Germaine Greer runs for Vice-Chancellor to “restore thinking to education”
Controversial feminist Germaine Greer wants to hold the most powerful post in the University and become Cambridge’s 346th Vice-Chancellor.
The announcement comes after Greer’s appearance at the Cambridge Union in 2015 was boycotted by various branches of CUSU on the grounds that she was “transphobic”.
The Australian-born Newnham alumna is running for Vice Chancellor to spearhead the “return of engaging thought to student life”. She aims to replace current Vice Chancellor Leszek Boryseiwicz when his seven-year term ends in 2017.
Greer, who is famous for her outspoken and opinionated nature, criticized students for being willing to be led by the “stupid” press such as “the fucking Guardian”. As Vice Chancellor, she would aim to restore an environment where people aren’t afraid to “speak up” and challenge the stereotypes of the establishment.
Unafraid to shock, Greer’s blunt and stinging rhetoric are world-renowned. She sees campaigns such as “No Platforming” as indicative of the current generation’s unwillingness to engage in debate and confront opposing views.
Germaine Greer is best known for her book The Female Eunuch. Published in 1970, it became an international bestseller for its argumentative deconstruction of the submissive roles women are forced to assume by society. The years since the publication of the book have not mellowed her one bit; in her 2015 Union talk, she said, “We’re further apart now as women than when I wrote The Female Eunuch.”
The last time Germaine Greer was at Cambridge, she courted controversy even before her arrival. Citing her “transphobia” as the key factor in their decision, CUSU LGBT+ boycotted the event and then-Women’s Officer Amelia Horgan posted a statement which emphasized that “Greer does not represent feminism, and she does not represent us.”
Most prominently cited amongst their concerns was Greer’s actions as a Newnham fellow in the ’90s. Greer, a former member of Newnham’s governing body, resigned from the college in 1997 amidst a media furor. She stridently opposed the appointment of Dr Rachel Padman, a trans woman, to an academic position at the all-female college.
The Cambridge University Australian and New Zealand Society told The Tab “We strongly support Germaine Greer becoming Vice Chancellor. Her candidacy is indicative of the long presence and contributions of Australians to Cambridge and she would inspire future generations of antipodeans. This is a great step forward for Australian Cantabs.”
A spokesperson for the University declined to comment on Greer’s plans.