor and of a racial minority) by savage men (always by men).
Let’s be honest about liberals and their armchair activism: slagging off older women on twitter or from the ivory tower is a hell of a lot easier than confronting actual male violence.
As is well known . . . and I’m right glad it’s well known: people are finally paying attention . . . Germaine Greer, global bestselling author, is the latest in the almost weekly occurrence of prominent feminists being no-platformed in the very spaces they should most be free to speak: publicly funded universities.
Greer’s thoughtcrime? The smug rational for this uni perversity of censoring one of the most respected, prominent, paradigm-shattering feminists that the English-language has given us? The justification for gagging a renowned writer whose words and activism paved a path of liberation for generations of young women?
Because Greer is firm and candid in her analysis as a feminist: a feminism that centres females (re: what feminism actually is). She speaks plainly of her unwillingness to reject the entire field of physical anthropology, and the understanding that oppression is based on female biological sex, to satisfy the egocentric whims of trans identity politics.
She knows male and female are not a mythology, but a corporeality.
Greer is rejecting a world in which a bepenised Jenner is dubbed woman of the year . . . without having actually lived as a woman for an entire year . . . indeed, arguably, hasn’t lived fully “as a woman” at all, given his penchant for being a bro amidst the old boys’ club of the golf course.
I thus signed a petition in support of Germaine Greer, because I support her right to speak. As an academic: I’m not afraid of lively and vigorous dialectics. As a transsexual: I’m tired of my experience being erased in service to genderism. And most importantly I signed as a human person: I would like a world without gender, where we’re free to express ourselves regardless of sex. Imagine there is no gender. I have no investment in servicing ‘gender’ as a system of rules imposed upon bodies to restrict personality according to artificial, harmful prescriptions. Whatever myself and Greer disagree on, we both acknowledge that making up new words doesn’t end oppression. I concur with Greer and Daly as to the motivations driving men to empty “woman” of any corporeal or material referent . . . it’s the ideal prelude to perfect and enshrine the femme-fantasy of all access erotic phantasm of ideation.
This was Daly’s prescient promise: men will take women’s words in order to take their bodies. We’re told “gender is not sex” like a mantra bereft of enlightenment. Well, what is gender? They never answer. Where did it come from? They never answer. Perhaps an outward gaze rather than inward self-idolatry? Reality is that male/female sex dimorphism is how mammals reproduce. Define gender, I ask. They can’t.
Gender is a socially constructed hierarchy of sex based norms imposed onto bodies. There. That wasn’t difficult, was it?
It’s only difficult because trans activists, to maintain their house of cards tautologies, must abstract into oblivious this one essentialist claim: a male must ‘really’ be female if ‘she’ possesses a subjectively-identifiable cache of feminine personality traits. And, by command, she was always female, will always be female, regardless and despite any lack of material correlation or correlative. To transgenderists, biological sex is a fantasy, but “I feel; therefore, I am” is the sole ontology.
Now, it’s pretty obvious that such is absurd immaterialism. “Inner, transcendental gender essence” can’t hold under scrutiny, according to any understanding of self and subjectivity.
Transgenderists well know this.
So, to protect this essentialism, transgenderists bully anyone — women or transsexuals in particular — who know females (women) and male transwomen have differences. A mature political movement would negotiate and address these differences honestly. But transgenderists threaten, cajole, bludgeon, manipulate, and thrash. Instead of critical discussion, they turn to the most regressive of chauvinism: to aggressively enforce silence. This is so much so that, recently, an American professor sought to ban the word female from the classroom, since it might hurt male feelings.
I kid you not: Biology is now considered offensive.
It can seem Wonderlandy at first, if you’re new to gender identity politics, and feeling overwhelmed by it all . . . but just ask yourself: why are trans so abusively opposed to debate? Not even debate — just a request for an honest conversation in which transwomen and women acknowledge our similarities, and our very obvious differences? Why is it so verboten to reference that transwomen and women have a lot in common, and a lot not in common?
And if you do dare question, despite their riot act?
“Fun fact: My pronouns are not “preferred” much in the same way
that you “prefer” I not punch you in the face.”
