Stand proud and em­brace fem­i­nism

Otago Daily Times - - EDITORIAL -

I AGREE with Bar­bara Ellen’s re­sponse (ODT, 11.6.18) to Ger­maine Greer’s sad and out­dated com­ments to the Hay Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val as re­ported in the World sec­tion of Monday’s news­pa­per.

As an age­ing les­bian fem­i­nist and rape sur­vivor, I am ap­palled that Dr Greer, who was such a stri­dent fem­i­nist, can min­imise the ex­pe­ri­ences of women to­day who are abused and raped by men who think it their right.

The ef­fects of rape can be life­long, deeply painful, hu­mil­i­at­ing and dis­em­pow­er­ing. Some of us sur­vive, some de­velop se­ri­ous men­tal heath is­sues, some of us reach our po­ten­tial, oth­ers are trau­ma­tised for life.

Each woman’s ex­pe­ri­ence is very dif­fer­ent, de­pend­ing on their level of re­silience and whether they have love and sup­port to carry them through. Dr Greer had power and po­si­tion, which seems to carry her through, but that is no ex­cuse for de­mean­ing oth­ers.

Since the 1970s, nu­mer­ous Rape Cri­sis groups and women’s refuges have been set up to pro­vide sup­port and le­gal as­sis­tance, and they are needed to­day as much as ever they were in their found­ing days.

So I say to the young women of to­day, stand strong, stand proud, sup­port each other in fun and fury, be glad to em­brace fem­i­nism and know that many of us who are older will stand along­side you too.

Ann Char­lotte

Waik­ouaiti

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