Quotes by Germaine Greer

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Germaine Greer (born January 29, 1939) is an Australian academic, writer, and broadcaster, who is widely regarded as one of the most significant feminist voices of the 20th century.
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Loneliness is never more cruel than when it is felt in close propinquity with someone who has ceased to communicate.

All societies on the verge of death are masculine. A society can survive with only one man; no society will survive a shortage of women.
The only perfect love to be found on earth is not sexual love, which is riddled with hostility and insecurity, but the wordless commitment of families, which takes as its model mother-love. This is not to say that fathers have no place, for father-love, with its driving for self-improvement and discipline, is also essential to survival, but that uncorrected father-love, father-love as it were practiced by both parents, is a way to annihilation.
Every time a woman makes herself laugh at her husband's often-told jokes she betrays him. The man who looks at his woman and says "What would I do without you?" is already destroyed.
I have always been principally interested in men for sex. I've always thought any sane woman would be a lover of women because loving men is such a mess. I have always wished I'd fall in love with a woman. Damn.
Security is when everything is settled. When nothing can happen to you. Security is the denial of life.
Maybe I couldn't make it. Maybe I don't have a pretty smile, good teeth, nice tits, long legs, a cheeky ass, a sexy voice. Maybe I don't know how to handle men and increase my market value, so that the rewards due to the feminine will accrue to me. Then again, maybe I'm sick of the masquerade. I'm sick of pretending eternal youth. I'm sick of belying my own intelligence, my own will, my own sex. I'm sick of peering at the world through false eyelashes, so everything I see is mixed with a shadow of bought hairs; I'm sick of weighting my head with a dead mane, unable to move my neck freely, terrified of rain, of wind, of dancing too vigorously in case I sweat into my lacquered curls. I'm sick of the Powder Room. I'm sick of pretending that some fatuous male's self-important pronouncements are the objects of my undivided attention, I'm sick of going to films and plays when someone else wants to, and sick of having no opinions of my own about either. I'm sick of being a transvestite. I refuse to be a female impersonator. I am a woman, not a castrate.
Love, love, love -- all the wretched cant of it, masking egotism, lust, masochism, fantasy under a mythology of sentimental postures, a welter of self-induced miseries and joys, blinding and masking the essential personalities in the frozen gestures of courtship, in the kissing and the dating and the desire, the compliments and the quarrels which vivify its barrenness.
The tragedy of machismo is that a man is never quite man enough.
Libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit, reminders of order, calm and continuity, lakes of mental energy, neither warm nor cold, light nor dark. The pleasure they give is steady, unorgastic, reliable, deep and long-lasting. In any library in the world, I am at home, unselfconscious, still and absorbed.
Women over fifty already form one of the largest groups in the population structure of the western world. As long as they like themselves, they will not be an oppressed minority. In order to like themselves they must reject trivialization by others of who and what they are. A grown woman should not have to masquerade as a girl in order to remain in the land of the living.
It is in our interests to let the police and their employers go on believing that the Underground is a conspiracy, because it increases their paranoia and their inability to deal with what is really happening. As long as they look for ringleaders and documents they will miss their mark, which is that proportion of every personality which belongs in the Underground.
Man made one grave mistake: in answer to vaguely reformist and humanitarian agitation he admitted women to politics and the professions. The conservatives who saw this as the undermining of our civilization and the end of the state and marriage were right after all; it is time for the demolition to begin.
Perhaps women have always been in closer contact with reality than men: it would seem to be the just recompense for being deprived of idealism.
All that remains to the mother in modern consumer society is the role of scapegoat; psychoanalysis uses huge amounts of money and time to persuade analysis and to foist their problems on to the absent mother, who has no opportunity to utter a word in her own defense. Hostility to the mother in our societies is an index of mental health.
The surest guide to the correctness of the path that women take is joy in the struggle. Revolution is the festival of the oppressed.
There is no such thing as security. There never has been.
Every time a man unburdens his heart to a stranger he reaffirms the love that unites humanity.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
Yet if a woman never lets herself go, how will she ever know how far she might have got? If she never takes off her high-heeled shoes, how will she ever know how far she could walk or how fast she could run?
