Wednesday, 4 February 2015

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Germaine Greer

I can't deny that Germaine Greer is a huge role model to me, through her book 'The Female Eunuch' that was published in 1970.

If anyone reads this and believes that I am disappointed in today's women, you would be wrong. We have increasingly more positive publicity in regards to the revolution of feminism and gender equality. The media, celebrities and the power of social media to change views and minds has allowed women to be articulate and create change, the best evidence that something incredibly fundamental has changed.

She was developing her ideas in the midst of one of the most significant social revolutions there has ever been. Prior to World War 2, when Germaine was born, many women faced injustice in their society, enduring the burden of the maintenance of the household, domestic and family affairs. The war years, however, saw many women join the workforce of necessity, taking jobs up that were considered 'men only'. In the 1960s children of the post war era began reaching maturity and finding a voice of their own, taking advantage of the changes that had only just begun in the post-war years. These influences were reflected by large-scale protests and demonstrations for peace, women's rights and racial inequality. This period was characterised by revolution and progressive change in everyday life such as politics, music and society.

The 70's was a period when social revolution was coming to a head. It was the time of the hippy musical 'Hair'. John Lennon's 'Ben-Ins', and the arrest of Charles Manson.
Germaine Greer wrote The Female Eunuch as a testimony to the emergence of women's voices and sexuality. She wrote it in a confrontational and provocative style that aimed to shock, scare and awaken. One of the most controversial excerpts from the book is


'If you think you are emancipated, you might consider the idea of tasting your own menstrual blood- if it makes you sick, you've got a long way to go, baby.' 


I can't say that I personally support the consumption of period blood but I do believe that her extremist values and actions and verbal communication was an imperative aspect of feminism. The book's main idea, which is reflected in the title, is that the traditional, suburban, consumerist, nuclear family repressed women sexually, and that this devitalizes them, rendering them 'eunuchs'. A eunuch traditionally refers to a man who has been castrated for the sake of disempowerment. 



'The housewife is an unpaid worker in her husband's house in return for the security of being a permanent employee: hers is the reduction and absurdum of the employee who accepts a lower wage in return for permanence of his employment. But the lowest paid employees can be and are laid off, and so are wives. They have no savings, no skills which they can bargain with elsewhere, and they must bear the stigma of having been sacked.'

The Female Eunuch called of women to reject traditional domestic role and expectations. It encouraged women to question the power of patriarchal authority figures who took their power over women for granted.

Greer believed that women had somehow been separated from their 'sexual desire’. As women developed, Greer argues, they embrace the stereotypical view of being feminine produced by men, and they become ashamed of their own bodies. Alienated from their own sexuality, women are cut off from their capacity for self-determination. Personal imperfections such as body image or poor self-esteem were seen as produced by patriarchal social structures rather than psychological failings. Greer was emphasising the fact that “the personal is political”.

The feminist revolution has not failed. It's new conflict in social construct and stereotypes and the nuclear family is changing. She may men hate and be extremely horrid in her representations of men but that undoubtedly led to change. Gender roles are changing. Germaine Greer may have been controversial and extreme but she started something that will evolve for thousands of years into the future. 

Tata for now, Elena x


P.s. Go and read The Female Eunuch just for a cheeky, interesting and mind boggling read.

And I'm going to post my article on 'Meninism' when i've edited it and thought it through a little more.

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"
What women “won” was the “right” to undergo invasive procedures in order to terminate unwanted pregnancies - unwanted not just by them but by their parents, their sexual partners, the governments who would not support mothers, the employers who would not employ mothers, the landlords who would not accept tenants with children, the schools that would not accept students with children.
Feminism is pro-woman rather than pro-abortion; we have always argued for freedom of reproductive choice. But a choice is only possible if there are genuine alternatives.
If we accept every instance of abortion as the outcome of unwanted and easily avoided pregnancy, we have to ask ourselves how it is that women are still exposing themselves to this risk. A woman who is unable to protect her cervix from exposure to male hyperfertility is certainly not calling the shots.
The man is most likely to have initiated the episode of intercourse, to have chosen the place and the time; the woman is probably still dancing backwards. If the child is unwanted, whether by her or her partner or her parents, it will be her duty to undergo an invasive procedure and an emotional trauma, and so sort the situation out.
The crowning insult is that this ordeal is represented to her as some kind of a privilege: her sad and onerous duty is garbed in the rhetoric of a civil right.

The crowning insult is that this ordeal is represented to her as some kind of a privilege: her sad and onerous duty is garbed in the rhetoric of a civil right.

Feminism is pro-woman rather than pro-abortion; we have always argued for freedom of reproductive choice. But a choice is only possible if there are genuine alternatives.
Feminism is pro-woman rather than pro-abortion; we have always argued for freedom of reproductive choice. But a choice is only possible if there are genuine alternatives.
If we accept every instance of abortion as the outcome of unwanted and easily avoided pregnancy, we have to ask ourselves how it is that women are still exposing themselves to this risk. A woman who is unable to protect her cervix from exposure to male hyperfertility is certainly not calling the shots.
The man is most likely to have initiated the episode of intercourse, to have chosen the place and the time; the woman is probably still dancing backwards. If the child is unwanted, whether by her or her partner or her parents, it will be her duty to undergo an invasive procedure and an emotional trauma, and so sort the situation out.

If we accept every instance of abortion as the outcome of unwanted and easily avoided pregnancy, we have to ask ourselves how it is that women are still exposing themselves to this risk. A woman who is unable to protect her cervix from exposure to male hyperfertility is certainly not calling the shots.

The man is most likely to have initiated the episode of intercourse, to have chosen the place and the time; the woman is probably still dancing backwards. If the child is unwanted, whether by her or her partner or her parents, it will be her duty to undergo an invasive procedure and an emotional trauma, and so sort the situation out.

The crowning insult is that this ordeal is represented to her as some kind of a privilege: her sad and onerous duty is garbed in the rhetoric of a civil right.



—  The Whole Woman, Germaine Greer




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I'm here to just write and create... about all the fun, groovy, good, little life adventures. I want to be a diary... an edited one at that. I love spontaneity and nature, the beach, music, festivals, genuine people ...

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