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Germaine Greer: Now, More Than Ever

Here's a pretty old legacy post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 20 years ago, in 2004, on the World Wide Web.

Germaine Greer, the Camille Paglia of the early 1970s, has decided that now, in light of the disturbing revelations of pervasive sexual violence in Australian sporting culture earlier this month, is the perfect time for the saucy feminist that even men like to make her triumphant return to the top of the pop anti-feminist slag heap.

feministe has had the unpleasant experience of being disillusioned with Greer; having first encountered her through The Complete Woman rather than her earlier manifestations she made the understandable mistake of thinking that Greer is a feminist. [Now she’s understandably pissed about the whole thing ](http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/000815.php “feministe: What The Hell Is Wrong With Germaine Greer?”) :

Once among my favorite feminist authors, Germaine Greer gets particularly disgusting in this article, referring to sports groupies as rape fodder and asserting that athletes who rape are only succumb[ing] to the groupies’ onslaught.

And this. This! Good god, woman.

They’re not embarrassed to say they agreed to sex with one man they’d only just met, or even with two, but they insist that they hadn’t agreed to being brutalised, insulted or humiliated, and they want redress.

(Editor’s note: yes, Greer actually wrote that with a straight face. I checked myself. You would assume that something has to have been taken out of context here, but it hasn’t. Back to feministe:)

. . .

Frowning upon these girls’ perceived sexual immorality hardly absolves athletes of rape.

And when you say things like this,

Now that the women are beefing and the papers are printing and wives are walking out, the players are more vulnerable than ever.

I want to yank the F-card right out of your damn wallet.

I do have one bone to pick with the commentary that has gone around from feministe and others, though. It’s a mistake to say that Greer’s article is one long exercise in victim-blaming. In fact, Greer is not just absolving rapists and haranguing survivors over their alleged sexual proclivities. She’s also tarring rape survivors who speak out as gold-diggers, too:

They might well be insisting on the right to free expression of their own desires, which include shagging the odd hyper-fit footballer, provided he doesn’t abuse the privilege. But they also seem quite interested in another factor in sex with footballers – namely, indecent amounts of money.

The chances of a conviction for rape, in a case where footballers have had sex with a half-drunk woman, say, are virtually nil, but the chances for a significant pay-off from the club or the individual players are good.

I would say something more at this point, but I’ve already quoted four paragraphs from Greer, and I’m left with the feeling that just quoting says everything that needs to be said.

And not in a good way, either.

1 reply to Germaine Greer: Now, More Than Ever Use a feed to Follow replies to this article

  1. Joshua

    Greer isn’t known for putting things in the most pleasant way possible, but she (herself a former groupie) raises important issues in this essay. It goes without saying that rape is a serious issue, but that doesn’t exclude those who claim to be victimized from any scrutiny of their motives. The entire date rape culture infantilizes women by assuming they have no capacity for rational choice. If two drunk people have messy sex and the woman regrets it: well, it’s rape. If she gets drunk at a party, willingly goes home with a stranger, willingly gets naked with him in bed and then has sex she doesn’t want with him, she, at no point, is expected to take any responsiblity for her actions. That’s not what feminism is about and it’s not what the sexual revolution was about. The reasons give by the patriarchy for oppressing female sexuality was largely that women were incapable of taking care of themselves and needed men to protect them from other men. If we continue to allow every regrettable sexual interlude to be described as rape we’re only proving the patriarchy right. Greer (and Paglia, and myself and many other very proud feminists) won’t accept that. We don’t like to see a violent crime turned into a tool for those who regret their choices, or are looking for revenge, or even, yes, those who are goldiggers.

    And, finally, when feministe says she wants to pull Greer’s “F-card” she only proves the complete ineptitude and irrelevance of feminism in the twenty-first century. According to the pious little feminists of today, there is only one way to be a feminist and any dissent is likely to get your “F-card” pulled (another f word springs to mind.) Meanwhile, both misogynists and the feministes of this world can agree that women are weak, incapable of rational choice, sexually vulnerable and in need of constant supervision by their fathers, husbands or the state lest they be taken advantage of by the sexy soccer player they decided to go home with.

    Ah, sweet progress.

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