Germaine Greer on Steve Irwin

Link: Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Germaine Greer: ‘That sort of self-delusion is what it takes to be a real Aussie larrikin’… And I totally agree. Chris Packham was on Breakfast this morning echoing the same sentiment, while still maintaining an appropriate level of respect. I bet he was dying to say something more akin to Germaine’s tone. A lot of the obits I’ve seen in the media are along the lines of ‘he got young people interested in animals’. It’s worth remembering however that Packham came to fame with the Really Wild Show, that did an excellent job and getting ‘young people interested’. Me, I think Irwin was a bit of an arse really.

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18 Responses to “Germaine Greer on Steve Irwin”


  1. 1 Titus Nachkrea September 8, 2006 at 3:27 am

    I share your point of view, and totally agree with Germaine Greer. I just had a discussion about the subject on http://www.schlangengrube.de , cause I keep snakes (venomous and non-venomous)and hate the way the hobby has been influenced by people like Steve Irwin.
    Snakes are no problem, Crocs are no problem, but Steve kinda was.

  2. 2 Enraged American September 8, 2006 at 7:30 am

    Germaine Greer and anyone who even remotely agrees with her opinions, especially her recent comments concerning the death of world-renowned naturalist Steve Irwin, should have their lips permanently sewn shut and their fingers conveniently removed so that the world will be spared from anymore of these absolutely ignorant thoughts. This wrinkled up excuse for a human being is a disgrace to civilization as a whole. If a person find themselves peering through the scope of a rifle with the crosshairs on Ms. Greer’s head, please don’t hesitate in pulling the trigger. Do it for Steve.

    RIP mate. Thank you for all that you have done to educate the world and the joy and insight that you brought to millions of Americans and the billions around the globe. May the pain brought upon you and your family by this unfortunate tragedy be brought 100 fold upon this embarrassing, self-centered, radical bitch.

  3. 3 giv September 8, 2006 at 9:49 am

    Steves existance made the world a better place for 44 years. His death is a loss to the plight of animals all over the world, although his death has brought attention to his great work.

    Whether Greer has an opinion on Steves “antics” or not has picked a totally inappropriate time to voice them. Did she ever bother to comment when he was still with us? Does she consider the impact her words have on his greiving family? She wrote a book that put the feminism cause in the spotlight – you should’ve just stuck with that, if you are the voice of women, you are doing women no favours now.

    TO THE WHINGERS – crikey mate – what is your problem? Crocodiles and other endangered animals were at the mercy of most of the population that wanted them dead because they were considered a threat to their safety. How can anyone say that he was cruel to animals when most of the complainers would not hesitate to kill a crocodile if you had a gun and was confronted with one. Would you go to a sick or injured crocodile and do what you could to save it like Steve would?? They are not made of glass – they can handle half a dozen people jumping on them to move them to safety. Did you sit down and listen to his words of advise and explanations of what he was actually doing while he was capturing these animals – instead of assume he is torturing them? Did you see him shed real tears of sorrow at the death of animals of all kinds – especially the ones that most people do not care about? He had the same reverence for all creatures – cute and “ugly”. Yes, we all saw him catch snakes and other animals from their peaceful hideaways for him to display them to veiwers. So what? If his actions stopped only one person who watched his show from running off to get a shovel and chop off the head of a snake from fear, then he has done his job of saving that animal. And what is it with his “embarrassing” Australia? He displayed to the world an endearing side that only Australians (although not the british and americanised versions) possess. His enthusiasm made children love him at 1st sight, and we all know children have a profound sense of who is good much more than adults. His open display of love and respect for his family is something not nearly enough of us possess. And you overlook that, to sook about the “baby bob incident”. He did what he did… no-one got hurt and you don’t see anyone else trying to do the same with their new born offspring because of his bad example – get over it. For anyone who cannot see what good he did for the world (not to mention his generosity of spirit to anyone who wanted a piece of him and finances for the betterment of conservation), then I am sad for you. Bitching about someone who had a heart of gold makes your life a waste.

    RIP Steve, you have left behind hope for many animals, a true gesture of your worth. My thoughts are with his family, who I am sure will hold treasured memories of this great man for ever more. He was a beauty, alright.

