FEMINIST writer and academic Germaine Greer’s appearance at a Cambridge University Student’s Union (CUSU) event sparked protests from CUSU’s LGBT+ society this week when she was accused, then denied the existence of transphobia.
“I don’t believe in transphobia”, the bestselling author of The Female Eunuch said, according to the Cambridge Student.
Greer’s history against trans* women prompted CUSU LGBT+ to boycott CUSU’s weekly Monday drinks and speaker event.
In 1996, she opposed the Newnham College fellowship of trans* colleague Rachael Padman.
She described trans* women in her 1999 book The Whole Woman as “Pantomime Danes” and “men who believe that they are women and have had themselves castrated”.
In 2009, Greer called trans* women “ghastly parodies” of “real” women.
Her controversial opinion attracted the attention of the Queer Avengers, who glitterbombed her at a book signing in 2012.
CUSU LGBT+ with CUSU Women’s Campaign hosted an alternative event that was inclusive of “trans* positive feminism” where trans* feminist activist Roz Kaveny spoke.
CUSU LGBT+ told The Huffington Post UK: “We felt that to invite Germaine Greer back to speak in Cambridge after her actions against Rachael Padman and given her wider transmisogynistic stance was to sweep these things under the carpet and, as such, implicitly condone them by failing to take a stand against them.”
CUSU told Varsity: “The Union maintains its commitment to free speech and, as ever, rejects no platform policies. We neither condemn nor condone the viewpoints of any of our speakers, but provide a neutral forum where they may be questioned and challenged by our members.”