“hope someone slits Germaine Greer’s saggy f*cking throat”
Transactivists: actually threatening in a way that Radfems are falsely accused of doing and getting no-platformed for.
Come on now: let’s be real. Who’s the one inciting violence?
Likewise, because I support Greer, transgenderists — realising I’m a threat and no longer useful — routinely harass me.
The noose is a reference to my suicide attempt in 2011, which I’ve written publicly about. The weight comment refers to my #anarecovery (I’m doing great by the way — my doc is really pleased and so am I!)
As of this morning, I’ve yet to see a single transgenderist confront
@cateatsu for urging my suicide and telling me I deserve to die. We know what would happen were a woman to have uttered the exceptionally vile abuse that was hurled at me, right? Why do trans get free license?
Can we be truthful, without affect hustling in lieu of an actual rational argument?
It’s not transphobic to have a definition of woman that doesn’t include males, no matter how arbitrarily feminine their inner disposition.
By addressing that sex is material facticity, and not imaginary “assignment,” Greer is stating an anthropological truth. You may not fancy her tact, rhetoric, discourse, tone, vocabulary . . . but those are ancillary details to actual engagement with the political opus of the gender-obsession she critiques. We are stymied in intellectual dishonesty: convert to newspeak or be condemned as a heretic:
“Young liberal feminist women have been given terms like “queer” and “cis” to confuse them into believing that their suffering is not real or, if it is real, it does not result from being born female.” (Phonaesthetica)
But transgenderists have an agenda: to ‘redefine realness’ in service to their ideology, regardless of whom this pseudo reality hurts.
24/7 language surveillance
Pop feminism has willfully abandoned political analysis for the feel-good factor of disposable aphorisms. See for example Laurie Penny (@pennyred) who recently performed the ultimate no risk “coming-out” of announcing she’s a femme-presenting, female-assigned at birth, no-transition “genderqueer” . . . which is the LGBT equivalent of claiming one retroactively looooved punk rock before it was mainstream.
And to prove her gendercred to her fans, she’s been eager to defend Caitlyn Jenner’s perpetual womanhood — that Bruce was female when winning the decathlon. Egregiously, Penny backs this up with the usual cut-and-paste misinterpretation of Simone de Beauvoir.
I’ll say it again: Beauvoir is spinning in her tomb over the intellectually dishonest, quote-mined appropriation of her life’s work. It is simply wrong that Beauvoir means “one … becomes a woman” as an endorsement of gender/femininity as empowering to female persons. It is embarrassingly clear that Penny, and her cadre of retweeters, hasn’t actually bothered to give Beauvoir the decency of a good read.
Such is what academic feminism has become.
Because even the most cursory of glances at the context reveals that Beauvoir insists ‘woman’ is an invented configuration imposed on female bodies. Beauvoir, following Virginia Woolf, is rebuking the sexist/sexualizing formulations imposed INVOLUNTARILY on female persons.
It’s really simple: women (female humans) are oppressed as a class in distinct ways because female embodiment is possessed of specific reproductive capacities. That’s why the book is called The Second Sex and not The Second Gender.
Gender is a synthetic ideology cruelly imposed on sex. To claim male-persons expressing strongly coded feminine preferences must actually be female inside . . . that is to reinscribe in an essentialist manner what is obviously a harmful rubric of sex-based stereotypes. In the introduction to her brilliant collection of essays on feminist phenomenology, Iris Marion Young cautions us: “We reduce women’s condition simply to unintelligibility if we ‘explain’ it by appeal to some natural and ahistorical feminine essence” (29).
Such a reduction is of course the very foundation and mandate of transgenderist misogyny.
Why are people afraid of Greer? Because she says no.
The bottom line here beneath the headlines is that more and more women are saying “No, enough. Stop!” to male transwomen robbing the power of naming from them, as Daly warned. And we well know what happens when women assert themselves through the word no. As a friend pointed out to me, “No is the most feminist act; society defines woman as the receiver/yes giver.”
I agree. That’s why the last word of Joyce’s Ulysses, the “greatest” novel of the twentieth century, is a woman saying “Yes”, not out of personal empowerment, but acquiescence to circumstance.
Who’s afraid of Germaine Greer?
Gender, and its idolators, are afraid of Germaine Greer.