LGBT Perspectives editor
QUEBEC — As you may have heard, feminist writer and academic Germaine Greer is under fire for her views on transgender women. In short, she doesn’t believe that a person who “transitions from male to female” can be a woman.
It’s her opinion, she makes clear. When asked about Caitlyn Jenner, she said the following, according to the independent newspaper in the U.K.: “He/she wanted the limelight that the other female members of the (Kardashian) family were enjoying and has conquered it just like that.”
Ms. Greer was to speak at a conference on women’s issues at Cardiff University, but has decided against it after a petition was launched calling for her to be barred from the event. Her focus wasn’t going to be on trans people, apparently. She was to speak on Women & Power: The Lessons of the 20th Century. But an interview she gave the BBC has sparked outrage among some supporters of transgender people.
Reports ITV News: “(Cardiff) university’s Students’ Union has launched an online petition urging the institution to cancel the event because of (Greer’s) controversial views. The student union’s women’s officer Rachael Melhuish argued that allowing Greer a platform only “endorses” her “problematic” and “misogynistic” views towards trans women.”
“Greer has demonstrated time and time again her misogynistic views towards trans women, including continually misgendering trans women and denying the existence of transphobia altogether. While debate in a university should be encouraged, hosting a speaker with such problematic and hateful views towards marginalised and vulnerable groups is dangerous. Allowing Greer a platform endorses her views, and by extension, the transmisogyny which she continues to perpetuate.” — Rachael Melhuish
For the record: Greer says in the Independent article that she is not opposed to trans people having sexual reassignment surgery. She simply doesn’t feel that SRS makes them women.
Naturally, there are some who are decrying the suppression of Ms. Greer’s opinions, and saying that the principle of free speech is under attack.
Now there is a counterpetition supporting her right to speak.
Personally, I think she should be allowed to speak and her views should be debated. I don’t see her as a right-wing nutcase trying to send trans people to concentration camps. And one person’s views do not speak for everyone’s views, as she would be the first to tell you. She clearly states that her views are her opinions.
And she is entitled to them. At least, she should be.
I, of course, fully support trans people, and I probably wouldn’t agree with all of Ms. Greer’s views (I am not up to speed on them all right now). But she should be allowed to speak, and I would like to hear them. And she certainly should not be verbally assaulted by people who disagree with her views. Those who commit such intolerant acts are not fair representatives of the LGBT community.
Because when LGBT supporters launch those types of attacks, they are no better than the right-wing lunatics in the United States.
Let Germaine Greer speak!
“Let harmlessness be the keynote of your life.” — Alice Bailey