Had To Share: New Yorker Profile of Mary Beard

About her, not by her. Deals with the trolling things at the start - near the end she chats about objects in the museum. I'd have loved to read the complete interview from that!

 

The Troll Slayer: A Cambridge classicist takes on her sexist detractors.

Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, Sept 1, 2014

 

"In February, Mary Beard, a classics professor at the University of Cambridge, gave a lecture at the British Museum titled “Oh Do Shut Up Dear!” With amiable indignation, she explored the many ways that men have silenced outspoken women since the days of the ancients. Her speech, which was filmed by the BBC, was learned but accessible—a tone that she has regularly displayed on British television, as the host of popular documentaries about Pompeii and Rome. She began her talk with the Odyssey, and what she referred to as the first recorded instance of a man telling a woman that “her voice is not to be heard in public”: Telemachus informing his mother, Penelope, that “speech will be the business of men” and sending her upstairs to her weaving. Beard progressed to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, in which Tereus rapes Philomela and then cuts out her tongue so that she cannot denounce him. Beard alighted on Queen Elizabeth and Sojourner Truth before arriving at Jacqui Oatley, a BBC soccer commentator repeatedly mocked by men who were convinced that a woman couldn’t possibly understand the sport. A columnist for The Spectator, Beard noted, currently runs an annual competition to name the “most stupid woman” to appear on the current-affairs show “Question Time.”

 

Also it's killing me that there are only clips of that speech online. Why I can't actually give the BBC money to watch it?!

 

Also it's quite wrong that I still haven't made time to read her book on Pompeii. Mostly from lack of time atm.

 

Related reading (which might be the text of that Shut Up speech?):

 

The Public Voice of Women

Mary Beard, London Review of Books, Vol. 36 No. 6, 20 March 2014, pages 11-14