Germaine Greer Out of Touch

So says Associate Professor Catharine Lumby, the director of media and communications at Sydney University, in today's "Age".

"Greer's claims about the advice women's magazines offer to their readers is simply wrong. Lurid cover lines aside, the focus of many articles is on encouraging women to stand up for themselves, to explore their own sexuality and not to put up with violence or harassment from men. Just ask Mia Freedman, a bright young feminist, who edits Cosmopolitan...Greer's original criticisms of Big Brother - which she offered some years before her decision to go on the show - are another example of her tendency to jump to conclusions about pop culture. She famously noted that the kind of people who like watching the show are the same kind of people who'd enjoy watching torture - and she wasn't joking."
Maybe it's just a case of being out of touch.

Greer reminds me of a Clive James lecture I went to some years back. It must have been near the end of the 90s as the debate on whether or not Australia should become a republic was all the rage. During his lecture James defended the English Royal Family (he had been a close friend of Princess Diana) and couldn't see why Australia would ever need to drop the monarchy, and didn't think the majority of Australians wanted to either. His major problem was that he hadn't spent a lot of time in Australia since he left in the sixties and had no real understanding of what the issues really were, and what the average Australian thought of them.

Greer has also stated that the Australian suburbs are a cultural wasteland where books, film and art are never discussed. But when was the last time she ever spent time in those self-same suburbs to actually find out if this is the case or not? Watching Neighbours or Home and Away doesn't count; in the same way that watching NYPD Blue is a reflection of the streetscape of New York. Greer seems to skimming modern culture lately. Dipping in only so far as to re-inforce her already well-established points of view. And when she does jump in the deep end, as with her recent foray into Big Brother territory, she finds herself lost. It's what's known as getting old Germaine.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 14, 2005 12:05 PM.

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