25/10/2015 6:57 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:50 PM AEST

Germaine Greer Defends Her Comments On Transgender Women

Kane Hibberd via Getty Images
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 22: Germaine Greer speaks at The Age Book of the Year Awards as part of the opening night of the Melbourne Writers Festival on August 22, 2008 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kane Hibberd/Getty Images)

You can always rely on Germaine Greer to set the cat among the pigeons when it comes to gender issues - why would we expect any less than extreme controversy when it comes to transgender?

The UK-based Australian academic and author of The Female Eunuch has come under rapid fire for her comments that transgender women were not really women.

Scheduled to speak at Cardiff University for a public lecture, Women & Power: The Lessons of the 20th Century, Ms Greer has now cancelled her appearance after facing a university's Students' Union online petition urging the institution to cancel the event because of her "misogynistic" views.

But she is defending her view and her right to hold an opinion.

Appearing on BBC Newsnight, Greer was characteristically unapologetic for her stance that male-to-female trans people do not "look like, sound like or behave like women" after surgery.

Asked to clarify her comments, Ms Greer said: "I'm not saying that people should not be allowed to have the procedure, all I'm saying is that it doesn't make them a woman.

"This happens to be an opinion, it's not a prohibition. Carry on if that's what you think you want to do," she said.

She also said that Caitlyn Jenner "wanted the limelight that the other female members of the (Kardashian) family were enjoying and has conquered it just like that."

As for cancelling her lecture, she said: "I'm getting a bit old for all this, I'm 76, I don't want to go down there and be screamed at and have things thrown at me. Bugger it."

Asked by the interviewer if she would consider saying something "ameliorating", Ms Greer said without hesitation: "No".

Watch the full interview here: