Germaine Greer’s disappointing comments on trans women should be ignored – here are the young radicals you should pay attention to instead
“Just because you lop off your dick doesn’t make you a fucking woman”
This is just one regressive comment recently shit out by Germaine Greer – Australian second-wave "feminist", writer and author of The Female Eunuch.
Her shitty statements have incited a rally of essays rightfully calling out her attempt to pitch transgender women as imposters, claiming they don’t “look like, sound like or behave like women.”
Essentially, her violent comments attempt to erase, undermine and deny the identity of transgender people, many of whom fall victim to hate crime, abuse and murder for choosing to be who they are. More widely, her comments insist on a very narrow genital-centric idea of gender, a disturbing notion that is laughable against the libratory spaces and discussions facilitating varied modes of existing in the world.
It’s easy to say Greer’s views are dated; it’s more accurate to note that she’s just plain wrong. As such, we’ve listed five young revolutionary feminists that you should be listening to instead. The voices below champion and embrace the complexities surrounding gender, race, identity, beauty and sexuality with a sharpness and intelligence that puts the Aussie author to shame.
“People of colour don't have a voice in this society. It’s usually subdued by our white counterparts, and our anger is taken for granted”, Mars told Dazed earlier this year. The 15-year-old artist, doer and thinker is committed to freeing up space so that creatives of colour can be heard, most notably with #arthoe - an art movement they co-founded earlier this year that champions diverse (self) representations of POCs.
Refreshingly and fearlessly honest (see their call outs on Instagram), Mars is undoubtedly one of the most exciting voices to emerge this year.
Beauty afficianado and Tumblr-don, Sicardi captivates readers on the daily with her comments on power, beauty, cyborgs, fashion and gender. Feminist discussion is interspersed with perfume analysis, self-care reminders, selfies and cultural critique. Her writing intelligently picks at debates around queerness and beauty that go untouched (see: “I thought I was ill because I was queer” and “Feminine beauty transwomen experience”) but there’s also something inspiring and seductive about the way she celebrates herself, her talents and her dope peers (see: Fariha Roisin…Sarah Nicole Prickett). Bookmark and follow.
You have to follow Ayesha Siddiqi on twitter…if you’re not already one of the 42k doing so. Editor of badass culture think-tank The New Inquiry, Siddiqi critiques and pulls apart debates around racism, immigration, economics, white supremacy and oppression with an unrivalled wit. Read her Guardian interview for some knowledge bombs on writing online and the web-climate that often wants to silence diverse voices.
Sosa is an Argentinian and black-Brazilian artist who makes videos and teaches classes on the liberalizing and healing qualities of twerking. Her practice may sound weird to those used to appropriative media demonising twerking and the bodies of women of colour in the same breath, but it’s this oppressive climate that Sosa is out to dismantle. Her work sifts through the complex history of twerking, it’s eroticism and the self-pleasure it can afford, giving the act a cultural and academic platform (her PhD is even called Twerk and torque: new strategies for subjectivity decolonization in the web 2.0 times) that’s both timely and important.
“Strangers are desperate to know what genitalia I have” said Tyler Ford, in conversation with the Guardian earlier this year. The 25 year-old agender writer and speaker often voices their intersectional experience as a queer, agender person of colour – an experience that is hardly ever narrated and most often misunderstood. Having collaborated with Miley Cyrus on The Happy Hippie Foundation, whose mission is to help homeless, LGBTQ and other vulnerable youth, Tyler is emerging as a revolutionary voice challenging the very constructs of gender. Watch Tyler’s amazing Stylelikeu video here.