Beard Blasts Sexist Gill

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

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.

  • What a


  • Classic Cambridge

    When I grow up, I want to be Mary Beard.

  • Meh

    He's right that she's unusually ugly for television, but I wasn't going to watch her documentaries anyway.

    • huh

      You really think she's ugly? I think she's just your average lady of her age. It's true she's not an airbrushed orange twenty-something, but there's loads of men her age on TV who aren't any better looking than her.
      Also, don't know why it's ok to say that someone's ugly just because she's on TV.

      • Meh

        I probably didn't phrase that in the best way. What I mean is not that she's ugly compared to the general population – I agree she looks perfectly fine. I meant only that she is less physically attractive than other women on TV.

        I think putting yourself into the public sphere, you have to be willing to accept criticism, whether or not it's irrelevant.

  • serious though

    i think you're using 'recovered alcoholic' as a pejorative, and i don't think that's a good thing

    • alan gabriel

      Aren't you the one assuming that recovered alcoholic is being used in a negative sense? That says more about your own prejudices than it does about the article.

      • weak

        no seriously that is fucking weak

        • alan gabriel

          Looks like you can't see past your own prejudices. I hope some day you'll grow out of your biggoted beliefs and realise that being a recovered alcoholic isn't something that people should be ashamed of.

          • serious though

            no, stop being intentionally idiotic. for one, every other phrase/word used to describe gill is pretty unambiguously negative. for two, why would it even be mentioned it if it wasn't being used as a slur? it's of absolutely no relevance to the article.

            if i was prejudiced against recovered/ing alcoholics, why would i have bothered commenting?

            • alan gabriel

              The fact that you automatically assume that "recovered alcoholic" is an insult shows that you think it is something to be ashamed of and betrays your subconscious biases against recovered alcoholics. Look at the tenuous reasoning you use to justify your bigoted assumptions. I wonder if you would be so quick to leap to the idea that saying someone had red hair, for example, were an insult if AA Gil were described as having it red hair in the article?
              You might have good intentions but really by making such comments you are just perpetuating a culture of biase and bigotry against recovered alcoholics.
              I hope you will be more sensitive in the future and not leap to hurtful conclusions.

              • mate.

                either you're a complete clod or a boring troll, either way i think you should be quiet

                • alan gabriel

                  I for one don't think it's acceptable to live in a society where groups are persecuted against.

                  You might think it's fine or that I should get a sense of humor but I don't. Frankly I find your irreverance towards the perpetuation of negative assumptions against recovered alcoholics disgusting.

    • gabriel Alan

      I for one think that calling a woman a Beard is a terrible slur(p)

  • Dr GUYK

    A. A. Gill doesn't snipe "across the safety of the web", he writes for The Sunday Times which has a ciruclation of about a million.

  • sad

    Want to see the wikipedia page but it's not working…

  • recovered alcoholic


  • the real story
  • The Undateables is

    comedy gold

  • umm

    It's interesting that you say things like "suggested" and "implied" instead of actually using quotes from the article.

  • Robert Aske


  • themoneyanorak

    She animates the past because I suspect she understands the present: she understands how arbitrary are time's divisions. She does not write joke columns for a fading Sunday newspaper; she does not make her readers feel better by mocking a collective third party.

    • Nice pretentiousness

      1) your first sentence perfectly fits HG Frankfurt's definition of 'bullshit'.
      2) as for your second, yes: instead, she writes for the Daily Fail making herself feel better by mocking a singular third party for mocking her. Her article can be summarised like this: 'I might be ugly, but you're dumb, and I'm really smart.'

      Seriously, I don't know why people are cheerleading this embarrassing and self-regarding article of Beard's. AA Gill is a twat, but the enemy of our enemy is not necessarily our friend.

      • You're pretentious

        And the enemy of your enemy is your ally.

  • isn't it

    as anyone who's ever tried breathing underwater will know, beards always hamper gills.

    • good comment

      shit name

  • Synthesis
  • Pingback: I am old … hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore! – sibylesque()

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