There is a new example of how free speech values are declining in England, particularly on college campuses this week. Students at Cardiff University launched an online petition trying to bar Germaine Greer, the Australian feminist author, from speaking at the school next month because of her views on transgender women. Rather than recognize that Greer has an opinion to share as part of the pluralistic academic forum, these students sought to bar her from sharing her views and engaging in a debate in the area. To its credit, the university has thus far stayed committed to free speech and refuses to bar Greer.
Rachael Melhuish, women’s officer at the Cardiff University Students’ Union, is reportedly the architect of the petition, which denounces how Greer has “demonstrated time and time again her misogynistic views towards trans women, including continually ‘misgendering’ trans women and denying the existence of transphobia altogether.”
England has seen the rise of calls for speech prosecutions, including this month. We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in England ( here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here).
As we have seen in France and the United States, there is a distressing trend among students in becoming agents for censorship and intolerance of rivaling views. Once the defenders of free speech, college students now often treat the censorship of opposing views as an article of faith.
The controversy over Greer is a good example. Some 880 students signed a petition to bar Greer, 76, who wrote “The Female Eunuch.” The book is viewed as one of the classic feminist works and attacks “traditional” suburban, consumerist, nuclear family” values that Greer views as repressive for women. I do not agree with many of Greer’s views but she is a provocative and passionate voice to bring to a campus. Critics however cite a 2009 column in which Greer describes transgender women as mere parodies of women and reflecting “a man’s delusion that he is female.” She is also quoted as telling the Varsity, Cambridge University’s student newspaper, that transgender women do not know what it is like to have a vagina.
Greer correctly questions the basis for barring someone from speaking solely because you disagree with their values or arguments. She objected that “[w]hat 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. . . . That happens to be an opinion.”
The effort to ban Greer from the university is no noble act. It is actively seeking to prevent other students from hearing the views of a controversial figure. While some of us may disagree with Greer on many of her views, she is unquestionably one of the most influential figures in the area. Barring her is little different from maintaining a speech code at Cardiff.
Source: NY Times
80 thoughts on “English Students Seek To Bar Appearance of Leading Feminist Due To Her Views On Transgender Individuals”
LOL! Those are the words[sorta] of the witches from Macbeth. A witch you are indeed. You can’t make this stuff up. BA and MS, my butt!!
The sole purpose of mankind is perpetuation of the species.
The sole purpose of a particular race within the species is perpetuation of the race.
Everything else man does has no purpose and will soon fade away and vanish.
Women bear and nurture children to perpetuate races and species, or they have no lasting purpose.
If women do not bear and nurture sufficient children, the race or species will begin a “death spiral.”
The American birthrate is in a “death spiral” causing the corporatocracy to enhance “immigration”
America and Americans are being “fundamentally transformed” out of existence.
Annie – “Again you put so much emphasis on a woman’s biological functions of pregnancy and childbirth and child rearing. It’s a part of a woman’s life, it’s not her entire reason for existing. When a woman is beyond her childbearing years, does her worth diminish? Or does she still have a life?”
I only had my last paragraph about pregnancy. To your questions, only the woman herself can answer those. I can not tell a person what they are worth unless I am hiring them, and I do not know that anyone has a life outside those I see with my own eyes. Basically, it’s none of my business!
However, how are we measuring said woman? If it’s in terms of lets say, words per minute- I’d say being beyond child bearing years wouldn’t effect your worth. However, if you are measuring in ability to have children- her worth is significantly diminished. I don’t know what kind of metric you are using to measure women. Perhaps the metric could be ‘time taken off of work for child rearing’. Her worth would go up.
I said, “Women had all these woman’s rights struggles and etc specifically because they were not treated equally. They fought hard and played support roles with few leading parts in history, but today they are really getting well represented in every industry. To have men who have received all of the perks of being men until they felt it was time to be female, to be held on equal footing as a natural born female, shouldn’t sit right with women. It is like a slap in the face of all women’s rights movements. Thanks for earning the rights, women, men will become the women now.”
That is the main argument. Biological function is just another nail in the equality coffin. I am asking you- why would you diminish the historic struggle of women by letting men claim their identity? Men have historically had it so much more advantage than women, and women had to fight so hard for their current representation, why let men taint that?
If anyone would watch the 6 minute interview, put up by one of the good women commenters here, DBQ, you will see Ms. Greer is not shunning anyone. As Ms. Greer eloquently eviscerates the vapid interviewer, she says she is simply stating her opinion. It is an opinion shared by many feminists, simply not as courageous or tough as Ms. Greer in stating it forthrightly. .
If you want to see misogyny, head over to the South Carolina thread and see what our resident Muslim, po, had to say to a nice woman, KarenS. True colors show up when people get angry.
Steg, science does not yet know why there are those with gender dysphoria. None of us know why a genetic male identifies as female. If the trans person lives as a woman and faces the hurdles women face in a country that still favors the male to some degree then she IMO should not be shunned by feminists. Again you put so much emphasis on a woman’s biological functions of pregnancy and childbirth and child rearing. It’s a part of a woman’s life, it’s not her entire reason for existing. When a woman is beyond her childbearing years, does her worth diminish? Or does she still have a life?
“Shouldn’t women find it disgusting that a man can claim to feel he is a woman, and now all of a sudden he just ‘knows’ what it’s like to endure the hardships of being a woman?”
I think disgusting is too strong a word. Sorry for using it. All I’m really asking here is that- why should women support men who transition or act as full on women? They didn’t grow up as women. They were treated like males their whole lives up until a point they decided otherwise.
Women had all these woman’s rights struggles and etc specifically because they were not treated equally. They fought hard and played support roles with few leading parts in history, but today they are really getting well represented in every industry. To have men who have received all of the perks of being men until they felt it was time to be female, to be held on equal footing as a natural born female, shouldn’t sit right with women. It is like a slap in the face of all women’s rights movements. Thanks for earning the rights, women, men will become the women now.
These transitioned men will never be able to become pregnant, and will never have that experience. They won’t know what it’s like to create life from your own body, with the other half of the puzzle. To nurture that being inside you, and feel it grow, as you grow with it. It never leaves you. It is an experience men will only ever dream to know. So lets get cracking on those dream machines, amirite? I don’t know about you, Annie, but when I was growing up- there was a depression in my childhood when I realized I could never actually *be* Spiderman.
Barkin, Watch the great video clip DBQ put up @ 10:53am. Our decathlon buddy is mentioned and you’ll love Ms. Greer’s response. She NAILS the freak show. Also, notice how condescending the BBC interviewer is, w/ her hands folded, showing her progressive earnest.
No one has mentioned that former athlete who calls himself by some girly name. Caitland or something. Last name Gender or some such. Friggin drag queen.
DBQ, Great video. You are a woman who is valuable to this forum. Greer reminds me a bit of Paglia.
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