The feminist Germaine Greer, in a move that might surprise those well acquainted with the career of The Female Eunuch author, has enlisted the help of a teenage male model to put her case for the supremacy of boys.
Greer, 64, posed with 18-year-old James Taylor for ITV's South Bank Show tomorrow. Her argument, which she also puts forward in a new book, The Boy, is that it is traditionally the figure of the young male - not the female - that represents the ultimate in human beauty. In the film, the writer and academic visits Paris, Florence and Rome and interviews the boy band Westlife to trace artists' obsession with the boy from ancient Greece to the present day.
Women, too, have always looked at boys for pleasure and should be encouraged to do so, she says. "There are many ways in which a boy is an ideal fantasy partner for a woman."
Apart from being "easier to manage", he has more staying power in bed than an older man, she argues.