Mary Beard has received widespread support after being abused by a critic for her looks.
Cambridge’s feistiest Don reacted angrily this week after falling foul of loudmouth critic AA Gill.
Mary Beard, Professor of Classics at Newnham, joined the ranks of high flying professional women in UK public life to attract the attention of the poison pen of Gill in his Sunday Times review, sparking a storm of online controversy.
Reviewing Professor Beard’s new TV programme Meet the Romans the recovered alcoholic suggested that she was too ugly to be on camera and implied that she should appear on ‘The Undateables’, a channel 4 programme featuring mentally disabled and facially disfigured participants.
AA Gill… probably shouldn’t talk about what others look like on camera…
Beard, admitting that the comments were ‘pretty hurtful’, has since hit back with a series of coruscating responses to Stone-Age Gill across major newspapers, claiming that his lack of education means “he thinks that he can pass off insults as wit.”
In a particularly cutting evaluation of the mental capacities of the man dubbed ‘Britain’s leading Misogynist bore’ Beard wrote “Even the greenest of my students would not present me with an essay as ill-argued and off the point as Gill’s critique.”
The comments have met with huge support across the internet and the national press, as well as the twittersphere. Leading BBC Sports Presenter Claire Balding, previously described by Gill as a ‘dyke on a bike’, was particularly quick to state her support for Professor Beard. Speaking out on her Twitter account, she wrote “‘Ah yes, the great **** Gill. The bizarre thing about him being a TV reviewer is that he hates television and most/all women on it’.”
The Wikipedia page, as edited by Beard fans
Writing in the Daily Mail, Beard has offered Gill the opportunity to come and explain his views to her in person in her office at Newnham.
However, given his preference for sniping at intelligent and successful women across the safety of the web, it seems likely that this is one supervision that he will be keen to avoid.