  4. 4 Jon September 8, 2006 at 10:25 am

    The recent comments made by “the bitch” as im sure she will now be known as, are, and should be condemned by everyone, regardless of what your opinion on Steve Irwin, why? Because Steve isn’t alive to defend himself against such comments, as already mentioned, why did “the bitch” decide to make ‘the’ remarks after his death, why not comment whilst he was alive? I’ll tell you why, because ‘the bitch’ hadn’t got the guts to, all ‘the bitch’ is, is a has-been who is like those third class ‘celebrities’ who jump on those celebrity survivor shows in a vain attempt to get noticed, ‘the bitch’ wants publicity, negative or otherwise doesnt matter for ‘the bitch’. ‘the bitch’ will be remembered for evermore as the one who made ‘those comments’ and you can bet your bottom dollar that ‘the bitch’ is expecting media from around the world to get her on the phone and get her the publicity that she wants from all this. Best thing to do with this animal is let her crawl under the rock that she slithered out of. This is one snake that im sure Steve wouldnt mind us all running over with our landcruiser!

    Steve, whatever your opinion on his character, did for conservation what nobody else has done! Steve had a very outgoing personality, mixed with a great sense of humor, combined to make him a very unique individual and one which Australian, American, British and many other Children (and adults alike) around the world, have come to love and learn from. Australia has many animals that many other countries dont and whilst other countries are happy to rape our oceans of its marine life, it was refreshing to see a person take a genuine interest in protecting our environment, something that modern day governments have failed to do. For the sake of our future generations, Steve should be honored for his efforts to help preserve animals that might otherwise not be noticed or appreciated for future generations. For my kids, thank you steve! Your a one-off. They say the good die young, so Britain, looks like you’ll have ‘the bitch’ for quite a few decades yet!!

  5. 5 chris matuhina September 8, 2006 at 2:17 pm

    Germaine Greer’s comments were totally inappropriate. I mean, the guy’s dead for pete’s sake. Who would ask a feminist what tehy thought of a bloke like Steve Irwine to begin with. I mean,he’s not a gay fashion designer smothering her with fake admiration and free grog ( and he also had his own real opinions ) so it was no surprise the man hater would slag him off. The sooner this slag dies and helps clean the gene pool the better. GG I hope your headstone reads “Good Riddance to a real oxygen thief”.

  6. 6 John Bougoure September 8, 2006 at 11:51 pm

    Germaine Greer is a joke,a pseudo academic certainly no intellectual.This wringled sad excuse for a woman has led a life of negativity whereas, Steve Irwin has led a life of positivity.

    I think this has been, speaks for no one and certainly to no one of her generation.Women’s rights were set back with her writings certainly not put in the forefront of people’s minds for the right reasons.It has taken a few generations for women to know their honoured place in society.However, the truth is they have always been honoured certainly in our household maybe not Germaine’s.

    Germaine shake off the fantasy role that you lead that you are some sort of academic.I have met true intellectuals of our time and you madame are not one of them.I think deep down you know you aren’t the sharpest tool in the shed.Get over it and grow old gracefully not deepen your hate for everything human.

    The truth is you have a severe mental problem, bite the bullet and seek help.

    Steve Irwin was everything positive about the human condition you madame are just a sad twisted soul who has many issues to deal with but has never had the courage to do something about them.You are simply the opposite of this much loved person who is Steve Irwin.

    You will find peace yourself one day but somehow I don’t think anyone will be grieving for you like they have for Steve Irwin.What does that say about you and your life to date?

  7. 7 sharne September 9, 2006 at 10:15 am

    I totally agree with you Chris M. Ms Greer, as the consumate man-hater of the 20th Century and beyond, has behaved as predicted; the spiteful, vindictive, nasty bitch that she is. Of course she just HAD to have an opinion ’cause she never has learned to shut her mouth. Does she really think we give a shit about what she thinks anyway? She is so predictably boring. How could she even contemplate blah- blahing her trashy comments about Steve Irwin, immediately after his death? Very bad taste, Germaine. Very nasty. Once again, boring, boring, ordinary, pitiful excuse for someone who calls themselves “an intelligent female”. Give me a break, Germaine, you embarrass me.

