BY REBECCA SPARROW
At 9.47 pm last night while I was feeding my six-week-old son, checking my emails and wondering at what point my three-year-old daughter had decided I was on her payroll … my head exploded.
I was watching Germaine Greer ruffle feathers (as she is prone to do) on Q and A and this is what unfolded:
Can’t watch the clip? I’ll give it to you in a nutshell … An Australian feminist icon, a woman who is rightly described as an academic, an intellectual, a trail-blazer, a woman who has spent decades fighting and arguing and agitating for the rights of women goes on national TV and mocks the size of our Prime Minister’s arse.
Oh yes she did.
Are you X&*$%# kidding me?
The fact that Greer had some interesting points to make about Gillard and the media’s role in the dumbing down (and fabrication of) news in this country before she went on to criticise the weight and size of our Prime Minister is irrelevant.
Why? Because that one comment, that one cheap shot, that one moment when Greer decided that it was okay to criticise a woman based on her size, saw everything Greer has fought for over the past thirty years unravel like the yarn of an ill-fated scarf. [ She has spent decades pointing out that a woman’s physicality is irrelevant. Her comment last night essentially gave everyone permission to bring ‘arse size’ back into the conversation.]
Last night, Greer took the easy pot shot and feminism paid the price.
And now I’m left wondering what the hell Greer stands for? That’s not rhetorical, I’m asking you. Because clearly supporting and nurturing other women isn’t in Greer’s feminism hand book.
It pains me in part to write this post. Germaine Greer has done much for which I can be grateful. But the truth is that, for me anyway, she is now officially irrelevant. She’s like this crazy aunt who needs to say shocking things in order to get media attention. She’s verging on being all sound bite and no substance. And the Germaine Greer that I have known (through the media and her writings) in recent years has frequently spoken with a nastiness that doesn’t sit well with me.