Cardiff uni facing calls to ban feminist author Germaine Greer over trans comments

Trans activists at Cardiff University are calling for a talk from feminist author Germaine Greer to be blocked, because of comments she has made about trans people.

The feminist commentator is due to give a talk at the university on November 18 on for a talk titled ‘Women & Power: The Lessons of the 20th Century’.

However, the university is facing calls to scrap the event, from the Women’s Officer for Cardiff University Student Union Rachael Melhuish.

A petition started by Melhuish calls for Greer to be banned under a ‘no platform’ policy, which typically extends to fascist, extremist or far-right groups, including the English Defence League, the British National Party, and some Islamic terrorist groups.

The petition states that “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”.

It follows an extended controversy among feminist academics about the role of trans women.

Greer caused controversy in January this year at a talk in Cambridge University, when she first said that she doesn’t believe that transphobia exists and that trans women will never be women because they do not know what it’s like to have a “big, hairy, smelly vagina”.

Activists also draw attention to her past comments, having claimed in 2009: “Nowadays we are all likely to meet people who think they are women, have women’s names, and feminine clothes and lots of eyeshadow, who seem to us to be some kind of ghastly parody, though it isn’t polite to say so. We pretend that all the people passing for female really are. Other delusions may be challenged, but not a man’s delusion that he is female.”

They add that her views on trans people have been clear for some time, after she wrote in 1999: “Governments that consist of very few women have hurried to recognise as women men who believe that they are women and have had themselves castrated to prove it, because they see women not as another sex but as a non-sex.

“No so-called sex-change has ever begged for a uterus-and-ovaries transplant; if uterus-and-ovaries transplants were made mandatory for wannabe women they would disappear overnight.

“The insistence that man-made women be accepted as women is the institutional expression of the mistaken conviction that women are defective males.”

Activist Payton Quinn told PinkNews: “While I acknowledge that in the past she has been a great advocate for women’s rights and has laid the path for progress that we lead from now within the past decade, she has expressed some extremely transphobic attitudes.”