South East Wales

Calls to ban Germaine Greer lecture over trans comments

Germaine Greer

A petition has been launched asking Cardiff University to cancel a lecture by Germaine Greer, saying her views are "problematic" for transgender people.

The author is due to speak on 18 November in a lecture called Women & Power: The Lessons of the 20th Century.

Students' union women's officer Rachel Melhuish said Ms Greer's views towards transgender women are "misogynistic".

The university's vice-chancellor, Prof Colin Riordan, said: "We are committed to freedom of speech and open debate."

By Friday, more than 200 people had signed an online petition calling for the university not to host the lecture, which is an annual event in memory of former deputy vice-chancellor Hadyn Ellis, who died in 2006.

Ms Greer has been asked to comment.

'Hateful views'

Prof Riordan added: "Our events include speakers with a range of views, all of which are rigorously challenged and debated. This event will be no different.

"At Cardiff University we work hard to provide a positive and welcoming space for LGBT+ people and we are in consultation with student and staff groups to ensure that the views of LGBT+ people are represented at our events.

"We in no way condone discriminatory comments of any kind."

While the statement on the petition web page does not cite examples of Ms Greer's alleged anti-transgender views, it accuses her of "continually misgendering trans women and denying the existence of transphobia altogether".

It adds: "While debate in a university should be encouraged, hosting a speaker with such problematic and hateful views towards marginalised and vulnerable groups is dangerous.

"Allowing Greer a platform endorses her views, and by extension, the transmisogyny which she continues to perpetuate."