4 Wildly Controversial Things Germaine Greer Has Said

Feminist author and provocateur Germaine Greer just compared female genital mutilation to getting a tattoo, adding to the list of strange and attention-grabbing comments she’s made about women, men, and the Australian Prime Minister’s butt.

1.

Female genital mutilation is like getting a tattoo.

On Q&A, a program on Australian ABC, Greer compared the cutting of female genitals in Africa to tattoos or piercings: “I would never dream of telling people who are disfiguring a perfectly beautiful human body with bad drawing that they have no right to do that.” She argued that female genital mutilation also isn’t much different from operations performed on girls and women in developed countries, like cosmetic vaginoplasty, and that Westerners have no right to try to stop it in Africa.

Greer has made similar comments about female genital mutilation before — in her 1999 book The Whole Woman, she argued that trying to ban the practice was “an attack on cultural identity.”

EDGARD GARRIDO / Reuters

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

2.

The Prime Minister of Australia has a big ass.

On Q&A earlier this year, Greer called out Julia Gillard, Australia’s first female PM, for wearing unflattering clothes: “You’ve got a big arse, Julia. Just get on with it.”

She doubled down on this comment on yesterday’s show, saying, “Go right ahead Julia, wave that arse!” and adding, “You don’t understand how tough it is for little girls who think that having a fat arse is to be dead, is to be finished,”

3.

Crocodile hunter Steve Irwin’s death was an act of revenge.

After TV “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray, Germaine Greer wrote a column implying that he deserved it for encroaching on animal’s habitats: “The animal world has finally taken its revenge on Irwin.” She added, “A parrot once did its best to rip his nose off his face. Parrots are a lot smarter than crocodiles.”

Steve Irwin with his wife Terri.

4.

Transgender people are delusional.

The scandal surrounding runner Caster Semenya’s gender testing inspired Greer to mock transgender women:

Nowadays we are all likely to meet people who think they are women, have women’s names, and feminine clothes and lots of eyeshadow, who seem to us to be some kind of ghastly parody, though it isn’t polite to say so. We pretend that all the people passing for female really are. Other delusions may be challenged, but not a man’s delusion that he is female.

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