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Germaine Greer: Feminist writer sparks outrage after saying transgender women are 'not women'

Germaine Greer. Credit: PA Wire

Feminist writer Germaine Greer has sparked outrage after saying transgender women are "not women".

The Australian-born academic, 67, refers to women who have undergone a sex change as "male to female transgender people"

She claimed "a great many women" who are not transgender believe transgender women do not "look like, sound like or behave like women".

Her comments on BBC Newsnight have angered campaigners amid calls for her to be banned from speaking at a university event.

Ms Greer is scheduled to speak at Cardiff University for a public lecture, Women & Power: The Lessons of the 20th Century.

But the university's Students' Union has launched an online petition urging the institution to cancel the event because of her controversial views.

The petition has attracted more than 500 signatures. Credit: Change.org

The student union's women's officer Rachael Melhuish argued that allowing Greer a platform only "endorses" her "problematic" and "misogynistic" views towards trans women.

Greer has demonstrated time and time again her misogynistic views towards trans women, including continually misgendering trans women and denying the existence of transphobia altogether.

"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.

– Rachael Melhuish

But Ms Greer said she did not understand why she should not be allowed to speak.

"It strikes me as a bit of a put-up job really because I am not even going to talk about the issue that they are on about," she told the Guardian.

"What they are saying is because I don't think surgery will turn a man into a woman, I should not be allowed to speak.

"I do not know why universities cannot hear unpopular views and think about what they mean."

She said she would not appear at the event unless the university can guarantee her safety.

The Australian academic has sparked anger with her comments. Credit: Reuters

Cardiff University vice-chancellor Professor Colin Riordan said the university was "committed" to allowing a range of views to be heard.

"Our events include speakers with a range of views, all of which are rigorously challenged and debated - this event will be no different," he said.

"Our commitment to our LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) students and staff members is unwavering and we fully recognise the tremendous benefits having such a diverse community brings to Cardiff University."

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