The gorgeous dark taupe lizard-effect leather handbag, which retails for £1,485 and boasts a deceptively roomy interior fully lined in espresso canvas, looked both sophisticated and sexy as it provided the finishing touch to another eye-catching outfit effortlessly carried off by the respected academic, cultural theorist and ardent critic of the commercialisation of sexuality and women’s bodies.
‘As proponents of female liberation go, there are few better dressed than the Professor Emerita of English Literature and Comparative Studies at Warwick University,’ said a Grazia magazine photo-feature. ‘Germaine is the pin-up girl of feminism, as surefooted in the cut and thrust of intellectual debate as she is on the catwalk of the high street. To women everywhere she remains an inspiration for her unflagging commitment to feminist causes and stylish accessorising.’
The respected feminist, who in her groundbreaking book The Female Eunoch argued that women had been alientated from their libido by a male society which sought to make them docile and subjugated, wasted no time in spotting the beautiful hand-stiched bag with ‘Y’-detailed snap-fastening tab in a trendy Knightsbridge boutique, before acting on her desires and boldly asserting her right to ownership. Commentators have described the impulse buy as being ‘as significant as Simone de Beauvoir’s unwavering insistence on the compatibility of a feminist existential aesthetic and the two-piece bathing costume’.
‘Germaine is a formidable presence in both modern feminist discourse and the dialectics of fashion,’ said Elaine Showalter, author of Toward a Feminist Poetics and pioneer of gynocriticism. ‘As the power struggle between the sexes has continued, she has consistently inspired new generations of women by never losing sight of the need to construct powerful arguments for gender equality from a position of having a versatile seasonal wardrobe accented with touches of contemporary styles.’
Germaine Greer’s new book, The Female Body: Patriarchal Capitalism’s Final Frontier, is out in hardback next week with a simply stunning limited-edition mauve dust jacket and free Chanel perfume sample.