In Brief

Germaine Greer calls for all public toilets to be made gender-neutral

Author and activist says current division into ladies and gents is ‘outdated’

Feminist academic Germaine Greer has proposed making all public toilets gender-neutral.

Speaking on Channel 4 programme Genderquake: The Debate, Greer said: “Just dump the whole thing. You can actually sort out toilets in a more sensible way so that people have access to the bits they need and they don’t have to be bothered by the bits they don’t need.

“In our houses where we live our toilets are not gendered. I think that should just be now universal.”

The Australian activist added: “I don’t get it. I don’t understand why in England in particular defecation is thought of as a sexual activity. I don’t get it.”

The issue has become a “regular topic of discussion in relation to transgender rights”, a subject on which Greer has faced criticism after saying that transgender women are “not real women”, reports The Guardian.

Talking about gender self-identification during the C4 debate, which aired last night, she said: “Being without a penis doesn’t make you a woman any more than being without a womb makes you a man.”

Greer’s appearance follows a tumultuous few months for the academic, who came under fire in January for criticising Hollywood’s #MeToo campaigners, saying that actresses should stop complaining about sexual harassement.

The writer told the Sydney Morning Herald that “if you spread your legs because he said ‘be nice to me and I’ll give you a job in a movie’ then I’m afraid that’s tantamount to consent, and it’s too late now to start whingeing about that.”

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