Iconic feminist Germaine Greer recently made blunt comments on behalf of transgender women, saying they aren’t women at all. She even went so far as to say that any person supporting transgender women is delusional and reinforcing sexist roles.
The quotes I will discuss throughout this piece were said in response to a petition demanding Cardiff University to cancel Greer’s guest lecture because of statements she made questioning the validity of transgender women’s identities. In light of this sensitive subject, I will try to be as respectful and understanding as I can.
First of all, let me point out that Greer is severely confused on the definition of gender. The term “sex” refers to biological characteristics that distinguish male from female.
It can even be argued that there are more than two “sexes,” if you include individuals who are born with both male and female reproductive systems.
“(Trans) women are not women. They do not look like, sound like or behave like women,” Greer said.
The concept of gender is an exclusively social construction. Our culture defines gender stereotypes, deciding how a “normal woman” acts, looks and sounds. These stereotypes constantly evolve over time. For example, in the 1950s, the normality was for women to stay at home, be docile, subservient and goddesses of the domestic arts. Today, women are more free to pursue careers, not have children and wear pants.
By definition, transgender people are individuals who march to the beat of their own drums, defying social norms by pursuing an identity that doesn’t reflect their sexual organs.
If transgender people are defined in this way, they don’t have to act like a woman or a man, because they are already acting outside of social stereotypes.
A second topic Greer addressed in her rebuttal was the topic of Caitlyn Jenner being named Glamour magazine’s “Woman of the Year.”
“I think misogyny plays a really big part of this; that a man who goes to these lengths to become a woman will be a better woman than someone who is just born a woman,” Greer said.
I don’t know why Greer’s womanhood is so threatened by transgender women. Her implication that male-to-female transgender individuals is an act of hatred against women is completely ridiculous.
We should treat each other with mutual respect, and fight tooth-and- nail to be equal, not more or less than each other. If you have a male anatomy, but claim you are woman, you are woman.
I am a writer, but there is nothing in my biology that can prove that. I say I am a writer and I act upon that claim, therefore I am a writer. Transgender individuals claim and act upon the claim, therefore they are. Do not think I am trying to reduce being transgender to a career choice. That is what makes it all the more disgusting that Greer would demonstrate such insensitivity to this demographic. At a very young age, most transgender people feel they were born as the wrong sex. That’s bigger and deeper than changing your major.
The petition filed by Cardiff University students states: “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.”
Greer, I will pay for your plane ticket from Fantasyland to the Deep South. Transphobia is very real, I assure you. This doesn’t even constitute an argument.
Finally, I would just like to address a personal reason why Greer has rubbed me the wrong way. She advocates for giving up celibacy and monogamy. Rationally, this is a contradiction of feminism. As a married woman, it is very disturbing to think of monogamy no longer being a norm in our culture— not to say it doesn’t work for other relationships.
To do away with it altogether? The thought of sharing my husband in any way makes me physically ill, and I honestly don’t understand how a feminist can support taking away exclusive love from a woman. Oh, Greer, don’t even get me started.