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Thread: Germaine Greer gives university lecture despite campaign to silence her

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    Default Germaine Greer gives university lecture despite campaign to silence her

    Germaine Greer gives university lecture despite campaign to silence her

    http://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/germaine-greer-gives-university-lecture-despite-campaign-to-silence-her/ar-BBnb6O9?li=AA4RE4&ocid=

    The Guardian
    Steven Morris 4 hrs ago



    © Press Association Germaine Greer's views on transgender women prompted thousands to sign a petition to prevent her giving a lecture at Cardiff University.


    A defiant Germaine Greer gave a university lecture amid tight security despite a fierce campaign to stop her speaking because of the views she has expressed on transgender women.

    Greer told the audience at Cardiff University on Wednesday night that protesters had been “trying to frighten me off”, but added: “Here I am”.

    She did not mention the issue during her lecture, but during questions was asked about the controversy. She said five women approached her on the way to Cardiff from London. “They said ‘I’m so glad that someone is saying what we think. We don’t think that post-operative males are women, but we are afraid to say so’. I will say so because I don’t believe they are women.”

    She continued: “I don’t accept post-operative males as females. I don’t believe a woman is a man without a cock. You can beat me over the head with a baseball bat. I still won’t change my mind.”

    About a dozen demonstrators protested outside the lecture hall. More than 3,000 people signed a petition arguing that Greer should not be allowed to appear at Cardiff University to deliver her lecture on women in political and social life because her opinions on trans people are so upsetting.

    Greer, who was paid to deliver the lecture, had told the Guardian she would pull out if the university could not guarantee that people would not throw things at her, but she had been assured that she would be safe. Security was tight as the lecture began, with police positioned at the lecture theatre doors and bags searched.

    Protesters included present and former Cardiff University students who criticized the institution for paying Greer. Mair Macey, a former student now working for HMRC, said: “Having Greer here reflects badly on the values of the university.”

    Greer declined to do media interviews before or after the event and requested that it not be recorded. It is understood that she was frustrated that the lecture, which did not touch on transgender issues, was being overshadowed by the petition and protest.

    Payton Quinn, who organized the demonstration, said Greer had made “incredibly inflammatory” remarks about trans women. A flyer distributed by the protesters featured two Greer quotes from Guardian articles. In one she wrote: “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.”

    In the second, where Greer responds to calls for the Cardiff lecture to be halted, she said: “I just don’t think that surgery turns a man into a woman. A perfectly permissible view. I mean, an un-man is not necessarily a woman.”

    The saga has caused a fierce debate about free speech and the practice of “no-platforming” speakers whose views make them unpopular. Quinn said she was frustrated that the free speech issue was overshadowing what she saw as the more salient problem: Greer’s views.

    Tickets for Greer’s free lecture, called Women & Power: the Lessons of the 20th Century, were snapped up quickly. But Rachael Melhuish, women’s officer at the university’s students’ union, began a petition on change.org calling for the lecture to be halted and alleging that Greer had “demonstrated misogynistic views towards trans women, including continually misgendering trans women and denying the existence of transphobia altogether”.

    The petition states: “While debate in a university should be encouraged, hosting a speaker with such problematic and hateful views towards marginalized and vulnerable groups is dangerous. Allowing Greer a platform endorses her views and, by extension, the trans-misogyny which she continues to perpetuate.” By Wednesday more than 3,000 people had signed it.

    Asked about the petition last month, Greer told the Guardian: “I don’t really know what I think of it. It strikes me as a bit of a put-up job really because I am not even going to talk about the issue that they are on about. What they are saying is that because I don’t think surgery will turn a man into a woman I should not be allowed to speak anywhere.”

    Of her critics, she added: “They think that they are entitled to throw things at me and then they say that I am inciting violence against transsexuals. I have never incited anyone to violence against anyone. I am just fed up with it all. It’s all just froth.”

    The university’s vice-chancellor, Prof Colin Riordan, said it was committed to freedom of speech and open debate. “Our events include speakers with a range of views, all of which are rigorously challenged and debated,” he said.

    Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of Universities UK, has argued that the growing trend of “no-platforming” speakers poses a risk to the institutions’ “fundamental mission” by curtailing free speech.

    A counter-petition has also been launched by a Canadian woman, Diana Boston, who describes herself as a second wave feminist and said those criticising Greer were unfairly attempting to silence her. By Wednesday lunchtime it had been signed by almost 3,000 people.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    She also defends female genital mutilation.


    She stayed at the party too long. It happens. But I'm not on board with trying to silence people I don't agree with.



