Last month, I went to see Germaine Greer speak on her publication, “On Rape” by Melbourne University. I call it a publication as its essay length.
Greer’s book “The Female Eunuch” was the first book I read on Feminism. Although its incredibly dated, at the time (I was just out of my teens) it was a revelation, even though I didn’t agree with all of it.
Over the years Greer’s stances and opinions on things have become more and more skewed from my personal philosophy on what Feminism is. Therefore I have moved away from her work as I don’t see her as a role-model or person of excellence in the field even though she placed herself as a pioneer feminist during the second wave. I personally don’t feel she’s an activist like one of my idols Gloria Steinem who I saw speak and inspired me very much.
Suffice to say the event put on by The School of Life didn’t inspire me and in fact left me thinking – wtf Germaine?!?!
From the outset Greer was vague, defensive and refused to answer questions purposefully derailing the conversation and changing the subject.
I couldn’t find a single element of her talk which I agreed with and I felt like the whole thing was created to draw controversy in order to get people to read her essay. I would of appreciated it moreso, if I didn’t have to pay for a talk which was simply an advertisement for her essay.
Like the majority gathered there, I attended as a curiosity and was left laughing at her not with her and the most interesting aspect of the talk was when a small handful of protesters interrupted about 1/3 of the way through.
I won’t quote what stood out as inspiration because all that stood out is how NOT to be a feminist in my opinion. At least now I can say I have seen her speak.
My parting words on this is that I have moved past her work and will continue to focus on feminist writers who inspire and keep the movement progressing.
(C) T. Altman 2018
I could go back
Source of radiance
Your shine has dulled
Your twinkle has gone
Your spark rays dismantled
Something I wrote in light of current events…
© T. Altman 2017
Compulsively staring at the semi occupied mason jar
Dissecting with critical eyes its lurid contents
Tapping the lettered glass whenever I pass
Occasionally lifting to shake and peer –
Unable to rip away
Heart breaking and bouncing with every vibration
Vinegar water steeped to a furious vermilion
Thirsty for the twist – lift – pop
Take you down
Pervade the depths of me
Quench my thirsty resentment
Sinisterly sinew was the expectation
Smooth Saccharine the surmise
© T. Altman 2017
Don’t Tell Me
Don’t tell me what I can or cunt do
Don’t try to censor me with your personal bias
I am not your mouth piece and never claimed it
I don’t crave your acceptance or require it
Try stifling my speech and see what a territorial bitch I can be
Try throwing archaic values you’ve placed upon locution I feel empowered by
Sisters in solidarity is what we should be
Instead the use of one term divides us
Disagree with me and shame me down
Shame on you for censoring my language
I reclaim the noun – the verb – the word
I use it proud and loud
For I am the CUNT who takes it back and brings it to the fore
For I am the CUNT who refuses to bend to your fickle contempt
For CUNTS everywhere –
I seize and celebrate whilst waving your policing views adieu
(C) T. Altman 2017
I wrote this poem and submitted to the Festival for Poetry and is now featured on their site:
Gloria is someone I aspire to live my life like (speaking up and living her life according to her own rules) and these were some of her quotes which resonated with me that night:
“WE are the women our parents warned us about.”
“Not everyone has to live the same way. Imagine that.”
“We are not crazy. The system is crazy.”
“Racism and sexism might both be supremacist crimes, because you get nothing out of it but dominance.”
“The single greatest failing of feminism is that we’ve been too nice.”
Gloria Steinem – May 16th 2016, Melbourne Australia