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Germaine Greer

(20 Posts)
CoolJazz Thu 29-Jun-17 22:55:05

Hi was anyone at the Germaine Greer talk in Birmingham tonight?

She did a very inspiring talk about the environment and then took questions.

She was asked about the Green party's stance on non-men. She said she didn't want to talk about transgender as it wasn't that interesting to her- but then went on to talk about it quite a lot grin.

Some of the points she made were around:

femininity having nothing to do with being female.
She said menstruation and pregnancy had nothing to do with femininity.
She said sex was obvious to all but we were supposed to collude in a lie.
She said sex is recognised as important and defining in animals but we're supposed to ignore it now in humans.
She said intersex is nothing to do with transgender.
She said the Green party should stick to environmental policies.
She said she didn't care about trans she cared about women.

She was later asked (maybe by a trans gender person, I couldn't see them properly) if trans people were being 'scapegoated'. She said:

Violence against women is an epidemic which is ignored.
maternity services are inadequate
Women do all the low paid caring roles.
No one cared or rioted about the Rotheram girls.
Trans people are fashionable and get attention. Middle aged women are neither.

And if you want to experience being scapegoated try being a middle aged women.

She was ace. On the environment and feminism.
Anyone else there?

AlternativeTentacle Thu 29-Jun-17 22:57:02

She is ace. I wish I had gone now.

iismum Thu 29-Jun-17 22:57:13

I'm so envious! I had tickets to see her in Preston and then couldn't go because of a babysitting emergency. I was so disappointed.

RiverTam Thu 29-Jun-17 22:58:26

Oh, that sounds great. Is she speaking in London at all? Would love to see her!

TitaniasCloset Thu 29-Jun-17 22:59:04

I really love this woman. I hope they put the talk up on YouTube.

CoolJazz Thu 29-Jun-17 22:59:47

She's doing a tour- to raise funds for her rainforest in Australia!
So she is probably coming to London.

PacificDogwod Thu 29-Jun-17 23:02:13

All good points, well made.
I would love to see her speak live.

ILoveDolly Thu 29-Jun-17 23:04:25

She is never not excellently frank. Sadly, she is also looked down on a lot now due to her views on transgender. There was a transwoman at her Cambridge college and she was highly criticised at the time for 'outing' that person. But she is a champion of safe spaces for WOMEN iyswim

CoolJazz Thu 29-Jun-17 23:09:04

Well that's consistent Dolly: she cares abut women but not so much transgender.

That's OK you know, women don't have to save everyone it's not up to us, we can focus on our own needs.

PlymouthMaid1 Thu 29-Jun-17 23:14:48

I saw her speak in Brixham a couple of weeks ago. Excellent . I wanted somebody to ask about transfolk (not brave enough myself) but we got questions about Monsanto etc and didn't stray from the ecology brief.

QuentinSummers Thu 29-Jun-17 23:34:20

I saw her in Frome on Sunday. I want to buy a field and turn it into a nature reserve now! I found what she didn't say more interesting than what she did say. She was amazing. I was only frustrated by her claiming to not really know about biology when she clearly knows a lot. Brava Germaine!

phoolani Thu 29-Jun-17 23:40:24

I've always loved her. Not perfect - she went slightly odd with The Whole Woman - but she sticks to her guns.

CoolJazz Thu 29-Jun-17 23:42:50

I didn't fully unedrstand all the symbiosis in evolution stuff she was discussing, but I'm going to read up on Lynn Margulis.

But I loved her approach to environmetalism: find your bit of nature and love and nurture it and it will bring you deep happiness.

We don't need a field, she said: love that tree in the road that is struggling, and find a way to help it.
I can see how this approach to nature will bring joy!

SindyFishtail Thu 29-Jun-17 23:47:08

Thank you so much for sharing your notes OP! Really positive thoughts to fall asleep on now (mn'ing in bed now before I turn alarm clock on and switch off). Especially the last point about loving your little patch of nature. How simple and fulfilling.

Sounds like a really great evening. Lucky you.

CoolJazz Fri 30-Jun-17 16:10:36

Something else she said which I've been thinking about today was that women must not place their happiness on being a mother; that there are other ways women can be fulfilled and that motherhood is not a route to happiness as sometimes portrayed but actually reveals previously unknown depths of sadness.

I think that is true, but the pain experienced as a mother comes from the depth of love for your child.

I agree with the idea that motherhood defining women however limits our potential in a way fatherhood does not for men.

DJBaggySmalls Fri 30-Jun-17 16:15:10

She sounds amazing, I wish I could listen online to some of these events sad

tiredofchallenge Fri 30-Jun-17 16:55:32

I was there! I have to admit I was expecting more of a feminist angle on ecology/environment but still enjoyed hearing her talk. It was only afterwards I realised how refreshing it was that she neither dumbed down the science for the audience, nor was apologetic in any way for being so knowledgable and articulate about it. I will be aiming to have that attitude!

I loved her energy and passion in response to the feminist questions that were asked - even though I thought she was trying to stay closer to the environmental topics, her commitment to women's issues just came through!

I've been thinking about the opposing positions of co-operation vs competition (i.e.evolution through organisms working together, rather than the accepted 'survival of the fittest' approach'). It struck me as very appropriate in terms of Brexit, and how we seem to be approaching it in such a combative way, and with a winner/loser mentality, but no consideration of collaboration and the possibility of win/win (or at least not lose/lose).

(I'm fighting the impulse to add 'in my opinion' or 'I'm probably wrong' though' to the end of that! Must resist and channel my inner Germaine....)

Elendon Fri 30-Jun-17 20:12:54

She is brilliant and I just want to showcase her earlier work Town Bloody Hall and her speech in it.

Elendon Fri 30-Jun-17 20:26:22

This is one of her latest interviews.

I would so love to see and listen to her talk. She has always interested me (and sorry, but she did change my view on life, but in a good way).

bumblingbovine49 Fri 30-Jun-17 20:32:29

I saw her speak years ago (about 20 years ago) and she was writing and talking about transgender then. I remember she was just starting to talk about how difficult it was to become the "invisible' middle aged woman.

I also remember thinking she felt that because she was so stunning when younger and that I wouldn't have that problem when I got older as I was not particularly beautiful even then . I was right about that as I really don't at struggle with the the middle aged invisible thing now (,in my 50s). I actually love it.

She was very good though I remember being very impressed with her. I had read most of her books at the time but she still seemed fresh and interesting in her talk.

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