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Germaine Greer vs Jane Fonda

(49 Posts)
janeainsworth Sun 24-May-15 23:31:22 think that Germaine is being just a little bit bitchy here?

I agree with her that Jane Fonda's remark that women should preserve their youthful appearance in order to attract men is wrong and fatuous, but at the same time I think her comment 'And there’s poor old Jane Fonda. I mean, it’s cost her a fortune. She’s got a back full of steel, a replaced hip and a replaced something else – I don’t think it’s a brain. I think it’s a knee.' is unnecessarily personal and unpleasant.
Surely Germaine could have countered Jane's suggestion without being so childishly bitchy?
I remember when she described Suzanne Moore as having 'birds-nest hair and f*ck-me shoes'

Ana Mon 25-May-15 20:50:36

Yes, the 'brain' comment was just unnecessary and made Germaine sound bitchy.

thatbags Mon 25-May-15 20:55:58

I agree with that, jane, but I don't think Greer would be Greer if she wasn't a bit sharp at times.

grumppa Mon 25-May-15 21:29:20

Does being sharp have to entail being bitchy?

seasider Mon 25-May-15 21:37:34

Have to say that Jane Fonda loomed ama

seasider Mon 25-May-15 21:38:55

Sorry should say she looked amazing in Cannes.

Iam64 Mon 25-May-15 21:40:03

It seems a great pity that Jane Fonda appears to have gone full circle and be back in a place where she feels women should dress/keep slim etc in order to attract men.

I agree with janeainsworth that Germaine ought to have been able to challenge this pathetic world view more effectively than by being so very unkind and nasty. I'm avoiding the B word, don't like it smile

Deedaa Mon 25-May-15 22:21:54

If I had to spend an evening with one of them it would have to be Germaine. I imagine it would be stimulating and entertaining.

FarNorth Mon 25-May-15 22:40:55

GG was speaking during a public event. She was being entertaining, while making a point. She was a lot more polite than many so-called comedians these days, who are seen as quite acceptable.

janeainsworth Mon 25-May-15 22:41:09

Deedaa I heard her speak once at the Tyneside cinema, giving a lecture and doing a book signing.
She was an amazing speaker, just responding to questions and speaking without notes.
But I did think at the time it would have been rather scary being one of her students - she was Professor of English at Warwick at the time.

Agree with you Iam about the b-word. I don't use it lightly!

Tegan Mon 25-May-15 23:14:53

I sort of agree about spending an evening with Germaine but I'd have to confine the conversation to parrots and Shrek; anything beyond that and I'd be scared of annoying her. I've always thought that, if I did have to spend, say a train journey next to someone famous and feel comfortable with the conversation it would have to be Clare Balding, but that's probably because I could talk about racing and dogs.

thatbags Tue 26-May-15 06:17:44

Having read farnorth's comment, I wonder if people who dislike what the article says about Greer would have felt differently about it had they actually been listening to her live and in context. Newspapers do have a way of distorting things.

Iam64 Tue 26-May-15 07:32:08

Yes, she was being entertaining FarNorth and her ascorbic wit is part of her charm. She could have made the same points without being so unkind about another older woman who is also continuing to make a living, not something that gets easier with age.

janeainsworth Tue 26-May-15 12:37:22

bags I think that amusing an audience by making unkind comments about someone else is not being clever or funny, it's just making a cheap gibe.
If GG had criticised JFs ideas - fine.
To criticise her for having artificial hips and knees, and get in a little dig about her brain, well if I'd been in the audience, I certainly wouldn't have been laughing.

soontobe Tue 26-May-15 12:56:26

Some people just dont see anything wrong with another person being bitchy and unkind.

soontobe Tue 26-May-15 12:58:44

Especially if contained in wit.

Iam64 Tue 26-May-15 13:15:02

And your point is ??? what soon

soontobe Tue 26-May-15 13:36:54

So some people think GG was ok to say what she did.

thatbags Tue 26-May-15 13:41:35

jane, I repeat, I do not think, from reading the link in the OP, that Greer was criticising Fonda for having replacement joints. She was criticising the cosmetic, keep-me-looking-younger-so-I-can-still-attract-men surgeries. I think that's within reason, whether funny or not, and I think a jibe at the brain (motivation) of someone who has this kind of surgery is fair game too. Greer, it would appear, thinks that kind of surgery is ridiculous. She's allowed to say so. Of course some people are not going to like it. I'm not sure I would if I'd been in that audience, but I do agree with it.

thatbags Tue 26-May-15 13:54:37

I think the jibe was at the phenomenon called "Barbie doll mentality".

petra Tue 26-May-15 14:31:41

Has anyone read the article where JF is speaking. To me, she's not so much saying that 'I want to stay looking young to attract younger men' it's about the industry where she still wants to work.
It's not right, but that's the way it is.

trisher Tue 26-May-15 15:10:22

Go with GG all the time. She has always been outspoken, but isn't one of the best things about being older that you can say and do things without giving a s--t? Poor JF indeed if not only does she have to keep fighting a losing battle with the years but she can't say outrageous things either. Actors do work when they let the years show- our own Maggie Smith is a prime example. JF might do better to let go and take up character acting.

Eloethan Tue 26-May-15 16:44:04

Germaine Greer is a very accomplished and successful academic who doesn't rely on her looks in order to do her job. She, like Mary Beard, may find that appearances on TV will elicit all sorts of nastiness but if she ever decided to to opt out of the media, she will still have a career as an academic and writer.

Unfortunately women with media careers - whether it be TV or films - are at a great disadvantage once they get older and that is one of the reasons (along with the damaged self esteem that women tend to have) why they resort to cosmetic surgery.

I like Germaine Greer very much and think she is highly intelligent, amusing and forthright. I think she is right to be critical of Jane Fonda's involvement in the cosmetics industry which, whilst professing to empower women in fact does the opposite by presenting a wholly unrealistic vision of what women look like. However, it appears that Jane Fonda has also had self-esteem issues and said in the interview "I was brought up to believe that unless you looked a certain way no-one would love you". It's hardly surprising that, despite her successful career, underneath it all she still feels it necessary to try and "look a certain way".

I just think Germaine Greer's argument would have been more effective - and less open to accusations of "bitchiness" - if she had not resorted to demeaning another woman.

FarNorth Tue 26-May-15 23:00:28

But would so many people have heard about it and discussed it?