“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? ” This is a quote from Germaine Greer, an Australian born woman, who was one of the most prominent figures of the women’s liberation movement in a post war Australian society. She provided a voice and allowed for many people to hear about the cause and realise they are also part of it.
Germaine Greer has achieved a lot in her life, and though there are always critics, she is a significant part of the history of women’s liberation in Australia. Germaine Greer is a Melbourne born Australian, born on the 29th of January 1939. Germaine attended a private convent school in 1956 and received a teaching scholarship allowing her to enrol at the University of Melbourne where she graduated receiving a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and a PhD. After graduation Germaine found herself moving to Sydney, which at the time was strongly filled with anarchist Sydney libertarians at its centre.
The ‘Sydney Push’ helped made Greer’s views and morals much more stronger, this resulting the publishment of her book, The Female Eunuch, in 1970. This book had become an international bestseller and a very significant and influential book in the feminist movement. The main idea’s of the book were that the nuclear family is not a good environment for women and for the raising of children, that the way Western society manufactures and restricts women’s sexuality is demeaning and repressive, and that girls are taught to be submissive females from childhood through rules which make them consider themselves inferior to men.
She also argues that women do not realise how much men ‘hate’ them and how much they are taught to ‘hate’ themselves. Women all over the world were buying this book, this book caused many fights between married couples and it has been written that women had to keep the book wrapped in brown paper because their husbands wouldn’t allow them to read it.
This book had a tremendous effect on all women in society, and did stir up much debate, which Germaine thought must be brought up. Women’s Liberation is the feminist movement against male supremacy, and for ore freedom for women. It refers to a series of campaigns that fall under the label of feminism, which are the movements and ideologies aimed at defending equal rights for women. The history of the feminist movements were divided up into 3 waves, each dealt with different aspects of the same feminist issues. Germaine Greer was apart of the second wave. Women’s liberation was an important and significant issue in history as it has forever changed society’s view on women, and has gained rights for women today.
Without this movement, women in today’s society would not have nearly the amount of rights they have now, hence why this was such an important event that took place. The legacy of Greer and the second wave of the women’s movement is hard to overstate. One major change in society is that issues affecting women, which were previously considered private matters, were brought out into the public sphere. Subjects like domestic violence and the right to a no-fault divorce were now considered areas for public debate and for legislation by the government.
The Female Eunuch was a foundation of the women’s movement of the 1960s and 1970s, which produced many progressive achievements for women in Australian society. In Germaine’s writings the women’s movement of the 1960s and 1970s found a common set of ideas and goals, which were essential to many of their aims and achievements in this period, making Germaine Greer’s actions very significant in the history of Women’s Liberation and the views and rights for women in today’s Australian society.
In conclusion, Germaine Greer is a very significant figure in the movement of Women’s liberation, addressing matters that were previously considered private and bringing them out to the public for debate, bringing legislation to the government on issues such as domestic violence and the right to no- fault divorce, publishing books to change the views on women, and especially the views of women on themselves.
Nonetheless, Germaine Greer’s writings and views set common ideas and goals for the movement of Women’s Liberation, which was very essential to the achievements of this time, and was also very significant to the change and impact of the view of women in a post-war Australian society.