Germaine Greer gives Cardiff University oration despite campaign to prevent lecture

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Feminist author and academic Germaine Greer gave a lecture at Cardiff University on Wednesday despite a petition with over 3,000 signatures calling for its cancellation.

I feel like the words Germaine Greer has spouted in recent years has no place in our movement

—Emily Cotterill, LGBTQ rights activist

Australian Greer gave the Hayden Ellis Lecture entitled "Women and Power: The Lessons of the 20th Century" under security with uniformed police officers and university security guards. The lecture covered equal pay for women, and Emmeline Pankhurst and the Suffragettes.

Ms Greer had been criticised by LGBTQ rights activists for comments made about transgender reality television star Caitlyn Jenner, and her belief that 'post-operative' trans women aren't 'real women'. The women's officer of the Cardiff University Student Union called for cancelling the lecture in a petition which has received over 3,000 signatures. "I'm 76," Greer said in a BBC Newsnight interview, "I don't want to go down there and be screamed at and have things thrown at me." However, ultimately she did give the lecture.

The Independent reported a group of around two dozen protestors outside the lecture. LGBTQ rights activist Emily Cotterill, who was at the protest, said she believed transphobia had no place in modern feminism. "I feel like the words Germaine Greer has spouted in recent years has no place in our movement", Ms Cotterill said.

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