  8. 8 Denise Kerwick September 9, 2006 at 11:26 am

    Germaine Greers comments were a poor and nasty excuse of gaining some attention in the spot light at the misfortune of Steve Irwins death. She is obviously an extremely jealous and misfortunate piece of work and if anything, should have taken a leaf out of Steve’s book and gained some positivity in her life. Her comments are extremely heartless and for someone who is known for her “feminist” views shows no remorse for the feelings of Terri, Steve’s wife who is obviously devastated over his untimely death. Steve was a wonderful, positive and one of the biggest animal lovers i have ever watched. He wil be sadly missed.

  9. 9 Peter McMullen September 10, 2006 at 6:34 am

    So… The has-been author of “The Female Eunuch” demonstrates that her humanity, not to mention intelligence, have been neutered as well.

    Lets review what Ms. Greer has done for wildlife lately… Oh yes… signed up as a housemate on “Big Brother” UK, supposedly to support the Australian rainforest. The depth of her commitment? 5 days before she walked out. Then she has the gall to criticise a man who literally gave his life bringing conservation awareness to millions around the globe.

    Like many insulated, self-important academics of her ilk, Ms. Greer is clueless that, even though she attended all the right universities and once earned a PhD, she is still a no-class ignorant boor.

  10. 10 lynne September 19, 2006 at 11:36 pm

    I totally agree with Germaine Greer. IF Steve Irwins son had been attacked while he was dangling him in front of that croc. the Irwin lovers would be in hiding or realising he was not the so-called defender of animals they so incorrectly think. He was really rather stupid. There are many animal workers who have studied and lived with various animals all over the world who are still alive today because they are not so bloody silly, they do their job, protect the animals without any trumpets heralding their good work. Irwin was a sort of showman who used animals and people including his children to basically show aff!! John Howard has used him also to promote his right wing cause and Irwin was too dumb to realise that. Australia needs to grow up but of course it never will.

  11. 11 lynne September 19, 2006 at 11:39 pm

    I totally agree with Germaine Greer. IF Steve Irwins son had been attacked while he was dangling him in front of that croc. the Irwin lovers would be in hiding or realising he was not the so-called defender of animals they so incorrectly think. He was really rather stupid. There are many animal workers who have studied and lived with various animals all over the world who are still alive today because they are not so bloody silly, they do their job, protect the animals without any trumpets heralding their good work. Irwin was a sort of showman who used animals and people including his children to basically show off!! John Howard has used him also to promote his right wing cause and Irwin was too dumb to realise that. Australia needs to grow up but of course it never will.

  12. 12 John from Brisbane September 20, 2006 at 2:56 am

    Lynne what are you talking about?You really don’t get it do you.Get a grip of reality.

    Steve Irwin because of his theatrics with wildlife has brought us much closer to the wildlife conservation issue. No one denies that there are others out there doing their bit however, who are they, and what have they done. We are none the wiser on wildlife conservation due to their efforts. We don’t know who they are but we do know who Steve Irwin is and what his has done for wildlife conservation. Of course he has done daredevil things but his heart was in the right place. The money he has made from his notoriety has gone back in bucket loads for wildlife conservation. What have you done for wildlife conservation? If you have done as much as him then criticise.

    So he manhandled a few animals….so what! Did he knife them, did he kill them, did he injure them, did he whip them like a lion tamer would do to a lion as that silly old hag suggested. Get a grip they are crocadiles,wild animals, they cop much much heavy hidings in the wild and survive.

    I don’t believe any animal has been badly injured due to his involvement. However, he was. In getting closer to these animals was a brave thing to do and not so dumb as you point out. He knew the risks and took a calculated gamble. He was willing to do this so that we, and even you could understand more about the animal world. Don’t you get it? He was willing sacrifice his life for what he believed in and that was to have an animal kingdom for future generations to protect. HE LOVED ANIMALS!!!

