Now Age journalist Tracee Hutchison has leapt to her defence. According to Tracee, the attacks on Germaine Greer can be best explained thus:
It had everything to do with a dominant male power-base telling women to be seen and not heard. Of marginalising a particular kind of woman and reducing us to condition and circumstance. Of reminding those of us who like to speak our mind to watch our step, to remember our place and to shut up and agree with the menfolk.
This take on things only goes to show that Tracee is as far removed from grassroots Australia as Germaine - and Germaine at least has the excuse of being an expat.
In my workplace and in my family it was the women who grieved most about Steve Irwin's death and who were angriest about Greer's comments. In fact, I took it to be one of those occasions which reveals the profound differences between men and women.
I admired Steve Irwin and was shocked to hear of his death, but I continued on as usual. My wife, though, really did experience sorrow for several days, both for Steve Irwin himself and his wife and children.
We ended up watching some of Steve Irwin's wildlife videos together, including one recording his life story. The videos only reinforced my admiration for the man: for his courage, his energy and enthusiasm and his direct, unmediated appreciation of life - so much in contrast to the ironic, post-modernist tone of Greer's own writings.
And I think that Tracee Hutchison has things the wrong way round. What we have seen is not a patriarchy trying to cut down uppity feminists. It is feminists reacting badly to a man who was never cut down in size, not even in a feminist age.