Germaine Greer can say what she wants about whoever she wants

Putting your fingers in your ears won’t make her go away

Germaine Greer has come under fire from Cardiff University Women’s Officer Rachel Melhuish and other would-be feminists, claiming she is transphobic and therefore has no place at lecturing at our university. Even though Greer has now chosen to cancel her visit – interest in the matter has only really begun.

Greer’s opinions regarding transgender people are at best dubious and misinformed. Saying transgender women are “not women” and do not “look like, sound like or behave like women”, is more than a little off the mark. Nevertheless, is it reason enough to ban her from speaking? Since when did controversial opinions become mutable?  Clearly we didn’t get the memo about a prohibition on free speech.

Melhuish’s audaciousness has grown throughout the campaign. She says Greer’s opinions have “no place in feminism”. Her determination to stamp out any views which are not her own is Orwellian.

Greer says she won’t attend, even if the petition falls through

Greer, at the very least, deserves some respect for being a kick-ass feminist, journalist and academic since the seventies. The woman has fought against female persecution and misogyny for more years than most of us have been alive. The position women enjoy today is largely down to herself and other second wave feminists. Her work revolutionised mainstream opinion on a woman’s role in society and the family home.

It is because of Greer, and feminists like her, that women have as much of a voice as they do now. Yet those very women who are reaping the benefits of battles fought before them want to silence her.  Melhuish, her gang of merry ladies and their nearly 2,500 voters have neglected to see the bigger picture here. Their support is less a show of affinity of thought and more an example of people blindly jumping on the bandwagon.

Universities seem to care less and less about encouraging us to think independently and more about developing a penchant for political correctness that should not be present on university campuses. Soon those with any perspective which goes against the status-quo won’t have the opportunity, or worse the inclination, to speak at universities that increasingly endorse censorship and close-mindedness. Universities who’d rather cover their own backs than support academics and students in their intellectual endeavours. This was touched on briefly by Greer when she commented on Cardiff’s “weak as piss” statement. It sets an unsettling precedent for the future.

The lecture was supposed to take place on November 18th

Greer believes in a “constant process of criticism, renewal, protest and so forth”, which if she was to speak could have given Melhuish and femsoc the opportunity to do exactly that. They could have used this chance to expose, challenge and counter her arguments. To positively acknowledge the rights of transgender people and encourage a better understanding of who they are and what they go through.

Instead, it’s become a witch-hunt. One that could quite possibly throw us back into the dark ages if this sentimentality towards political correctness is allowed to continue. Universities are in danger of turning their students into a bunch of illiberal, backwards robots due to their increasingly dictatorial principles. Who exactly gave this group of jumped up Joe Stalins the right to ban a woman who has dedicated her entire life to liberating women?

It is unfortunate. I won’t hold my breath for Greer returning to Cardiff any time soon, in that sense the petition served its purpose. Although it might have done more than that, in discouraging others from speaking here in future. Before long, Miss Melhuish and co may have just chased away anyone with a varying opinion to theirs, and then we can all live happily ever after. Wrapped up in cotton wool, surrounded by the safe space only provided by people whose opinions are a carbon copy of our own.