Germaine Greer: Still Alive, Obnoxious, Shrill, and Hypocritical
GERMAINE Greer wants Australian women to be more outspoken, reject bad female role models, take control of their future and demonstrate modern feminism through pacifism, socialism and environmentalism.
And while they're at it, Australian women should also trash Holden dealerships in protest over the company's new ad campaign.
Departing from her planned speaking points at an International Women's Day lunch on the Gold Coast, the expatriate Australian author and academic launched a wide-ranging tirade against all things anti-woman, including some of the world's most well-known women and elements of the feminist movement itself.
Greer became one the standard bearers for the feminist movement with the 1970 publication of her book The Female Eunuch. Officially retired, she lives in Britain.
Greer, who would like to "shoot" 4WD drivers, began her speech by attacking Holden over ads for the new Rodeo ute, in which a woman asks a man what his ultimate fantasy is, only to have him imagine driving off-road with a younger, slimmer and "entirely servile" woman.
"My question to you women is, why have you allowed this to happen?" Greer said. "Why haven't plate-glass windows on Holden showrooms been exploding all over Australia? How much humiliation are you up for? I promise you, they wouldn't dare do it in Europe. They would not dare."
Greer, who said Holden would have based the ad on market research, said it demonstrated the problem of Australians, regardless of sex, not speaking out.
"Australians are naturally egalitarian, direct, honest, not eaten out by envy, but lazy and too slow to anger," Greer told a crowd of 300 women at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.
"Please get annoyed about this (Holden ad) because it shames us all."
A Holden spokesman last night said the ad had been tested among several groups, including women, and the company had not sought to humiliate anyone.
Greer also appeared to have departed from her pledge in 2000 not to set foot on Australian soil until traditional Aboriginal owners allowed her in.
Gold Coast Native Title Group committee member Wesley Aird said Greer had not contacted his group to seek permission to enter its land.
In her speech, Greer criticised some women in leadership roles, saying feminists would have a bittersweet victory if the next US president was female: Condoleezza Rice's best asset was her relationship with George W. Bush, while Hillary Clinton's was her marriage to Bill Clinton.
She said government leaders should not have to "lug along a receptive female" as proof of their manliness and women should not let them, particularly British Prime Minister Tony Blair's wife Cherie, whose public appearances made her look hideous and demented and led her to be hated by the British public.
"Here we have our own dear Prime Minister - this big man inside a tiny man struggling to get out - who's been walking around India with his elbows out, just to prove he's really big; 'I really am a silverback, I might look like a chimp, but I am really a silverback'," Greer told the lunch.
"And there is his wife (Janette Howard), following on in case he should be overcome with conjugal passion. He might need her right there, you know, within six feet: 'Come here my dear'."
Posted by: Anonymoose 2006-03-08