From The Female Eunuch to White Beech: Germaine Greer and Ecological Feminism

  • Lara Stevens


Although she is still publicly active in the twenty-first century, iconoclastic feminist Germaine Greer is best known for The Female Eunuch (1970), her radical critique of patriarchy. Greer has recently published White Beech: The Rainforest Years (2013), a memoir that recounts her experience of ageing as she contends with the challenges of her ambitious, long-term project of protecting and rejuvenating 60 hectares of Australian land from ‘steep rocky country most of it impenetrable scrub’ (1) to its original rainforest ecology. This chapter seeks to better understand The Female Eunuch by applying ecofeminist thought. Such a reading reveals aspects of the book that were ahead of their time, advancing, rather than simply rehearsing, the critiques of patriarchy made by key feminist foremothers Simone de Beauvoir and Mary Wollstonecraft. This is not to say that The Female Eunuch is a work of ecofeminism, but, rather, that aspects of its critique can be better appreciated using ecofeminist thought and that this mode of analysis carries through to Greer's writing on ecology and natural history in White Beech.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lara Stevens
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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