Germaine Greer may be barred from giving a lecture on women’s rights at a leading British university after hundreds of its students signed a petition accusing her of holding “misogynistic views” about transgender people.
The petition calls on Cardiff University to cancel the event featuring the 76-year-old feminist author and academic, who has been invited to give a lecture entitled “Women & Power: The Lessons of the 20th Century” next month.
By late on 23 October almost 300 people had signed the petition, which was started by Cardiff Student’s Union Women’s Officer Rachael Melhuish. It claims hosting Greer would be “dangerous” due to her previously stated views on transgender people.
Funny thing about so-called liberals: they can’t see past their obsessions to the principles involved, because they have no principles, only “feelings”. Here’s the Guardian writing about a U.S. minister’s stated intention to burn a copy of the Koran – the paper has said nothing about the Cardiff uproar.
On the night of 10 May 1933, a crowd of some 40,000 people gathered in the Opernplatz – now the Bebelplatz – in the Mitte district of Berlin. Amid much joyous singing, band-playing and chanting of oaths and incantations, they watched soldiers and police from the SS, brownshirted members of the paramilitary SA, and impassioned youths from the German Student Association and Hitler Youth Movement burn, at the behest of propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, upwards of 25,000 books decreed to be “un-German”.
The climax of a month-long nationwide campaign, this best-known of literary bonfires was intended as both a purge and a purification of the true German spirit, supposedly weakened and corrupted by un-German ideas and intellectualism. “The future German man,” the Reichsminister declared in a speech, “will not just be a man of books, but a man of character. You do well, in this midnight hour, to commit to the flames the evil spirit of the past. From this wreckage the phoenix of a new spirit will triumphantly rise.”
The volumes consigned to the flames in Berlin, and more than 30 other university towns around the country on that and following nights, included works by more than 75 German and foreign authors, among them (to cite but a few) Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht, Albert Einstein, Friedrich Engels, Sigmund Freud, André Gide, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, Lenin, Jack London, Heinrich, Klaus and Thomas Mann, Ludwig Marcuse, Karl Marx, John Dos Passos, Arthur Schnitzler, Leon Trotsky, HG Wells, Émile Zola and Stefan Zweig. Also among the authors whose books were burned that night was the great 19th-century German poet Heinrich Heine, who barely a century earlier, in 1821, had written in his play Almansor the words: “Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen” – “Where they burn books, they will, in the end, also burn people.”