Germaine Greer, an Australian born writer of English literature, was born on 29th January 1939 in Melbourne. She went to ‘Star of the Sea College’ in Gardenvale and was awarded a teaching scholarship in 1956. She enrolled in University of Melbourne and graduated with a degree in English, literature and French. Her academic career started with a lecturer post at the University of Sydney. Here she earned a master’s degree in romantic poetry. Her final thesis ‘The Development of Bryon’s Satiric Mode’ won a Commonwealth scholarship that she used for funding her PhD from the University of Cambridge.
Greer was a huge supporter of ‘women’s liberation’ which she explained was different than having equality with men. According to her, gender differences were to be defined in a positive manner and women should have the right to term their own principles. At the Cambridge University she was a member of the all-women’s ‘Newnham College’.
Her first writing piece was a gardening column for the magazine ‘Private Eye’ that she wrote using the pen name ‘Rose Blight’. She edited various magazines such as ‘Oz’ and underground magazine ‘Suck’. She got her PhD on the thesis named ‘The Ethic of Love and Marriage in Shakespeare’s early comedies’ and started teaching at the University of Warwick in Coventry. Her first book ‘The Female Eunuch’ published in 1971 provoked some feminists of the time but nevertheless became a landmark in the women’s liberation movement. The book became very successful reaching enormous sales and got translated into many languages. Greer had to resign from her post in Warwick University wanting to spend most of her time in promoting her books.
Germaine Greer was very headstrong in her views that she did not hold back in her words. While touring New Zealand in 1972 she was arrested for using foul language during a speech. She penned more book in the following years all of them having the same topic as her first book. ‘Sex and Destiny: The Politics of Human Fertility’ (1984), ‘Daddy, We hardly Knew You’ (1989), ‘The Change: Women, Ageing and menopause’ (1991), ‘Shakespeare’s Wife’ (2007) and ‘The Whole Woman’ published in 1999 were written using the same basic thought. Other works by Greer include many articles and columns such as ‘Men hate Women’ (1992), ‘Whitefella Jump Up: The Shortest Way to Nationhood’ (2003), ‘On Rage’ (2008) and a column in ‘The Guardian’ about Steve Irwin’s death in September 2006. She also wrote many articles ‘The Sunday Times’.
She co-hosted a show by the name ‘Nice Time’ with Jonathan Routh and Kenny Everett. She was also one of the participants of the TV show ‘Big Brother’ in 2005. She left the show within the first week on the grounds of immoral psychological cruelty and bullying and behavior of the other contestants for publicity. She appeared in many other TV shows such as ‘Extras’ (2006) and ‘The Female of the Species’ (2006).
Greer has played an exceptional role in women’s liberation movement despite the continuous disapproval of her ideas. She is still writing portraying her ideological position about gender and women issues.