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Oh Do Shut Up Dear! Mary Beard on the Public Voice of Women

  • Education

Summary

From torn-out tongues to modern-day internet trolls, professor Mary Beard shares her belief that women's voices have been silenced throughout history, using examples ranging from the writings of Henry James to Homer's Odyssey and threatening posts on social media. Recorded at the British Museum as part of the London Review of Books Winter Lecture series.

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Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

From the dawn of Western culture in Homer’s Odyssey, where Telemachus orders his pining mother Penelope, “Go back up into your quarters… speech will be the business of men”, women’s voices have not been heard in the public sphere, argues classics professor Mary Beard.

In her lecture The Public Voice of Women, given as part of The London Review of Books talks, the Cambridge don explores “the relationship between that classic Homeric moment of silencing a woman and some of the ways women’s voices are not publicly heard in our own contemporary culture, and in our own politics, from the front bench to the shop floor”.

Drawing on her own experience of misogyny, as well as that of women through the ages from Elizabeth I to Margaret Thatcher, Beard examines why women’s voices are dismissed and often ridiculed, and what can be done to overcome this deeply rooted prejudice. Hers is definitely not the voice of a weak and feeble woman.

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Cast

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PresenterMary Beard

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DirectorJohn Smith
Executive ProducerPauline Law
ProducerMark Crossan
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