chapter  13
Reading and contesting Germaine Greer and Dennis Altman
The 1970s and beyond
ByJon Piccini, Ana Stevenson
Pages 18

This chapter offers the first extended parallel analysis of the breadth of reaction, debate and change engendered by Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch (1970) and Dennis Altman’s Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation (1971). Examining both the people and reactions to their seminal works in the United States and Australia, it situates Greer and Altman as important ‘far-left exports’ of the 1970s. While The Female Eunuch and Homosexual appeared in a significant moment of rebellion and change, these were actually very different works in terms of composition and style. This chapter examines the varying responses to each – from everyday observers to the radical community, media heavyweights, and theologians – in both activist and mainstream print and visual media. The supportive and critical commentary surrounding Greer and Altman across the political spectrum thus places these Australian activists and celebrities in the context of the transnational far left, revealing the significance of their personal and textual legacies in the histories of Australia, the United States, and beyond.