Summary Of Silenced By Germaine Greer

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In 2015, Germaine Greer, a well-known and influential second wave feminist, was set to speak at a seminar at Cardiff University. However, Greer had previously made controversial statements on trans women, stating they were not real women, sparking a petition against her seminar by contemporary feminist students at the university on the grounds Greer’s stance was insensitive and insulting. Attempting to explain the situation, Ruth Edwards in a Daily Mail article titled “Silenced by Feminazis: The Disturbing (and Bitterly Ironic) Story of How Germaine Greer is Having Her Voice Snatched Away by Feminist Students”, depicts third wave feminists as retrograde and foolish while glorifying second wave feminists, rendering the former group powerless …show more content…
She starts her article with a small description of Germaine Greer: her faults and her accomplishments. According to the author, this feminist’s “tiresome” political stances and changing mind were liable of creating a “great unfairness” yet were able to challenge social norms and “liberate” women of all ages (Edwards). She adds Greer dedicated her entire life to the movement and continues to do so. With this, the author concludes everyone “owe[s]|” her (Edwards). Because of this, the small description of Greer’s flaws loses its meaning with the overpowering praise following, forging a vibrantly glorious and inviolable image of Greer. Greer becomes a beacon and symbol-- more crudely said a stereotype, for second wave feminists and older generations as well. This image thrives in their nostalgia of previous hardships and accomplishments. The author then creates a contrasting image of third wave feminists, characterizing them as ungrounded and foolish, seeing as they simply “decided” Greer was insensitive (Edwards). Edward also reveals third wave feminists buy into temporary and trendy movements, one of these which is transgenderism. She defines nonconforming gender identity as “very fashionable” and cisgenderism as “totally uncool” for younger generations, labeling it a nonsensical issue (Edwards). She further attacks …show more content…
Her rejection can be seen throughout her article such as when she praises Greer’s “magnificent bloody-minded performance” in which said feminist denied transphobia and the inclusion of trans women as women with a “Hurrah for Germaine Greer” (Edwards). This can also be seen in other instances Edwards mentions in which contemporary feminists, according to her, overreact. For example, when Tim Hunt, a nobel prize winner, made a “crass joke”, he was “hounded” or, when a barrister “complemented” Charlotte Proudman’s photograph on social media, he was “publically humiliated” (Edwards). Here, Edwards uses neutral language to describe the perpetrator’s actions, which do not fully encompass the incidents. Furthermore, she describes the reactions negatively. Her description of both actions implies the incidents are inconsequential and routine--nothing to be alarmed by. This idea stems from Edwards’s and her generation’s cultural values of normalized subtle sexual harassment. So, when contemporary feminists condemn these actions, it seems unusual and uncalled for to older feminists, resulting in strong language full of negative

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