Woman of the Day – Germaine Greer

Green Party Women Celebrating Women’s History Month
Day 17: Woman of the Day, Germaine Greer

On March 17, 1969 Germaine Greer had lunch with Sonny Mehta of publisher MacGibbon & Kee. When he asked for ideas for a new book, she repeated a suggestion her then agent Diana Crawford, had suggested about female suffrage. “That’s the book I want,” Sonny said. He advanced her £750 and another £250 when she signed the book contract. That book became The Female Eunuch.

Germaine is a prominent feminist author, academic, and public intellectual. Born on January 29, 1939, in Melbourne, Australia, she attended the University of Melbourne, where she studied English and French literature. After completing her undergraduate studies, she moved to England. She then ateended University of Cambridge, where she earned her Ph.D. in English literature. It was during her time in Cambridge that she became involved in the emerging feminist movement of the 1960s.

The Female Eunuch

The Female Eunuch was born out of Greer’s frustration with the limited roles and expectations placed on women in society. In the book, she challenges traditional notions of femininity and argues that women had been conditioned into a state of “unliberation” or “eunuchness” – lacking in agency, autonomy, and sexual fulfilment. The title itself, “The Female Eunuch”, is a provocative metaphor, likening women’s social and sexual subjugation to the physical castration of eunuchs.

Germaine’s book explores a wide range of topics, from sexuality and marriage to economics and politics, all through a feminist lens. She critiques the objectification of women’s bodies in advertising and popular culture, dissects the dynamics of power within heterosexual relationships, and calls for women to reclaim control over their own lives and bodies.

The book became a bestseller and a touchstone of second-wave feminism, sparking widespread discussion and debate.


Throughout her career, Germaine has continued to write and speak on feminist issues, as well as on topics such as literature, art, and environmentalism and was often a guest on BBC Radio 4. She has authored numerous books, including Sex and Destiny: The Politics of Human Fertility, The Whole Woman and Shakespeare’s Wife. Her writing is characterised by its provocative style and a willingness to confront taboo subjects.

Germaine’s work helped to catalyse the second wave of feminism, inspiring women to question and challenge the status quo and to demand greater equality and autonomy.

Despite her significant contributions to feminist discourse, Germaine has also been a controversial figure for some, attracting criticism for her views on topics such as sexual assault. Nonetheless, she remains an influential voice in contemporary feminism and a revered figure in the history of the movement.

After a brief absence from public life Germaine was recently interviewed by Louis Theroux on his podcast. You can listen to it here:chartable.com. Hopefully she will back on the BBC again soon.

“The sight of women talking together has always made men uneasy; nowadays it means rank subversion.”






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