Saturday, 24 October 2015
On my Soap Box: Germaine Greer, her opinion on Trans people and my opinion on this
Yet here I find myself more or less at the release of Halo 5 a admittedly important release about to talk about the comments of a Feminist. You see when I was a student I read a lot of books, learned about a great many thinkers in a great many fields. There were certain people or issues who grasped me more than others though and amongst them was feminism. Now its important to note that I am a man, a straight male both in body and mind so according to some this is not something I should worry myself over as I am part of the problem not the solution and any help I could give is to some unwanted and not needed. Still I found the work of many writers in this field to be fascinating and eye opening, obviously like everything I studied some of it made more sense to me or appealed to me more than other bits but there were big names in the field which over the years we kept going back to again and again.
For what it is worth Charlotte Perkins Gilman was probably the feminist whose writing I enjoyed the most. The reason for this is that I liked her style, she wrote some novels which although were fantasy in nature they were also filled with themes and questions which really stopped you and made you think. I would advise anyone with a passing interest who wants an easy yet thought provoking read to try her book Herland. I would argue that the central theme of Herland is defining gender. It looks at gender roles, at how gender is a how social construct. In the story a small band of men go on an adventure and find a land where there are only women, women who In comparison to the women of their world,appear to be a little more masculine. These women have short functional hair, they are physically strong they are very different to what these men are used to. There is a sort of double side to this though, one of the men can be seen as displaying some stereotypical feminine traits. As one of only four male students on a Social Sciences degree course amongst a good few hundred females, as a man who cares very deeply, a man who wanted to work with children and who would go on to be a single father to his daughter I guess this was something I could relate to I guess there were some caring instincts in me that others would see as being feminine attributes.
Still I digress another one of the big names we would constantly come back to in class was a certain Germaine Greer a woman who is regarded as one of the major voices of the second-wave feminist movement. Greer's ideas have often created controversy ever since her first book, The Female Eunuch. In brief she can be described as a liberation rather than equality feminist. Her goal is not equality with men, but women's liberation which according to her writing means embracing sex differences in a positive fashion, allowing women to ''define their own values, order their own priorities and decide their own fate." Now I am very into letting people be who they want to be, valuing everyone based on there own strengths whatever they might be and ignoring gender type stereotypes but there are still issues I massively disagree with Greer on for one she believes that women should give up monogamy, at my heart I am very pro monogamy and long term relationships because I am a romantic, I don't want a monogamous relationship with my partner to pin her down or own her, I want it because I want to spend my every waking moment with her, I love, admire, respect and adore her without end, if you call this wanting to own her well maybe I do but I want it to go both ways, however I do believe this is a choice and I respect people who make different choices.If you are poly then before you start chanting Greer's name remember she also has claimed to want women to drink there own menstral blood, that female genetial mutilation is ok and that Transgender people are delusional. This is the main reason I started writing this blog post.
On the one hand I have always held some respect for Greer and viewed anything really off she has said under the rule of ''well we all believe something stupid and let our mouths flap when we shouldnt now and then'' but this is the thing that has pushed my annoyance button.
A lot of Feminists will argue that women are treated like crap, but I have seen that if women are treated badly then quiet often transgenderd people are treated super bad. Yet the following quote is from Greer ''Nowadays we are all likely to meet people who think they are women, have women’s names, and feminine clothes and lots of eyeshadow, who seem to us to be some kind of ghastly parody, though it isn’t polite to say so. We pretend that all the people passing for female really are. Other delusions may be challenged, but not a man’s delusion that he is female.''
You see to me what feminism should really be about it should be about respecting differences and recognising that traits can belong to anyone, women can be confident smart and resourceful just as men can be soft tender and caring traits should belong to people not to genders, we are all first and foremost individuals, most importantly though you are who you are on the inside, that is what is important and that is what counts. Greer feels she speaks for the downtrodden woman a type or person who is shit upon and who needs to break out from under the ice of there tomb in society, the truth is though that there are many oppressed and hurt groups suffering, some publicly and some in silence and it is deeply wrong to attack and make fun of another group. I am not young myself but I have to argue that maybe she is just old, stuck in her way and no longer understands the society she lives in, Charlotte Perkins Gilman died around 1935 and I think she had a better grasp of our modern world than Greer will ever have.