Apparently, Mary Beard isn’t very bright.

I know. I was a bit shocked too. After all, even the misogynists who edit Wikipedia seem pretty excited about Beard’s accomplishments:

She is Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge, a fellow of Newnham College, and Royal Academy of Arts professor of ancient literature. She is also the classics editor of the Times Literary Supplement, and author of the blog, “A Don’s Life”, which appears in The Times as a regular column. Her frequent media appearances and sometimes-controversial public statements have led to her being described as “Britain’s best-known classicist”

If even they have worked out Prof Mary Beard is actually rather brilliant, you’d think even the nincompoops which inhabit Twitter would notice. But, nope. A whole lot of them have spent the better part of the past two days telling Prof Mary Beard that she’s confused, misunderstood, and that perhaps she just didn’t read the open letter she signed that was published in the Observer this weekend.

The misogynistic arrogance of assuming a woman is incapable of reading a letter and making her own decision to sign is breathtaking. That’s without factoring in the ageism of the responses – or the abusive and threatening language. The fact that Mary Beard is quite obviously far more intelligent than all those nincompoops together is totally by-the-by.

The comments directed at Prof Beard by men & women, including those who claim to be feminists, demonstrate the erasure of older women in our culture. Prof Beard is perhaps the most renowned classist in the UK. Her academic credentials are ones most could only dream of – but, people dismiss her as a silly little woman with piss-poor reading skills and an inability to do research. This is why I signed the open letter.Denigrating women as incapable of independent thought is the patriarchy in action.

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