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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Matters Concerning my Encounter with Germaine Greer

Oh man. I've posted controversial blog entries before, but nothing I have previously posted can compare to the sheer provocativeness you are about to read...

This, is Germaine Greer:


And I went to the NSW Teacher's Conference Center book talk (organised by Gleebooks) to see what she had to say.

Her lecture was good. She had some original concepts to grapple with, her new book Shakespeare's Wife sounds interesting, and her side topics she talked about were as relevant as ever.

But quite a few things angered me somewhat about Greer when I stepped up to ask a question at Q & A, she said that "I will only let a woman ask the first question, not a man" (there was one man in front of me at the time), before remarking "And certainly not a BOY!".

I was the only young man my age there. Because I was a young man she referred to me as a "BOY!", which is rather insulting in itself, but more so was her remark that "You look like you're up to mischief" when I attempted to ask the question "What would you say to a young man who wants to repair the sad and sorry state of his gender, when all we have to look to for inspiration is Fight Club?"

She then said "You look to me like you are a conscientious eccentric", and "Do you really only have Fight Club to look to for inspiration?" as she raised her eyebrow. Because I was too intimidated to answer, she claimed "You seem to also want to take up as much time as possible, next question", before even answering my question properly.

She just didn't take me seriously. Not only because of my gender, but because of my age. Greer refers to Cambridge Dons who won't agree with women's intellectual life as "schoolboys". This is particularly telling, since it appears she thinks schoolboys lack the ability to do more than cause trouble at intellectual events, and the ability to have a rich intellectual life at all.

I was singled out for being a young man, because I was the only young man my age there. If I was older I might have been taken seriously, but I doubt it.

Makes you wonder whether this women's liberation supporter believes men deserve equality as well, doesn't it?

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