Germaine Greer gives public talk at Bournemouth University


Leading feminist Germaine Greer was at Bournemouth University (BU) to give a public lecture.

Germaine, an Australian academic and journalist, spoke about state and nature of contemporary feminism during the talk, as well as reflecting on her own role in the movement – some 40 years after the publication of her book The Female Eunuch, which made her a household name.

“Our current situation is worse than it was 40 years ago, but I don’t want to tell you a tale of grief and woe,” said Germaine.

“We have got to find a way to acquire authority – we have got to begin to understand power.

“We are babes in the wood and have no idea. We have been learning how the system works. Now we have got to work out how to change the system and develop leverage.”

Her talk, to a packed lecture theatre at BU’s Talbot Campus, was followed by a question and answer session – which covered topics including feminism and young people, the current situation in India, and maternity care.

Germaine said that recent developments– such as the Everyday Sexism project – were taking feminism away from the “academic discipline” it had become.

She said: “It is harking back to 60s feminism which is liberation feminism – what women are actually looking for, and have looked for all along, is freedom.”

The talk was organised and chaired by Senior Lecturer in Politics Heather Savigny, on behalf of the Women’s Academic Network at Bournemouth University.

Professor Gail Thomas, Dean of the School of Health and Social Care at BU, introduced Germaine.

“She has really been an inspiration to me and thousands of other women,” said Gail.

“Germaine shows that, although women have gone a long way over the last 30 years, clearly there is work that still needs to be done.

“It is important not to be complacent and to carry on with the message.”