Crikey! Germaine Greer Again Angers Australia
I don’t have time for a full commentary on this but I wanted to share with you all the latest voice chiming into the intervention debate. In her book On Rage Greer has come up with a theory which places the culpability of violence of ‘Aboriginal men’ (which is assumed to exist) on the Australian colonial past and present which has inflicted such injustices as taking women, children, land and a way of life. While no one, save perhaps Keith Windschuttle, would deny the harsh realities of colonialism and its effects on Aboriginal people, Greer’s essay seems in large part to rest on stereotypes and generalizations of Aboriginal men which are not substantiated. Thus far her theories don’t seem to have been taken positively by either side in this debate.
A few reports in the media for those of you that are interested —
Elders pan Germaine Greer black rage theory –
Rosemary Neill and Padraic Murphy | August 15, 2008
CONTRARIAN feminist Germaine Greer argues that Aboriginal men suffer a rage they “can’t get over”, one that is responsible for violence in their communities.
She also argues that indigenous women who supported the federal intervention in the Northern Territory Aboriginal communities will be seen as colluding “with the enemy”.
But her arguments have angered indigenous leaders, who claim her comments discourage personal accountability and are a step backwards in tackling violence.
Greer, writing in an essay, On Rage, suggests that loss of land, women, language and culture over the past 200 years has led to a rage among Aboriginal men that helps explain the high levels of violence, suicide and self-destructive behaviour often found in indigenous communities. “They can’t get over it (the rage) and it’s inhuman to ask them to get over it,” she said on the ABC’s Lateline this week.
Welcome Germaine – http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24182369-16741,00.html
But would you kindly tell us when you’re going home?
IF Germaine Greer’s extraordinary appearance on the ABC’s Lateline on Wednesday served any purpose, it was to remind us of the romantic, woolly thinking that has heaped misery on indigenous communities for decades. In a new essay, Greer looks at indigenous Australia entirely through the prism of Aboriginal male rage, which she justifies as a response to the “appalling outrages and abuses” of white settlers.
“They’ve been jerked about from pillar to post,” Greer told an incredulous Leigh Sales. “They’ve ended up in one concentration camp after another.”
By blaming white men for black men’s anger, Greer displayed her sexism, racism and ignorance. It was the kind of verbal molotov cocktail we’ve come to expect from the former anarchist, and proved yet again that if Greer did not exist The Guardian would have had to invent her. It is no surprise that after more than 40 years abroad, she is locked in to the progressive consensus of the 1960s and 70s. What might come as news to Greer, however, is that the debate has moved on since she left in 1964. The views she espouses are no longer progressive but regressive.
For a more sensitive if not supportive piece see
Greer’s latest rage more glib than lib – Tracee Hutchison