The TV presenter and Cambridge professor Mary Beard has spoken out about the “gobsmacking” online misogyny she received after her appearance on BBC's Question Time.
Writing on her Times Literary Supplement blog “A Don’s Life”, the classics professor said: “I'm outing this because I have a thick skin and, in the end, speculation on the size of my vagina doesn't move me half as much as worrying about the next chapter of my book I'm supposed to write. But then I'm lucky.”
Beard, best known for her TV show Meet the Romans, revealed she had found web posts discussing the length of her pubic hair, the capaciousness of her vagina and whether or not she needed “rogering”.
Other messages said:
“Mary, Mary quite Clunge-hairy, how does your Lady Garden grow?”
“Hairy Beard, Professor of Farts at Cunstsford University, living the dream.”
“Being a c—- transcends gender, Mary.”
Photos of female genitalia “dressed up” as the academic with glasses were also posted.
Beard said: “The misogyny here is truly gobsmacking…It would be quite enough to put many women off appearing in public [and] contributing to public debate.”
She continued: “But is it just a kind of rugby club joke misfired? Reading through it…it is absolutely plain as day that it is meant to hurt and wound. It shows the classic signs of vile playground bullying.”
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