Greer's Criticism of Beyonce Exposes Her Own Double Standards

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao
Jun 09, 2018 07:01 IST

Controversial Australian feminist Germaine Greer criticised Beyonce for “sexual display” in her stage shows, by wearing revealing outfits. As per a report in The Guardian, Greer has made these remarks in a BBC documentary called Germaine Bloody Greer, which will be aired today.


“Someone like Beyoncé – who I think is a fantastic musician, a beautiful voice as true as a bell – why has she always got to be fucking naked and have her tits hanging out? Why? I’m not saying you have to keep your clothes on, but why is sexual display part of the job? I might as well ask that question to a barmaid who says she doesn’t get any tips if she doesn’t show cleavage.”

Just a few weeks ago, Greer had advocated that rape is not a “spectacularly violent crime” but just a lazy, careless and insensitive act. Now she, a woman who identifies herself as feminist, is accusing a powerful woman, loved by millions of people of using her sexuality to grab attention.

Greer’s comments are not just offensive to Beyonce, but also to those barmaids who work in dingy pubs and have to fight sexual harassment at hands of leery drunk men every day.


Beyonce is probably the most revered pop icon in today’s times. She has a massive following across gender and age groups. She is not some emerging teen-aged pop star who would resort to so-called “sexual display” to grab attention. It amazes me that how could a feminist living in 21st century accuse her of using her sexuality to gain attention.

Greer just went on from being a voice for women’s rights to being one of the million squawkers who accuse women of contaminating men by putting their bodies on display. Why do we keep reducing men to brainless organisms, who have no manners or self-control? Instead of asking women to cover up, why can’t we concentrate more on telling men to stop sexualising our bodies?

She, like most conservative outfits around the world has blamed women for sexual misconduct of men. Can we even call her a feminist now?


There was a time when Greer did a nude photo shoot in 1971. However, she calls those photographs “revolutionary” and a “disruptive gesture”. Why such double standards Greer? What makes your photographs revolutionary, but Beyonce’s dresses provocative? Every woman who steps out of her clothes is either provocative or disruptive. Her nudity can either be viewed as art or vulgarity.

One can view a pregnant Beyonce dressed like a goddess and be in awe, amidst thousands, or one can see a “revolutionary” nude photograph of Greer in a closed room alone and find it sexually provocative. It depends on perspective more than it depends on intent.

A man can see a fully-covered woman and yet find her sexually provocative. Those people who blame women’s short clothes for rapes or sexual assault, do nothing more than to give the misogynist male mindset an excuse. Greer cannot both endorse misogyny and call herself a feminist. It is time she chose one out of the two.


Photo Credit: Women's Agenda

Also Read: We See a Lot of Moral Policing but it’s Time to Police Trolls!

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

#provocative dressing #Beyonce #germaine greer