    Get off his back and stop jumping on the I want to be different and be associated with a washout old hag like Germaine Greer. Again, if you think you are being clever by raising the John Howard aspect, think again. Calling people dumb really shows you up. Steve was a proud Australian, and I for one didn’t cringe when he talked his Aussie venacular. Just proves he didn’t need to impress people like a Germaine Greer and her silly pseudo academic followers feel they need to do.

    Get a grip.

    John, Brisbane

  13. 13 tez September 24, 2006 at 4:37 pm

    you can all whinge about how he dangled baby bob infront of a hungry croc all you want. but he knew what he was doing, and i challenge you all to find a better dad than him. bob and bindi were blessed to have such an incredible father. i know no-one can doubt that.

  14. 14 Garry September 26, 2006 at 2:01 am

    Greer misses the point which isn’t surprising. We have to remember that she’s all head and no heart, and mean spirited to boot. She completely failed to have insight into Steve Irwin. If she had, she would see a loving family man, someone who didn’t have a mean bone in his body. Steve was an optimist, always postive and radiated enthusiasm. His handling of animals was a means to end and effective at that. Greer is fast becoming a charicature of herself and getting so predictable. What else would we expect from her? For an excellent critique of her comments see http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1532375,00.html?cnn=yes

  15. 15 lois raynor October 3, 2006 at 7:41 pm

    Greer is right. Why do we have to show bravado by messing with animals armed with teeth or venom. The ocean is not our domain we enter at our own risk. We do not swim well, have no defences and cannot breathe in water.

  16. 16 Gurj October 4, 2006 at 11:15 am

    Who cares what the attention seeking hag thinks? …Steve wasn’t perfect but his passion, enthusiasm and playfulness were infectious, something that dried up a long time ago in the aging Ms Greer.
    When she dies I wonder who’ll be dancing on her grave?

  17. 17 Bianca October 9, 2006 at 3:48 pm

    Wow, how interesting! ‘Bitch’, ‘Hag’, ‘Washed up old bag’ and Ms GREER is the bitter one?? I love it how when a conservative hero dies, all the right-wingers come out of the woodwork to show their true colours! It doesn’t take much to get the ‘b’ word flying does it folks? And I’m sure you’re just dying to use much stronger language too!

    As for Irwin, I completely agree with what Germaine has said. He WAS an animal tormentor, he had very little, if any, respect for the sanctity and dignity of the animal kingdom. Essentially, Steve Irwin was a businessman – he had his hands in many pies, both literally and metaphorically speaking. How many other ‘naturalists’ do you know of that have cooking shows with their 8 yr old daughters!

    What the hell was he doing ‘cuddling’ wild anmials such as a mother orang u tang and her baby? Shouldn’t he have realised that once animals in the wild get the scent of human beings on them they are ostracized by the rest of their community, sometimes even killed? ‘Oh! Oh! Who cares!’ I hear you say!!

    Amazing how respected naturalists such as Jacques Cousteau manage not to get killed prematurely by the animals they investigate. Hmmm, maybe they don’t torment them, don’t invade their territory ??

    How convenient for the Howard govt that Steve and his AMERICAN wife are being celebrated as AUSTRALIAN naturalists! Takes the focus off those bloody ‘Abbo’s’, you know, those people who know more about Australian conservation and wildlife than anybody else on the planet?! But I suppose, why publically give credit to thousands of years worth of knowledge when you can give credit to an eight year old child in designer khaki shorts?? Yes, f#ck the Aboriginals, it’s Bindi Irwin that’s the real Australian naturalist!

    I hope Steve Irwin is resting in peace, but I also hope that parents are smart enough to instruct children that this man lived an unnecesaarily dangerous life. I’m not holding my breath though!

  18. 18 PaulS March 24, 2008 at 4:57 am

    I agree with Bianca on this one.

    I could never understand how he was helping the cause of animals by stalking, pouncing on and grasping the animals (usually around the throat).

    I have spent a lot of time in the ocean. Whenever I have seen a stingray or a giant black manta ray passing by or under me, my instinct and my intelligence tells me no don’t approach them, just give these beautiful creatures some space. Leave them be.

    I still say rest in peace – but I never liked his style with animals.


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