Germaine Greer has delivered the annual Hadyn Ellis Lecture at Cardiff University despite a campaign to stop her from speaking based on her offensive comments about transgender women.
The feminist academic and writer has consistently stated she doesn't believe transgender women are actually women, regardless of whether or not they have undergone gender transition.
Recently, Greer referred to Caitlyn Jenner as "he/she" and accused the prominent transgender reality TV star of merely wanting the limelight enjoyed by the female Kardashians.
In the lecture at Cardiff, titled "Women and Power: Lessons from the 20th Century", Greer did not discuss transgender issues.
However, in the following Q&A, she was asked about whether views such as hers harm transgender people.
"I don't believe a woman is a man without a cock," she said. "You can beat me over the head with a baseball bat. It still won't make me change my mind.
"Being a woman is a bit tricky. If you didn't find your pants full of blood when you were 13, there's something important about being a woman you don't know."
A small group of protesters peacefully gathered outside the hall where Greer was speaking holding placards with slogans including "genitals do not equal gender" and "transphobia is not feminism".
Protest organiser Payton Quinn told The Independent that little had been done to challege Greer in her anti-transgender opinions through the years.
"Germaine Greer has been, for 20 years, using violent language against trans people, especially trans women," Quinn said.
"But there's been very little done to challenge her. We oppose her speaking here unchallenged."
The protesters also distributed leaflets with Greer's quotes about transgender women.
Police and security staff were stationed at the event.
In the lead-up to the lecture, just over 3,000 people signed a petition calling for Greer to be banned from speaking and describing her views on transgender people as "hateful".
"Trans-exclusionary views should have no place in feminism or society," read the petition, organised by Cardiff University Union women's officer Rachael Melhuish.
"Hosting a speaker with such problematic and hateful views towards marginalised and vulnerable groups is dangerous."
In response to the campaign, Cardiff University vice chancellor Colin Riordan said there was "no case" for withdrawing a "distinguished and exceptional academic speaker" such as Greer on the basis that she has voiced opinions that are offensive to others.
Lane Sainty is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Lane Sainty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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