The principle of the brotherhood of man is narcissistic... for the grounds for that love have always been the assumption that we ought to realize that we are the same the whole world over.
What we ought to see in the agonies of puberty is the result of the conditioning that maims the female personality in creating the feminine.
After centuries of conditioning of the female into the condition of perpetual girlishness called femininity, we cannot remember what femaleness is. Though feminists have been arguing for years that there is a self-defining female energy, and a female libido that is not expressed merely in response to demands by the male, and a female way of being and of experiencing the world, we are still not close to understanding what it might be. Yet every mother who has held a girl child in her arms has known that she was different from a boy child and that she would approach the reality around her in a different way. She is a female and she will die female, and though many centuries should pass, archaeologists would identify her skeleton as the remains of a female creature.
Freedom is fragile and must be protected. To sacrifice it, even as a temporary measure, is to betray it.
The management of fertility is one of the most important functions of adulthood.
I didn't fight to get women out from behind vacuum cleaners to get them onto the board of Hoover.
The sight of women talking together has always made men uneasy; nowadays it means rank subversion.
There has come into existence, chiefly in America, a breed of men who claim to be feminists. They imagine that they have understood what women want and that they are capable of giving it to them. They help with the dishes at home and make their own coffee in the office, basking the while in the refulgent consciousness of virtue. Such men are apt to think of the true male feminists as utterly chauvinistic.
Women's liberation, if it abolishes the patriarchal family, will abolish a necessary substructure of the authoritarian state, and once that withers away Marx will have come true willy-nilly, so let's get on with it.
Only one thing is certain: if pot is legalized, it won't be for our benefit but for the authorities . To have it legalized will also be to lose control of it.
Perhaps catastrophe is the natural human environment, and even though we spend a good deal of energy trying to get away from it, we are programmed for survival amid catastrophe.
We in the West do not refrain from childbirth because we are concerned about the population explosion or because we feel we cannot afford children, but because we do not like children.
It is fatally easy for Western folk, who have discarded chastity as a value for themselves, to suppose that it can have no value for anyone else. At the same time as Californians try to re-invent celibacy, by which they seem to mean perverse restraint, the rest of us call societies which place a high value on chastity backward.
The blind conviction that we have to do something about other people's reproductive behavior, and that we may have to do it whether they like it or not, derives from the assumption that the world belongs to us, who have so expertly depleted its resources, rather than to them, who have not.
The most threatened group in human societies as in animal societies is the unmated male: the unmated male is more likely to wind up in prison or in an asylum or dead than his mated counterpart. He is less likely to be promoted at work and he is considered a poor credit risk.
Woman cannot be content with health and agility: she must make exorbitant efforts to appear something that never could exist without a diligent perversion of nature. Is it too much to ask that women be spared the daily struggle for superhuman beauty in order to offer it to the caresses of a subhumanly ugly mate?
The older woman's love is not love of herself, nor of herself mirrored in a lover's eyes, nor is it corrupted by need. It is a feeling of tenderness so still and deep and warm that it gilds every grass blade and blesses every fly. It includes the ones who have a claim on it, and a great deal else besides. I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
The misery of the middle-aged woman is a gray and hopeless thing, born of having nothing to live for, of disappointment and resentment at having been gypped by consumer society, and surviving merely to be the butt of its unthinking scorn.
To be precise, the word "menopause" applies to a non-event, the menstrual period that does not happen. It is the invisible Rubicon that a woman cannot know she is crossing until she has crossed it.
Older women can afford to agree that femininity is a charade, a matter of colored hair, ecru lace and whalebones, the kind of slap and tat that transvestites are in love with, and no more.
A woman might claim to retain some of the child's faculties, although very limited and defused, simply because she has not been encouraged to learn methods of thought and develop a disciplined mind. As long as education remains largely induction ignorance will retain these advantages over learning and it is time that women impudently put them to work.
Though there is no public rite of passage for the woman approaching the end of her reproductive years, there is evidence that women devise their own private ways of marking the irrevocability of the change. . . . The climacteric is a time of stock-taking, of spiritual as well as physical change, and it would be a pity to be unconscious of it.