Germaine Greer in speaking about freedom has intentionally upset a lot of people. As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald
The Festival's Opening Address is by international journalist Christopher Hitchens, in conversation with Tony Jones on the topic 'Religion Poisons Everything'. Taking an opposing stance on Sunday is Catholic Archbishop Cardinal George Pell, who argues 'Without God We Are Nothing' and Keysar Trad who argues that 'Polygamy and Other Islamic Values are Good for Australia'.
We have Susan Greenfield discussing the implications of Online Networking on developing brains; an international panel debating the merits of Democracy; Aboriginal activist Gary Foley arguing that 'The Aboriginal Genocide will be complete'; Germaine Greer questioning whether people really want Freedom; Julian Savulescu supporting genetic enhancement and much much more.
The Festival will almost certainly cause moments of outrage, but will hopefully push the boundaries enough to stimulate, provoke and engage people in wider discussion.
Dr Greer said children are the least free of all, and are owned like pets or slaves. ''They can be mutilated with impunity,'' she said. ''No baby asks to be circumcised, or baptised for that matter.Good on you Germaine. I may not agree with what she says most of the time, but I admire her for being brave enough to challenge people's rigid assumption of everything and anything.
''Parents do, as governments do, they invoke an outside threat to justify their own draconian control,'' she said. ''We don't recognise protest in children … against the conditions in which they are being raised, against a culture that is deeply hostile to children and frightened of them. Now in case that sounds like one of my madder and more exaggerated sayings, just think about it.''
A blogger named Consumption Rebellion attended the session and wrote about some of the other ideas Germaine raised.