International Women's Day 2015: Germaine Greer brands feminism 'ageist' and demands right to 'grow up'

The 76-year-old academic is also unconvinced by equality as a major goal

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The Independent Online

Germaine Greer has argued that modern feminism is “ageist” in a panel discussion to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Regarded as a prominent feminist voice of the mid-20th century, the 76-year-old academic criticised what she sees as a focus on young women at the Sydney Opera House event on Sunday.

“Give me the right to grow up, let me age,” she said, according to the Guardian. “In our society, elder women have no respect.”

Greer went on to accuse Australia’s current Abbott Government of attacking pensioners and stripping people in residential aged care of their civil rights.

“They are incarcerated and they have committed no crime,” she said, adding that women working in the elderly care sector were drastically underpaid and only doing the job “out of mercy”.

Greer emphasised that there was “heaps” more pressure on women to conform to society’s physical and behavioural standards today than when she wrote The Female Eunuch in 1970, and shamed Kim Kardashian as being of “no help” in changing attitudes.

Greer also voiced her concern over gender equality being such a major goal in modern feminism. “Everyone thinks they understand [equality] but no one understands it…it’s an illusory goal,” she said, drawing on the pay gap that remains alive and kicking.

“I’m a liberation feminist, not an equality feminist. Equality is a profoundly conservative aim and it won’t achieve anything.”

No doubt actress Emma Watson, UN Goodwill Ambassador for Women, will have her own view on Greer’s comments when she hosts a live Q&A on her He For She campaign in London later this afternoon.