May 02, 2012

If an injury has to be done...

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If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.

This world is a nasty, vile, negative, bitchy, backstabbing place. I find myself less and less inclined to take any interest in what is going on around me.  I am so worn out by the hatred thrown around in the social world. 

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There are vipers in the media who focus on the physicality of an individual, whether they have the latest style haircut, immaculately dyed hair to hide those grey / white hairs; whether the clothing is modern or stylish or is dated and frumpy.

Currently, it is the war of words against Cambridge Professor, Mary Beard and her BBC production Meet the Romans.  The vitriol directed at Mary is eye watering and stomach churning. She must be a confident woman to put on such a strong face in public. I would not have been able to do it.

Mary Beard - Image Source
Twitter and A.A Gill launched the first attack.

A.A. Gill - Image Source
Now Samantha Brick is taking sloppy seconds, telling anyone who will listen, Mary is “too ugly for TV”. It makes me wonder how any woman sticks their head above the parapet when to do so is to unleash the hounds.

Samantha Brick - Image Source
Before they began their attacks, I had never heard of A.A Gill or Samantha Brick. Apparently one is a food critic, the other apparently writes a column in the D*i*y M*i*, a paper I will never buy or support.

Brick, about a month or so ago, wrote a column about how she is so beautiful nobody likes her. Her female friends are jealous when men buy her bottles of wine or pay for her train tickets. She goes into great depth in the article but I found in nauseating both then, and now so you will have to excuse me for not going into detail. I think Brick genuinely believes what she writes so power to her I guess.

Mary Beard wrote a brilliant repost to A.A. Gill, about her “revenge”. The piece beautifully thought out and executed. As my Aunty often said to me, “you can almost anything when you smile”. I wait in a small amount of anticipation at what might develop from Mary in response to Brick.

I think Mary is wonderful. From the first episode, I thought and knew here is a woman who knows her stuff. Knowledgeable, accurate, concise. What I like the most, she is someone who starts to giggle at the joke about to be made before it is made. It made the program feel like a conversation rather than a dry and dusty history lesson. For me, a dry and dusty history lesson is what the Romans had become for me. In my high-school history classes we learnt about their conquests, and on TV you learn about their bath houses, and their hyper-courses and their mosaics. All, unarguably, amazing achievements and in need of remembrance, but with little real meaning.  The ‘things’ I was given as learning tools for the Romans never told me who they were. I wanted to know what the women were doing, what were their social rituals, why did they do what they did. None of my teachers ever gave me this knowledge and, as a seventeen year old, there was no real reason why I would go and look this up because I had other historical avenues open to me that were, essentially, far more interesting.

So to Mary Beard, I say THANK YOU! Thank you for delving into who the Romans were. Thank you for taking me back to the history of a people I had come to not like very much because of my high school education and thank you for being such an amazing woman in the face of bigotry, misogyny and arrogance.

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