Bodies are for peasants

Glosswitch has thoughts on Germaine Greer and the hatred of old women.

She starts with bodies, and how vieux jeu it has become to take them seriously.

Once upon a time, people thought that there were bodies that gestated new life and bodies that did not. That there was a way in which you could tell – not always accurately, but generally so – which did which. This led to people being given different names on account of which of the two categories their bodies appeared to fall into, categories not based on any complex chemical or neurological detail, but just on the question “does your body look like the kind of body that can get pregnant or doesn’t it?” Because reproduction – the mechanics, the ownership, the ideology – matters, or at least it used to, back when bodies were a thing. Back when we understood gender as power – patriarchy/matriarchy, paternity/maternity – and not as each individual’s private domain.

Today we know that to be old-fashioned nonsense. Who thinks it still? Old people. Old women, to be precise. Creaky, decaying second-wavers like Germaine Greer, who, the righteous legions of Twitter inform me, will in any case be dead soon enough.

I’m always curious about people who look forward to the deaths of women they dislike, so I clicked the link. It’s a Twitter “activist” I’ve seen before, who calls herself Germaine Queer haw haw.

Germaine Queer ‏@infurioustoo
True fact, Germaine Greer is 76 and will therefore be dead sooner than most of the rest of us.

Activism at its finest.

Old women who refuse to think themselves beyond the body. Watch out, younger women. Stay vigilant, don’t mention those vile secretions, don’t mention the work, or this could one day be you.

No no. Today’s wonderful young people will be the first generation in history to not age. They will be 24 forever, and perfect forever, and more right than anyone else forever.

“Biological life,” note Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English, “impinges directly on the group activities of production and play.” To lay claim to having a female body is to be behind the times. Didn’t you get the memo? Don’t you know that they don’t have to make women like that anymore? Mother Nature is, as the Tampax advertisements remind us, a creature to be outsmarted. Don’t be the girl who leaks rust-coloured blood on her new white skirt. Don’t be the employee who gets pregnant, the carer who falls outside the markets that matter, the woman who dares to have pubic hair and odours and wrinkles, all those things that might make you more than an idea.

Barbie dolls forever.

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