Obviously, I can't.
The story comes from this Salon blurb posted a few days ago. I looked around to try to find the full quote, and this is what I came up with:
I have come to the conclusion that she was a devious moron. One of the things I have been puzzled by is why her whole life was such a mess. She made a mess of being Princess of Wales, but that is fine because the job is not do-able. It is an insane job and, in history, all but one of the Princesses of Wales have come to a sticky end -- stickier than hers.
I am also interested in why she couldn't manage life after being Her Royal Highness. It still puzzles me that she does that no-no thing: she sleeps with married men. If you do that in Hello! magazine, you are beyond contempt. But she does it with Will Carling, we forgive her somehow – even though his marriage is in a very delicate state and it doesn't seem to have helped at all.
Then she does it with Oliver Hoare, the antiques dealer, who eventually realises he is in deep shit and goes back to his wife. She makes 300 nuisance calls to his home phone number. And this is the angel that people want to crown.
I'm not really sure what to say. I agree with Natalia, I'm not sure why it should be surprising that Diana's life was a mess. Hell, my life is a mess, and I'm not under constant scrutiny from reporters and the public. I don't have the weight of an entire country on my back. Diana's life doesn't seem to have been that much messier than a lot of people's, she just happened to have a lot of photographers and reporters eager to talk about hers.
The whole tirade stinks of publicity grabbing. There are some things that are sure-fire ways to get media attention and to incite reaction. Slagging on the dead- particularly when it's someone with as much public adoration as Princess Di- is high on the list.
And, for the record: Why is it a no-no thing for her to sleep with a married man? Were these men unable to say no to her? I think it's shitty to cheat on your spouse, but it's not her fault that this assholes didn't stay faithful to their wives. She didn't break a vow when/if she slept with them- they broke a vow to their wives.
Personally, I find Greer's comments tremendously offensive, not because she's insulting Diana, but because, quite frankly, they stink of misogyny. Look, I don't give two shits about Diana. I don't know that much about her except for her work on landmines and AIDS awareness, and I don't think she's a saint by any stretch. My problem isn't with being critical of Diana because she's dead, either- the fact that she's dead doesn't put her beyond criticism. My problem is with going off about what a "devious moron" she was when your only real complaints seem to be that you don't like how much or with whom she was having sex.
There's a term for that kind of criticism. I call that slut shaming.
And this, from the woman who once said "Women have very little idea of how much men hate them"?
This shouldn't really be surprising, though. I've found a lot of Greer's comments and actions pretty troubling, personally. Really, for someone with such an influential set of writings, some of her more recent writings leave a lot to be desired. Take a look at this lovely piece, for example:
There's no question that the women are stroppier. They're not embarrassed to say they agreed to sex with one man they'd only just met, or even with two, but they insist that they hadn't agreed to being brutalised, insulted or humiliated, and they want redress.
They might well be insisting on the right to free expression of their own desires, which include shagging the odd hyper-fit footballer, provided he doesn't abuse the privilege. But they also seem quite interested in another factor in sex with footballers - namely, indecent amounts of money.
That's right, her claim is that women- she actually calls them "rape fodder" at one point- who flirt with and might want to sleep with footballers, but get sexually assualted and raped... they're really not raped, they're in it for the money. Of course, the men involved can't help it. Oh, no! You see, Greer informs us that "Good family men have been known to succumb to the groupies' onslaught," because, you know, in the face of their overwhelming sluttiness, how can any man resist? And her last line of that piece? Fucking pricless: "Now that the women are beefing and the papers are printing and wives are walking out, the players are more vulnerable than ever."
That's right, those poor players. It's not, you know, the women they rape that are vulnerable. Oh no! It's those poor men.
And let's not forget her comments on female genital mutilation, right? In her book The Whole Woman, she argued that attempts to ban FGM were "an attack on cultural identity" and that "one man's beautification is another man's mutilation." She compared the practice of female circumcision to labia piercings: "If an Ohio punk has the right to have her genitalia operated on, why has not the Somali woman the same right?"
So, yeah. That's my take on Greer, for whatever it's worth. Probably the paper it's printed on, right? I'm not in the habit of telling other people whether they can or can't call themselves feminists, and I know that some of Greer's writings were damn influential... but I hope to damn that someone will stop me before I start going off on antifeminist tirades. Whatever type of feminist she is, I don't want any part of. I don't think it's particularly enlightened to cry "poor men!" and slut shame women because the man they're hooked up with is cheating on his wife.