Germaine Greer was born 29 January 1939 in Melbourne, Australia. She is a writer, academic, journalist and scholar of early modern English literature, widely regarded as one of the most significant Feminism voices of the later 20th century.
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Education and Early Career
Greer lectured at the University of Sydney, where she also earned a first class M.A. in romantic poetry in 1963 with a thesis titled The Development of Byron’s Satiric Mode. A year later, the thesis won her a Commonwealth Scholarship, which she used to fund her doctorate at the University of Cambridge in England, where she became a member of the all-women’s Newnham College. In 1968 she received her Ph.D. on the topic of Elizabethan drama with a thesis titled The Ethic of Love and Marriage in Shakespeare’s early comedies, and accepted a lectureship in English at the University of Warwick in Coventry.
The Female Eunuch (1970)
The Female Eunuch analyses the nature of gender inequality, thus exposing potential strategies for those that seek to redress it. The book is a feminist analysis, written with a mixture of polemic and scholarly research. It was a key text of the feminist movement in the 1970s, broadly discussed or criticized by other feminists and the wider community, particularly through the author’s high profile in the broadcast media. In contrast to earlier feminist works, Greer uses humour, boldness and coarse language to present a direct and candid description of female sexuality; much of this subject remained unspoken in English-speaking societies. The work bridged academia and the contemporary arts in presenting the targets of the final section of the book, Revolution; it is in accord, and often associated with, a creative and revolutionary movement of the period.
She has published other books on a wide variety of themes related to feminism and gender relations: The Obstacle Race: The Fortunes of Women Painters and Their Work (1979); Sex and Destiny: The Politics of Human Fertility (1984); Shakespeare, The Madwoman’s Underclothes: Essays and Occasional Writings (1986); The Change: Women, Ageing, and the Menopause (1991); Slip-Shod Sibyls: Recognition, Rejection and the Woman Poet (1993); The Whole Woman (1999) – intended as a sequel to The Female Eunuch; The Beautiful Boy (2003); and On Rage (2008)
Greer is now retired but retains her position as Professor Emeritus in the Department of English Literature and Comparative Studies at the University of Warwick, Coventry. She is a regular contributor to newspapers and talk shows in the UK (for eg. The Guardian) as well as in Australia.