*Pic: Germaine Greer (left) on Q&A with Oz Foreign Minister Julie Bishop …

The “no-platforming” campaign against Germaine Greer reflects a deeper sickness afflicting Western universities. While the stated aim is to reduce harm, the end result is enforced ignorance, writes Claire Lehmann.

Australian intellectual Germaine Greer is the latest person to fall victim to the “no-platform” movement. It is a movement plaguing Western universities, where students seek to silence a person intending to speak at an event or lecture.

Greer was announced to speak at Cardiff University about Women and Power in the 20th Century. In an interview with BBC’s Newsnight, Greer said that she was going to critique the “triumphalist talk” used about the previous century and women’s place in it.

But this talk was not to be. Students at Cardiff University were deprived of their opportunity to hear one of the most significant female intellectuals of the last century.


The women’s officer at Cardiff University Students’ Union, Rachael Melhuish, decided that Greer’s presence would be “harmful”. In her petition calling for the event’s cancellation, she claimed:

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