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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    ^^^
    this. She's a dinosaur but I'm more offended by the campaign to silence her than I am by her antiquated views.
    Also, I'm really, really starting to hate the word "problematic". It's as obnoxious as "safe space".
    Last edited by sputnik; November 18th, 2015 at 11:04 PM.
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    And trigger warning.
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    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Uuuuuunnnngggggghhhhhhhh that one is the worst!!
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    A male can't be a female? Correct, that's biology. A male can't be a woman? Wrong. "Man" and "woman" are socially constructed gender roles and it doesn't matter if you are XX or XY, you can be either. She really should educate herself.

    I agree, she is entitled to her opinion.
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    What an awful person.
    Trans women are women, and there should be no need to clarify or add anything else after that.

    We need to make more safe spaces for transgender people, instead of promoting hate and transphobia - she might be entitled to her opinion, but I would not want her to speak at a public event.
    There is a fine line between expressing opinions and degrading insults / hate speech. She can keep the latter to herself, and maybe try to educate herself about the consequences of what she says.

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    The saga has caused a fierce debate about free speech and the practice of “no-platforming” speakers whose views make them unpopular. Quinn said she was frustrated that the free speech issue was overshadowing what she saw as the more salient problem: Greer’s views.

    I don't know if you all followed the Yale protests, but the sentiment from students was essentially the same. You hurt my feelings, I want you silenced. Free speech be damned, think and act like I do or else.

    It's frustrating to watch.

    ETA: I must have missed the hate speech. I read her opinion on the matter.
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    Elite Member GRuser1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CornFlakegrl View Post
    I don't know if you all followed the Yale protests, but the sentiment from students was essentially the same. You hurt my feelings, I want you silenced. Free speech be damned, think and act like I do or else.

    It's frustrating to watch.

    ETA: I must have missed the hate speech. I read her opinion on the matter.
    I wrote it as "degrading insults / hate speech" because in my opinion she's more on the "degrading insults" side of things ("Nowadays we are all likely to meet people who think they are women [...]who seem to us to be some kind of ghastly parody", "an un-man is not necessarily a woman", “man’s delusion that he is female”, etc...)
    My argument is that a) freedom of expressing one's opinion isn't just a free ticket to disrespect and insults, and b) her words *will* contribute to the violent discrimination trans women suffer. Again, freedom of expressing one's opinion isn't a free ticket to avoid being accountable for the consequences of your words and actions.
    Also, the right of expressing one's opinion isn't the right to negate another person's identity.

    I believe her words heavily contribute to the discrimination against trans women and trans men, and this discrimination has lead and continuosly leads to violence. I would not want to provide a platform for that.

    Moreover, the "I am entitled to my own opinion" argument works both ways anyway. Those who think she should not give university lectures are entitled to do so.
    You can't call a person a "ghastly parody" and then get angry and offended because said person didn't take it nicely...

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    ^^ I doubt 99% of the people out there who are physically attacking trans men/women have any clue who Germaine Greer is nor is she saying outright, or even suggesting, that trans men/women should be treated with violence, so don't see how this is hate speech.
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    I'd protest as well if my school was paying money to someone so ignorant. College ain't cheap. If she were speaking for free I wouldn't give a shit, but they paid for the that nonsense.
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    But if they pay someone who comes and is pro what people believe, it will still offend those who oppose. People need to be exposed to differing opinions, especially at the university level, and I am fine with free speech as long as all views are given equal time. I have no idea what the topic of her speech was, but it was not about transgender issues so the other side did not need a platform.

    I am seeing a bigger issue with campus protests today, and that is that these kids feel they should protest anytime their feelings are hurt, and that their opinion should supersede others. They call for the firing of any official that they don't agree with. They are not learning to engage in discussion and negotiation and are being set up for failure in the business world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    ^^^
    this. She's a dinosaur but I'm more offended by the campaign to silence her than I am by her antiquated views.
    Also, I'm really, really starting to hate the word "problematic". It's as obnoxious as "safe space".
    I've been hearing the word "problematic" a lot lately, I'm already at the point of hating the word.
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    It's interesting how trans men always seem to get a pass in the rad-fem world.

    Anyway, she clearly doesn't understand the first thing about trans issues. But agree this whole thing of shutting debate down rather than engaging --even if by means of public demonstration--is pathetic.
    Fucking millennials and their "everyone gets a trophy" culture.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melyanna View Post
    What an awful person.
    Trans women are women, and there should be no need to clarify or add anything else after that.

    We need to make more safe spaces for transgender people, instead of promoting hate and transphobia - she might be entitled to her opinion, but I would not want her to speak at a public event.
    There is a fine line between expressing opinions and degrading insults / hate speech. She can keep the latter to herself, and maybe try to educate herself about the consequences of what she says.
    she's a dinosaur but nothing she said constitutes hate speech. this is what i mean about millenial feminism and its tendency to be overly dramatic and call any kind of divergent opinion 'hate speech' and say how they feel threatened and unsafe in an environment where people are allowed to disagree with them, they're such delicate little flowers they can't handle it. give me a fucking break. it's an insult to anyone who's actually been the victim of hate speech.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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