What she saw as the more salient problem

Germaine Greer gave that lecture at Cardiff. Nobody melted or imploded or spontaneously combusted or turned into a pillar of salt.

Uniformed police officers stood guard outside the lecture theatre and security officials guarded the doors inside, but in the end only about a dozen people turned up to protest peacefully. Greer told the audience that campaigners had been “trying to frighten me off”, but added: “Here I am.”

She did not mention the issue during her lecture, entitled Women & Power: the Lessons of the 20th Century, but during questions was asked about the controversy. Greer said: “They [trans people] are not my issue. It should be perfectly clear why not. I think 51% of the world’s population is enough for me to be going on with. I do agree that calling people names may add to their misery but it happens to old women every day.”

Protesters outside included present and former Cardiff University students who criticised the institution for paying Greer for the lecture. Mair Macey, a former Cardiff University student who now works for HMRC, said: “I really care about transgender people. Having Greer here reflects badly on the values of the university. There is no way she should be invited to give a distinguished lecture.”

Author Elwyn Way said: “We don’t think she should be given a platform like this and go unchallenged.” Way said trans people were suffering emotional and physical violence and needed to be protected rather than vilified.

But her lecture wasn’t about trans people. Preventing her from giving the lecture she was invited to give wouldn’t have made trans people better off in any way. It’s all just performance – “look at me, look at how much I care.”

The saga has caused a fierce debate about free speech and the practice of “no-platforming” speakers whose views might make them unpopular. Quinn said she was frustrated that the free speech issue was overshadowing what she saw as the more salient problem: Greer’s views.

Well look at it this way – suppose you forcibly locked Greer up somewhere to keep her from expressing her views. It would not be surprising is that overshadowed your opinion of her views. The bullying of her for her views overshadowed your worthless opinion on her views – that’s often how that works out.

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