Speak up, says Broadly fave Mary Beard
Turns out the notion it’s somehow not ladylike to have strong opinions and be willing to voice them in public has incredibly deep roots. In both ancient Greece and Rome, intellectuals and leaders did their best to silence vociferous women.
This is according to brilliant historian Mary Beard, who recently gave a London Review of Books lecture at the British Museum on the public voice of women. For more than 2,000 years, women have been criticised, vilified, scorned or ignored for deigning to have something to say.
The lecture is quite a long read, but Beard keeps it interesting, with references ranging from the Odyssey to Match of the Day. Remarking that vocal women are often described as strident, whiny or whinging, she says.
“So far as I can see from a quick Google trawl, the only other group in this country said to ‘whine’ as much as women are unpopular Premiership football managers on a losing streak.”