Mary Beard: vocal women treated as ‘freakish androgynes’ in Guardian

Here’s an article that I can identify with, as a female psychiatric survivor activist and recent convert to feminism in my 60’s.  After reading Bonnie Burstow, feminist author and academic, and her comment that “ECT is a gentleman’s way of battering a woman” and that everyone is treated like a woman in psychiatric settings.

 ‘Mary Beard (@wmarybeard): vocal women treated as ‘freakish androgynes’: Academic who has faced online abuse says prejudice against women is hardwired over two

millennia, from Homer to Twitter’ – Guardian, 14 February 2014:

The first recorded instance of a man telling a woman to “shut up” was at the start of Homer’s Odyssey, when Telemachus, son of Penelope and Odysseus, tells his mother speech is a man’s business. The same language is used today in trolling, she argued. “What’s the connection between publicly speaking out in support of a female logo on a banknote, Twitter threats of rape and decapitation, and Telemachus’s putdown of Penelope?

Mary Beard OBE is professor of classics at the University of Cambridge

Mary Beard (from Guardian article)

 “It doesn’t much matter what line you take as a woman – if you venture into traditional male territory the abuse comes anyway. It is not what you say it that prompts it – it is the fact that you are saying it.

You can perfectly well say: ‘Look at you, Beard. You have got fantastic opportunities to get your voice heard.’ Yet the fact remains women who put their head above the parapet have a much harder time than men. We have got to think about that in a calm, historical analytical way.

 “We just have got to have a bit more onsciousness-raising, old-fashioned feminist consciousness-raising. How do we use language? Why does it matter? And how does it put women down?

 Great stuff!


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