Germaine Greer is one of those women who many people argue has crossed over from being an intellectual to a celebrity, featured in TV a great deal. She is fiercely bright, she wrote the groundbreaking feminist text “The Female Eunuch” and is a professor at Warwick Uni (I think, correct me if I am wrong).
Repression: Even though Greer is a not a black feminist, I must say, I can relate a great deal to most of what she argues. For example, she argued that women should not burn their bras because that too starts another part of repression and I agree. I discussed a slice of this in my post about cornrows but I think Greer is correct in arguing against all types of repression, instead of women trying to be something we are not.
In an article entitled She thinks she is on top, he knows better for journal Reproductive Health Matters, Greer argued that:
The man-made woman has no internal female organs. The rhetoric of equality demands that the woman defer to the man-made woman, whose buns and breasts are steel.
Even from those 2 sentences, it is clear Greer can write her arse off. I essentially agree with her, I think gender has now become almost a mechanism for people to put on many different types of jackets. And that is fine, absolutely nothing wrong with that. But I do think, without sufficient protection from the harsh looks of the sexist societies of the world, putting on different jackets will only be seen as a way of trying to be like everyone else. By becoming steel or having steel parts, women are subscribing to man-madia.
Subversion is not enough. Derrida’s deconstruction sought to challenge essentialisms and construct meanings that defered but the problem with the situation of women, [in the developed and developing world,] is [certain] women themselves seem to want to defer and escape the markings of their diverse feminine. This is why I advocate throwing away the spoon, not the spoon of the patriarchy which likes to think that it feeds us but throwing away the spoon of subversion which has a danger of essentialising all women as being “subversive” or “different” when actually it will just end up lumping us all together.
Deconstructing individualism: A phrase like throwing away the spoon sounds individualistic. Many black people argue that black societies are not individualistic and that individualism is a “european thing” Perhaps it comes across that way but it is not meant that way. I think as women of colour, we have to especially try and throw away all the spoons which are shoved down our mouths. I am not saying people have to agree with me at all lol, in fact, the more who disagree the better as that spurs more discussion but I urge any black feminists or pro-feminist black men to throw away the utensils like homophobia/sexism that stunt black female growth. But most importantly, we all need to do it together and for each other. It is no good slagging off colourism or people who suffer from colourism as people who are “lost”. If you think they are, you have duty [IMO] to try your best to help them throw away that decayed spoon in their mouths. If you don’t, who will ? As Lorraine Hansberry once said, “a classical people demand a classical art”. But in order to enjoy the art of our diaspora, we all need to help each other see it.
Epi-logue: Patricia Hill Collins in her book “Black Feminist Thought” quoted poet Nikki Giovanni, who said “Know who is playing the music before you dance”. Whatever theories we as black people or ethnic minorities create, we must assure that we are doing it to further each other. Which makes it even more important for people to look at Barack Obama as role-model instead of the Nas and 50 cent’s of the world. Obama threw away his spoon a long time ago. Nas is still sucking it like a baby. Let’s march forward to our own beat that we have put on ourselves.