Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Germaine Greer glitter-bombed

Press release from The Queer Avengers:

On March 14th at the Embassy Theatre, members of the Queer Avengers “glitter-bombed” feminist writer Germaine Greer, touring New Zealand as a part of Writers and Readers Week.

Glitter-bombing, or throwing glitter on public figures, has gained prominence internationally as a way to highlight transphobia and queerphobia. Greer has a history of denouncing transwomen; outing prominent transwomen and describing them as “ghastly parodies” of womanhood.

“Transphobic feminism is so 20th Century,” asserted Stacey of the Queer Avengers. “It wasn’t okay then and it’s not okay now. Women’s liberation must mean the right to refuse imposed gender roles, to fight for diverse gender expression.”

The Queer Avengers also handed out leaflets stating “transphobia is bullshit.” Greer was arrested in 1972 while touring New Zealand, for saying the word “bullshit.”

The Queer Avengers recently stormed Fairfax Media headquarters in Wellington for giving a platform to anti-trans sentiments. The group will be holding a press conference on media coverage of gender variance on Thursday the 15th of March, 1:30pm at Anvil House.


Anonymous said...


I.M Fletcher said...

Cowards - attacking an old lady rather than have reasoned debate. Sounds about their style.

Julie said...

As a public figure I think glitter would be the thing I'd most like to have thrown at me :-) Annoying but non-threatening, and dazzling! And oh so appropriate for the cause.

Bianca said...

To me, the glitter bomb was the best thing to ever happen in the world. I hope you are all very proud!

Craig Ranapia said...

LM Fletcher:

Yes, I'm sure it's really easy and safe for trans-women to have a "reasoned debate" with someone who has compared them to rapists. (Don't believe me - read the 'Pantomime Dames' chapter in The Whole Woman, but I have to warn folks it's highly triggering for transphobia & seriously offensive rape/abuse analogies.)

I.M Fletcher said...

Craig, I looked it up (on your insistence), and she actually says - There is a witness to the transsexual's script, a witness who is never consulted. She is the person who built the transsexual's body of her own flesh and brought it up as her son or daughter, the transsexual's worst enemy, his/her mother. Whatever else it is gender reassignment is an exorcism of the mother. When a man decides to spend his life impersonating his mother (like Norman Bates in Psycho) it is as if he murders her and gets away with it, proving at a stroke that there was nothing to her. His intentions are no more honourable than any female impersonator's; his achievement is to gag all those who would call his bluff. When he forces his way into the few private spaces women may enjoy and shouts down their objections, and bombards the women who will not accept him with threats and hate mail, he does as rapists have always done."

That has a certain kind of logic, IMO. But you disagree?

A Nonny Moose said...

You can look at that and call that a REASONED debate?

First of all, Greer is constantly mis-gendering.

Then she's saying that a trans woman's identity has something to do with her mother attachment ie: not so subtly insinuating that they excise the only thing that makes a woman a woman (their ability to procreate) - this from a woman famously vocal about a woman's right to choose having children!

Then: "When he forces his way into the few private spaces women may enjoy" Mis-gendering AND saying a transwoman is a threat to cis women when it is the other way round completely. Forcing is also a very telling use of a word, as Greer is policing gender presentation.

"he does as rapists have always done" Useing rape as a metaphor is one that feminists abhor in any situation and is intellectually lazy. And here it's also hateful, triggering and violent. She's insinuating that transwomen are nothing but violent, and intent on "taking something" (possibility the sexuality) from a cis female.

If it walks like transphobia and quacks like transphobia, and if you, IM Fletcher agree with her...

Hugh said...

@A Nonny Moose: So would you say that Germaine Greer isn't a feminist?

I don't mean this as a gotcha, I'm genuinely curious. I've known other feminists who have said that while they don't support her comments about transpeople she's still a part of the feminist movement. You seem to be saying otherwise but maybe I'm reading too much into that...?

A Nonny Moose said...

I said nothing of the sort Hugh. I was only responding to the comments about her transphobia.

Greer has a time, place and voice in the history of feminism. Unfortunately, she doesn't give us younger (third wavers I guess you could say) the same courtesy by recognizing there's more to feminism than cis, white, hetero women.

Hell, even Joanna Russ apologized for her transphobia from the 70s and re-engaged on trans issues. If a Greer contemporary can do it, she should be damn well expected to exercise the same dignity.

Hugh said...

The thing is, you said "Useing rape as a metaphor is one that feminists abhor in any situation"

Obviously Greer doesn't abhor it, and yet she is a feminist?

A Nonny Moose said...

Oh god, picky picky. Ok, what do you want me to say "PEOPLE abhor it as a metaphor" or "SOME feminists". Geez, leave out one tiny clarification and it's Derailing For Dummies all up in my vajazzle.

Did I say all feminists are perfect? Hell no. As her transphobia can attest.

Hugh said...

Thanks for clarifying.

I wasn't trying to catch you in a contradiction, I was just curious - I have seen some people say Greer isn't a feminist, some that she is but a flawed one, I was just curious about what your stance was. Sorry if you found my question offensive.

Brandy Alexander said...

I've read Germaine Greer's comments on transsexuals and I think they are completely wrong. And completely misinformed.


I do not condone assaulting someone to make a point.

Throwing glitter on someone without their permission is assault.

If they had staged a protest which used words and reasoned debate, I would have had far more respect for the group's actions.

The online vitriol and abuse against Germaine is quite sickening as well. Germaine Greer is still an important figure in feminist history. You may not agree with what the woman is saying and think she is marginalising trans people...but remember, two wrongs don't make a right.

Anonymous said...

"Throwing glitter on someone without their permission is assault"

LOLOLOLOLOLOL go consult the Crimes Act and come back to the discussion when you have the faintest fucking idea what you are talking about.

A Nonny Moose said...

"Throwing glitter on someone without their permission is assault."

So, should I retroactively charge my friends and family for assault? Because I specifically said "no confetti" at my wedding, but they did it anyway.

And hell, that must mean MASSIVE ongoing assaults during Mardi Gras and Gay Pride parades.

Yup, nothing like conferring violent connotations on the queer community, especially trans activists because there's absolutely NO harm in stereotyping them as unusual, violent people (eh, Anne Tolley). It's Tone Argument, taken to an all new level.

Anonymous said...


Brett Dale said...

Its not an assault such as causing her an injury, but if they didn't have her permission, then its wrong.

PS: By the way I 100% disagree with her Greer's views on this issue.