Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Grumpy Greer as Relevant as That Pub with No Beer

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Grumpy Greer as Relevant as That Pub with No Beer

Article excerpt

OH Germaine, Germaine. Despite your ridicule of everyone from Michelle Obama to Steve Irwin, I'm oddly fond of you.

I'm not a devotee of The Female Eunuch, mainly because I haven't read it.

It's just that you, Germaine Greer, remind me of a favourite aunt.

Bright, bubbly, well-read, this lady took me under her experienced wing when I first moved from Queensland to Sydney, and was struggling with everything from 24-hour shiftwork to the bizarre concept of living in a city where you can't park right outside your house.

My aunt represented everything good about Sydney in the 1990s. She loved books and art and dragged me along to galleries and movie theatres showing sub-titled films, playhouses and exotic restaurants. In her 40s and beautiful, she had, and still has, an enthusiastic passion for life which was exuberant and catching.

By then married twice - and now happily married for the third time - she'd summoned the courage to leave an unhappy early first marriage, partly because of The Female Eunuch.

Greer held a special place for her, even though I'm sure she'd be the first to laugh at the Australian ex-pat's outrageous comments over the years.

To my aunt, Germaine was relevant, which is why, whenever I hear Greer's name, I think of this amazing Sydney lady.

However, more than 30 years after the publication of Greer's iconic book, she may be just about as relevant to women as a pub without beer is to an ARL player.

Like that Monty Python line about Brian being just a naughty boy, Germaine, it seems, these days is no messiah, just a contrary old grump.

Never far from controversy - remember the badly-timed and tasteless comments about Steve Irwin shortly after his death - Greer has recently targeted Michelle Obama.

The future first lady's dress worn at her husband's victory speech, the often sloppily dressed Germaine says, looked like a butcher's apron. Further, it was a "geometrical haemorrhage".

One thing you can say for Greer is she certainly conjures up images with words.

I immediately pictured Mrs Obama's dress as a big, shapeless piece of cloth, which a well-directed blast of air would somehow magically lift into the air, the envy of all, including the Flying Nun. …

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