Tag Archives: Germaine Greer

Women’s History: April 14

14 Apr

Simone de Beauvoir

It was April 14, 1986 that we lost Simone de Beauvoir. Beauvoir is probably best known for her book The Second Sex, which confronts misogyny and the oppression of women.  It was not until 1986 that I read The Second Sex; it and Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch probably stirred the militant feminist in me. It was not just Beauvoir’s feminist voice that I was attracted to, but also her perspective on religion.  While Beauvoir started off a devout Catholic, she maintained that religion was used for the exclusive purpose of manipulation.

Although Beauvoir was bisexual, her long standing relationship with Jean-Paul Sartre and the fact that they were able to sustain a polyamorous relationship seems to be what catches the public eye. In addition to The Second Sex, I would recommend reading The Mandarins which also focuses on issues of existentialism, feminism, and the intelligentsia.  To learn more about Simone de Beauvoir, click here.

It was April 14, 1964 that we lost Rachel Carson. Carson was a pioneer environmentalist and author of Silent Spring. In Silent Spring, Carson documented the dangers of pesticides and herbicides and the lasting ill effects of toxic chemicals in water and on land and the presence of DDT even in mother’s milk.  Needless to say, Carson was attacked by the agricultural chemical industry. Carson died of cancer shortly after the book was published.

Quote of the day:

    Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.–Rachel Carson

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Women’s History, January 29

29 Jan

Happy Birthday, Germaine Greer.  Greer is regarded as one of the most significant feminist voices of the late 20th century. Her best known book was The Female Eunuch, described in her own words, in summary, as:

We can only speculate about the causes of this new activity. Perhaps the sexual sell was oversell. Perhaps women have never really believed the account of themselves which they were forced to accept from psychologists, religious leaders, women’s magazines and men. Perhaps the reforms which did happen eventually led them to the position from which they could at last see the whole perspective and begin to understand the rationale of their situation. Perhaps because they are not enmeshed in unwilling childbirth and heavy menial labour in the home, they have had time to think. Perhaps the plight of our society has become so desperate and so apparent that women can no longer be content to leave it to other people. The enemies of women have blamed such circumstances for female discontent. Women must prize this discontent as the first stirring of the demand for fife; they have begun to speak out and to speak to each other. The sight of women talking together has always made men uneasy; nowadays it means rank subversion. ‘Right on!

Second Wave Feminist

Greer also had a great sense of humor as we saw in her cameo role in the AbFab series, where she plays Edwina’s mother in a dream sequence. We need more Germaine Greers!

Happy Birthday, Oprah Winfrey.  Winfrey is perhaps the best known celebrity in the world.

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