Petition to ban Germaine Greer from speaking at Cardiff after trans comments

This is the second speaker petitioned against this year

cardiff censorship free speech germaine greer hayden ellis lgbt petition trans

Cardiff University students are petitioning to stop annual Hayden Ellis speaker Germaine Greer’s upcoming lecture at the university.

The lecture, titled: ‘Women and Power: The Lessons of the 20th Century’, is scheduled to take place on November 18th.

The petition has accumulated almost 2,000 signatures due to claims she “discriminates against the transgender community”.

Germaine Greer has since responded saying the petition was a “put-up job” and did not understand why she would not be allowed to speak.

However, she has added that she will not appear at the event if Cardiff University cannot guarantee her safety.

The Australian academic told the Guardian: “I don’t really know what I think of it. It strikes me as a bit of a put-up job really because I am not even going to talk about the issue that they are on about.

“What they are saying is because I don’t think surgery will turn a man into a woman, I should not be allowed to speak.

“I do not know why universities cannot hear unpopular views and think about what they mean.”

Following her response, Cardiff University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan, said: “We are committed to freedom of speech and open debate.

“Our events include speakers with a range of views, all of which are rigorously challenged and debated.

“Our commitment to our LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) students and staff members is unwavering and we fully recognise the tremendous benefits having such a diverse community brings to Cardiff University.

“We in no way condone discriminatory comments of any kind.”

Rachael Melhuish, Cardiff University’s Women’s Officer, set up the petition

The University’s Women’s Officer, Rachael Melhuish, started the petition on the grounds that Greer’s views have “no place in feminism” and is urging the institution to cancel the event.

The petition says: “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.

“While debate in a university should be encouraged, hosting a speaker with such problematic and hateful views towards marginalised and vulnerable groups is dangerous.

“Allowing Greer a platform endorses her views, and by extension, the transmisogyny which she continues to perpetuate.”

She added universities should “prioritise the voices of the most vulnerable on their campuses”.

On the comments section of the petition, one user writes: “Germaine Greer does not accept the existence of trans women as legitimate. This is not acceptable for many reasons, most especially because of trans women’s subjection to widespread violence.”

Another says: “As a recent graduate of Cardiff University, this makes me sick to my stomach.”

You can see the petition here.