Fiona Bruce has criticised the “hideously misogynistic” online abuse many high-profile women receive.
“I'm astonished at the freedom with which a depressingly large number of men feel they can just say what they want and write the most hideously misogynistic stuff about women.”
Women including Mary Beard, Rebecca Adlington and Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry have all been subjected to internet trolling.
Adlington has managed to overcome her appearance insecurities, which were exacerbated by critical online comments, after reportedly undergoing nose-slimming surgery in February.
Bruce says she never foresaw the extent of internet abuse that famous women might receive.
“I look at my daughter and think, ‘God, I didn’t think this was coming your way’. I really didn’t,” she told the Radio Times.
“The misogyny on the internet is a whole area that you and I would never have thought was coming.”
She noted that female presenters are treated differently to their male counterparts.
“Having said that, they’re all good-looking men – I can’t think of a male presenter who isn’t a good-looking bloke – but, you know, they’re not judged by their suits and ties,” she said.
However, she pointed that out that attitudes about women on television are changing, thanks to talented reporters including BBC chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet.
“Because when you listen to Lyse, you don’t think, ‘What is she wearing?’ Most of the time it’s a flak jacket,” she added. “What you think is, ‘God – she’s in the middle of Aleppo risking her life.’”