Caustic, clever, controversial, Germaine Greer has been an iconic figure of the feminist movement since she and her bestselling book, The Female Eunuch, burst onto the global consciousness in 1970.
Now, as part of the BBC’s Hear Her series, marking the centenary of women’s suffrage, BBC2 presents Germaine Bloody Greer, a documentary blending interviews with rare archival footage.
Here’s everything you need to know about BBC’2 Germaine Bloody Greer.
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What time is Germaine Bloody Greer on TV?
Germaine Bloody Greer is on BBC2 at 9pm on Saturday 9th June.
Who is Germaine Greer?
Germaine Greer is an author and intellectual who, at the age of 31, published the 1970 bestseller The Female Eunuch, a canonical feminist text. Her arguments proved hugely influential in the second-wave feminist movement in the latter part of the 20th century.
She’s gone on to publish several more books, including The Whole Woman in 1999. Greer has also continued to be a source of controversy; more recently, she wrote an article for Radio Times ahead of The Bridge series 4, arguing that women enjoy onscreen depictions of violence against women more than men do.
What’s the show about?
The opening bars of Led Zeppelin’s Good Times and Bad Times play over the show’s introduction, immediately capturing an at once anarchic and nostalgic spirit (“In the days of my youth…”). Germaine Greer reflects on her youth and the publication of The Female Eunuch – and the media storm that followed it. The show provides further background on the book, explaining how The Female Eunuch fits into the feminist canon alongside the likes of Simone de Beauvoir.
Director Clare Beaven interviews Greer at home in Essex, and chats about flowers and geese are interspersed with loud archival footage of protests and speeches from the late 70s, and Greer’s more fiery comments about a range of modern topics, from #MeToo to marriage. In this way, the film also charts the evolution of Greer’s ideas and how she herself has changed over time.
There are also tributes; Rosie Boycott, Bea Campbell and Camille Paglia speak about the importance of The Female Eunuch: “It was like a fairy godmother bestowing a spell and saying ‘wake up!’,” Boycott says.