The Irrelevant Germaine Greer

I actually remember Germaine Greer from the early days of Second Wave feminism.

I remember her as being sort of a joke, the sexy feminist, the feminist loved by men and dismissed by many other second wave feminists as a wannabee starlette.

In many ways she was like today’s so called self anointed activist, a legend in her own mind rather than an actual organizer or real activist.

That said it should be pointed out that she has been anti-transsexual since the publication of “The Female Eunuch” circa 1972.

A famous quote by Beatrice Evelyn Hall often attributed to Voltaire: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

I despise trigger warnings, censorship or the denying of people a place to meet.  Even when those people are Nazis or other loathsome sorts.

You have a right to an opinion, I have the right to be offended.  For me to deny you the right to have an opinion because I am offended would mean I could be denied the right to an opinion that offends you.

I am called a racist and an Islamophobe because I treasure the freedoms accorded by Western Civilization, the Age of Reason and Rule by Law rather than the superstitious babblings of bronze age power trippers.

I am adamantly opposed to the BDS Movement, the denial of Israeli scholars to lecture in various universities and I am opposed to the efforts to silence a group of people I abhor, the TERFs including Julie Bindel and Germaine Greer.

The silencing of these people does not prove the rightness or righteousness of trans-people and their cause.  If anything it proves the weakness of the cases presented by trans-folks.

It makes those attempting the silencing of their critic seem like Lenin and Stalin who felt it necessary to silence any dissenters including Bakunin and Trotsky who dissented from the path of the Bolsheviks.

It is the opposite of free speech and freedom of thought.

Further it enlarges the platform of these dismal bigots by calling attention to their biased babbling.

You have the right to be offended.  I have noted how many are offended by Greer’s statements.  I too am offended even as I stand by her right to say those offensive things without being subjected to an electronic lynch mob of e-activists calling for her head while safely ensconced in front of a monitor and key board in their jammies.

Feminism isn’t dead, despite all the assassination attempts

From The Guardian UK:

The proclaiming of the ‘end of feminism’ by the Spectator and others is merely an attempt to deflect blame for problems society has failed to tackle

Sunday 25 October 2015

Feminism is dead. Long live feminism. The front page of the Spectator and a spate of other articles would have us believe the battle is won and we can now “move on”.

I can’t be the only one who thinks this is wonderful news. We highly strung, hand-wringing, over-sensitive, perpetually offended wilting violets can hang up our suffragette-coloured hats, stop combing Twitter in desperate search of minor criticism to weep about and finally stop hating all the men for long enough to get boyfriends. Rejoice!

Except … there are still just a few minor issues to sort out. As kind as it is of the Spectator (that great bastion of equality, which recently brought us a blow by blow comparison of the looks of the female Labour leadership contenders) to let us poor weary feminists off the hook, there’s a bit of a catch. Women are still being murdered by their male partners every week; 85,000 of us are still being raped each year and 400,000 sexually assaulted; while 54,000 of us lose our jobs each year because of maternity discrimination. British women earn about 19% less than men overall, there are fewer of us running FTSE 100 companies than there are men named John. We are the majority of low-paid workers and the domestic and caring work we do is unpaid and undervalued. At school, one third of us will suffer unwanted sexual touching, also known as sexual assault, between the ages of 16 and 18. One in four of us will experience domestic violence. But you already know all that. You’ve heard it all before. The Spectator and others are terribly thoughtful to offer us a break, because it is a bit tiring, really, to repeat these statistics over and over again. It’s difficult to keep banging on about a problem that remains unsolved, while a vocal section of the population sticks its fingers in its ears and sings: “Nah nah nah nah naaaah, I can’t hear you!”

There is a bit of a glitch in their plan though, because angrily denying that a problem even exists tends to be one of the clearest indicators that a society has yet to get to grips with it.

So what is the source of this growing angst about feminism? If the movement truly were fading to an obscure death, as so many commentators suggest, you might think that front-page articles declaring its proponents “feminazis” and trumpeting its demise would hardly be necessary. The real clue is to be found in the articles themselves, which fixate on objections to wolf whistles and urge us to get a grip and admit that the real reason for the under-representation of women in politics is women’s own gooey fixation with babies. (Don’t worry, there’ll be an emergency feminist meeting where we can get together and work out what to do now the secret ovary-aching truth has been revealed.)

Both arguments suggest a stricken, defensive desire to deflect any sense of blame from the majority of men. If we maintain that there might be some connection between the treatment of women’s bodies as public property in the street and the fact that they are discriminated against in the workplace, we’re suddenly suggesting wolf-whistlers might have to reconsider their behaviour. If we foist the burden for discrimination on women’s own uncontrollable hormones, there’s no longer any public responsibility to do anything about the problem, because it’s perfectly natural.

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It is now clear that the hippies won the culture war

From Raw Story:

History News Network
28 Sep 2015

As blue jeans, beards, body adornments, natural foods, legal marijuana, gay marriage, and single parenthood have gained acceptance in mainstream American society in recent years, it is now clear that the hippies won the culture wars that were launched nearly fifty years ago. It was in the mid-1960s that one of America’s oddest social movements, the hippies, suddenly appeared. This counterculture of psychedelic drugs, rock music, and casual sex had its roots in the gargantuan size of the baby boomer generation, in youth’s churning hormones, and in the arrival of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD or “acid”). The Sixties counterculture, its beliefs and practices, its odyssey into the Seventies, and its many legacies as it became integrated into mainstream culture help explain the United States today.

Hippies, almost all of whom were white and middle-class, owed a lot to the Beat Generation. In the Fifties the writers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg promoted an alternative lifestyle outside the middle-class “rat race.” Like the Beats, hippies smoked marijuana, grew beards, indulged in a lot of sex, and rejected mainstream values, but the new generation also marked itself as distinct. Taking LSD in prodigious quantities, freaks preferred rock to jazz and wore bright-colored clothes. Far more numerous than the Beats, hippies dominated entire urban neighborhoods, such as the Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco and the East Village in New York. Unlike the gloomy Beats, hippies were exuberant. Large numbers made these youthful rebels optimistic that the entire society would eventually join the counterculture, and in a way it did.

At the heart, the counterculture was about three things: a search for authenticity, an insistence upon individualism, and a desire for community. Although hippies disagreed about many things, they shared a desire to be authentic. Being true to one’s self meant rejecting middle-class culture in order to “do your own thing.” A spiritual search was often part of the quest. Deeply suspicious of both society and government, freaks embraced individualism as a true expression of authenticity. However, this attitude left hippies feeling isolated and lonely, which explains why the love generation sought community. In the mid-Sixties communes popped up in cities. By the early Seventies rising rents, racial tensions, and crime drove hippies “back to the land.” Self-sufficient agriculture was a hard transition for children of the suburban middle class. Most communes failed when trust funds, parental checks, or welfare payments ran out. Hippie women bore a lot of children. Rural communes did enable residents to sort out their lives.

Psychedelic drugs and rock music were accompanied by the explosion of easy sex. More casual sexual mores, however, had been going on in American society for a hundred years, as evidenced by the growing divorce rate. Hippies merely accelerated the process. They declared their parents to be hypocrites for preaching traditional values while having many affairs. Free love would not have happened without the birth control pill. First sold in 1960, it took several years before single young women gained access. Once the risk of an unwanted pregnancy plummeted, the double standard ended. Hippie men declared that everyone should have sex with whomever they wanted whenever they wanted. In practice, this turned out to mean that hippie men indulged themselves, while women ended up discarded, heart-broken, and depressed. Eventually, many hippie women came to see free love as a male sexual fantasy that did not meet women’s needs. Some hippie women became feminists.

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