Germaine Greer's opposition to women's bras

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 16th Jun 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

Another feminist prominent in the women liberation movement was Germaine Greer. Controversial though she is, Greer is one of the most famous women of the 20th century. She has a quite a large following in Montreal.

The early years of Germaine Greer

Early years

Germaine
was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1929. Greer's father was a successful insurance executive who had also served in the Australian air force as a wing commander. Germaine Greer went to a private school and various higher educational institutes. She obtained her degree in English, French, and literature in 1956, and then moved to Sydney where she was involved with the left wing Sydney Push, a sub culture of artists rejecting the era's views on morality and authority. She also was a part of Sydney's anarchist movement.

Similar to the American hippie movement of the 1970's in America, Greer, much like many individuals of the era, was convinced that the establishment was wrong, authority was corrupt and those in authority were feeding us lies in order to keep their power and keep us in sub servitude.


According to Greer, at the time she did not even know she was anarchist until she came to these pub meetings and talked with the people there. Greer came to realize that there was a name to the feelings she had felt all along.

the oppression of bras

By 1972, Germaine Greer was secure enough in her beliefs that she would identity herself as an anarchist communist bending towards Marxism.

Greer continued her education, teaching in Sydney and receiving an MA in romantic poetry. Her thesis for her MA entitled the Development of Bryon's Satiric Mode won her a scholarship, which she used to pay for her tuition in England's Cambridge University.

While at Cambridge she became a member of the All Women's Newnham College. Professor Jardine of the college remembers the first time she met Germaine Greer,

"Germaine was explaining that there could be no liberation for women, no matter how highly educated, as long as we were required to cram our breasts into bras constructed like mini-Vesuviuses, two stitched white cantilevered cones which bore no resemblance to the female anatomy. The willingly suffered discomfort of the Sixties bra, she opined vigorously, was a hideous symbol of male oppression"

Many people were shocked by Germaine Greer's abruptness. There was no shame for this woman; she called it as she saw it. However, more importantly she was a no nonsense person and she made many good points. Prior to the brassier, women wore tight fitting corsets to conceal the real size of their waists to entice men. The brassier was an improvement; but, was it really for the comfort of the women, for fashion, or for enticing a man?

The brassier was invented by Mary Phelps Jacob to go with her evening gown. It was a healthier choice; but, still not a comfortable one. The reason for this was because even though Mary made her brassier from silk handkerchiefs and the Caresse Crosby ribbon, when she sold her company to Warner Brothers they changed the design to fit the boyish so called figures of the 1920 flapper girls.

No other type of woman and breast size was even considered at that point. Yet, as we all know one size does not fit all. The style flattened the natural swell of the breast.

By the 1970's the uncomfortable underwear was invented,. The jutted pointed cones that Greer complained about was about as unnatural in appearance as could be. Women had the choice of hiding their breasts (1920), confining them, or having them stick out and pointed like some kind of futuristic mechanical device, or perhaps Lady Gaga. Today's bras are much more feminine and natural looking.

Germaine Greers College Days

College Days

Germaine Greer became a member of the Cambridge footlights, a London theater group, and started writing under the pen name of Rose Blight. She wrote a gardening column for the satirical magazine Private Eye, and she wrote for London's underground magazine, Oz. Greer's writings were very controversial and derogatory to men.

If it is good for women it is good for men

Greer was as flamboyant as she was controversial posing nude in a photograph called "stripped to the buff, looking at the lens through my thighs." She also posed nude for the magazine with the understanding that the men would do the same; they never did.

to be continued

All photos taken from the public domain
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Tags

Bras, Brassiers, Female Activist, Feminist, Feminists, Germaine Greer, History Of Bras, S Womens Rights, Women Oppression, Womens Activists

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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author avatar Kingwell
17th Jun 2015 (#)

Good Share. Blessings.

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