I always suspected Morrissey was a terrible human being. It’s not as though he made much effort to hide it. It’s there on The Smiths’ first album – the ghoulishness of Suffer Little Children, the misogyny of Pretty Girls Make Graves (“yes,” I’d tell myself, “but he doesn’t women like mean me”).
Now that he’s come out as a fully-fledged racist – since Bengali In Platforms and National Front Disco were deemed insufficiently damning evidence – it’s time for former fans to face up to all the crap they excused. As someone who once identified I Know It’s Over as a personal anthem (for what, I don’t know), it’s shaming. Moments of sensitivity, even genius, can’t provide a cover for hate. “Hear my voice in your head and think of me kindly?” I’ll try not to, if it’s all the same.
Today we find that feminism has its very own Morrissey: Germaine Greer. Back in the day, we all tell ourselves, she was great. She expressed the things we couldn’t. If only she’d shut up now!
Why is Greer ruining her legacy with statements such as “most rapes are just lazy, just careless, insensitive”? Why is she condemning the #metoo movement when she could be standing shoulder to shoulder with those calling for accountability after sexual assault?
Why, in other words, has she changed so much? We loved her! She was one of us! Except, as with Union Jack-draped Morrissey, the signs were always there.