Germaine Greer. (Smashed Hits)

By McDonagh, Melanie | New Statesman (1996), December 17, 2001 | Go to article overview

Germaine Greer. (Smashed Hits)


McDonagh, Melanie, New Statesman (1996)


It would, admittedly, go badly with most pundits if their public asked to see evidence that their own lives had worked out so well that they were qualified to administer advice to others. But in the case of Germaine Greer, one passage from The Female Eunuch reads bitterly in terms of what we know of her present life. "Perhaps I am not old enough yet," she wrote in 1970, "to promise that the self-reliant woman is always loved, but she cannot be lonely as long as there are people in the world who need her joy and her strength..." This passage was in the context of encouraging women to break free of the illusory security of matrimony. And, having long ago taken her own advice, left her husband after three days, and repudiated the normal restrictions of family life, the most poignant complaint in her most recent opus is that of loneliness. She urged women in The Female Eunuch not to scruple to leave their children if it was necessary to find freedom, yet in a recent interview she expressed her anguish at not havi ng a child. …

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