Germaine Greer attacks Cambridge University college for welcoming transgender students
Germaine Greer has attacked a Cambridge University college for new rules to ensure transgender women are welcome.
Murray Edwards College, which was founded in 1954, is to allow any self-identifying woman to attend the college.
The new rules will be applied to any student who has taken steps to publicly identify as a woman, regardless of the gender on their birth certificate.
Since the Equality Act 2010 it has been illegal to demand proof of gender identity from a trans person where you would not require it from a cisgendered person.
This means any other single-gender institutions would have to follow similar rules, but few have policy in place.
But Germaine Greer – who has said of trans people: “Just because you lop off your d**k and then wear a dress doesn’t make you a f***ing woman” – has attacked the reform.
She told the Daily Telegraph: “It’s a silly situation, and I’m sure that Murray Edwards will have their own reasons.
“But it’s a difficult relationship, having a transgender person in an all-female environment.
“If [Murray Edwards] really don’t believe that gender is binary, then they really shouldn’t be a single sex college.
“Their position is ridiculous. The only sane thing for them to do is to cease discriminating on the basis of assigned gender of any kind.
“There are plenty of women who have served their time in women’s colleges, who are pretty whiskery, but nobody did a DNA test on them.
“But they had to live women’s lives – with all the disabilities that that entails.”
Greer has previously spoken out against “man’s delusion that he is female”, claiming trans women are “some kind of ghastly parody” that will never be women because they do not know what it’s like to have a “big, hairy, smelly vagina”.
The esteemed Cambridge college has previously educated the likes of out comedian Sue Perkins, Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman and actress Tilda Swinton.
Dame Barbara Stocking, president of the college, defended the decision saying: “We are a college that is open to all outstanding young women and so it is absolutely right, both legally and within our set of values, for anyone who identifies as female to be able to apply to study with us.
“Society is changing and there is now a greater understanding of the complexities of gender.”
An official statement by Murray Edwards said existing Cambridge students will also be permitted to move into the college if they transition to female while there.
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“Many of us within the college have sympathy with the idea that gender is not binary, and have concerns that narrow gender identities and the expectations associated with them are damaging both to individuals and to wider society.
“The college is also supportive of students who do not wish to define themselves as either female or male.
“At the admissions level, we will consider any student who, at the point of application, identifies as female and, where they have been identified as male at birth, has taken steps to live in the female gender (or has been legally recognised as female via the Gender Recognition Act 2004).
“Similarly, just as we would consider any other female student seeking to transfer to this college during their degree, we would consider any student who, at the point of requesting the transfer, identifies as female.”
The new rules will also allow students who transition to male to move to mixed colleges.
“Should the student decide that they would prefer to be in a mixed college if transitioning to male or if rejecting a binary gender category, the college would be fully supportive of a transfer and do all that was possible to bring one about,” they said.