On Friday 3rd May I was lucky enough to be in the audience to see Germaine Greer in her one woman show, ‘40 Years of Feminism and Fun’. This was an eagerly awaited treat as I had bought the tickets last November as a Christmas present for my husband. NB: Always buy the husband presents that you want for yourself.
On what turned out to be a lovely Spring evening, we settled down in a smart box with an excellent view of the stage in the beautifully restored City Varieties. Germaine appeared right on time, dressed in a flattering black velvet dress and sequined over blouse with matching glittery pumps. She explained that she had driven down that very day and had spent ages being lost, going round and round the City using bus lanes and expected a plethora of fines through her letterbox in the weeks to come. She then launched into her subject with the usual frankness we have come to expect from someone who was a leading figure in the Women’s Liberation Movement.
The 74 year old academic managed to talk continuously for 90 minutes without the usual intermission (which she suggested hadn’t gone down too well with the management who had been expecting to sell interval drinks). She knew her subject inside out and got her ideas across with humour and pace, responding to comments occasionally voiced by the audience, with relish. Incidentally, considering such historic, seemingly philogynistic, quotes from Ms Greer as,
“English culture is basically homosexual, in that men only really care about men”
it was good to see that about 35% of the audience were male.
Germaine was very interesting, but I would have liked longer to listen to this woman because 90 minutes was not really sufficient time to expand on some of her thoughts, which meant that some points made had to go unchallenged as facts. All in all though, this was a memorable evening and we were both pleased to have been able to see in the flesh the person who gave us ‘The Female Eunuch’ essential reading for my generation in the 1970’s and a Feminist classic ever since.
This article was written by Jane Haswell using our Community Reporters website