pic: NZ International Arts Festival
How could you not swoon over a woman who embodies so many F-words? Germaine Greer is a fearless, feisty, fiery feminist. A classy kind of dame the French would call “formidable”. I say, fucking fabulous.
Erudite and charming in interview earlier this week as part of the New Zealand International Arts Festival Writers and Readers programme, she spoke about:
- loo-length chapters (her eureka moment when writing the Female Eunuch, ‘cos that’s the only time so many women can snatch for reading)
- lost passion (she’s lost none of hers)
- women’s liberation vs equality with men (the freedom to embrace our gender differences)
- not tolerating bullies (walking out of Celebrity Big Brother to protest the cruel treatment of a fellow contestant) and, finally, after a wonderfully shouty finish,
- not giving up
I have two young nieces, so her words about our culture worshipping a cult of paedophiliac beauty filled me with terror. Not because I think some perv is going to scoop up my darling ones off the street, but at the risk of them being brutalised by society into a state of perpetual childhood – sexual but desexualised; not given the chance to grow up, grow old and wise like Greer herself. Unashamed and unaplogetic.
But, you know, where there’s life there’s hope. Her final rallying cry to the audience was a fist-pumping “Resist! Resist! Resist!”
Germaine Greer, you are an icon, an inspiration, and my very first Hoyden of the Week.
Edit: just found this article on the New Zealand Herald website – The new potency of the F-Word – and this review on Stuff. For your further reading pleasure. You’re welcome.
Also, Leigh, thank you again so very much for taking me. What a treat. As a friend you are as great as Germaine is awesome.