An Affair of Clowns

Lucy Scholes at The Paris Review:

If the Australian writer and critic Thelma Forshaw is remembered for anything today, it’s most likely the hatchet job that she gave Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch in 1972. Of the many reviews the book received, Forshaw’s—published in the Age, a newspaper based in Greer’s own hometown of Melbourne—was by far the most disdainful: “King Kong is back. The exploits of the outsized gorilla may have been banned as too scary for kids, but who’s to shield us cowering adults? To increase the terror, the creature now rampaging is a kind of female—a female eunuch. It’s Germ Greer, with a tiny male in her hairy paw (no depilatories) who has been storming round the world knocking over the Empire State Building, scrunching up Big Ben and is now bent on ripping the Sydney Harbour Bridge from its pylons and drinking up the Yarra.” Understandably, Forshaw’s slam piece caused quite a stir, and it was reprinted in a number of papers across the country, often alongside carefully chosen photographs of Greer looking suitably unkempt.

more here.