Women & Power by Mary Beard

Women & Power

At long last, Mary Beard addresses in one brave book the misogynists and trolls who mercilessly attack and demean women the world over, including, very often, Mary herself. In Women & Power, she traces the origins of this misogyny to its ancient roots, examining the pitfalls of gender and the ways that history has mistreated strong women since time immemorial. As far back as Homer’s Odyssey, Beard shows, women have been prohibited from leadersh...

Details Women & Power

TitleWomen & Power
Release DateDec 12th, 2017
GenreNonfiction, Feminism, History, Writing, Essays, Politics

Reviews Women & Power

  • Bookdragon Sean
    I question the intelligence and moral integrity of any man who does not consider himself a feminist, and I also question the fact that I am the only male in my friend’s list to read this book. Books like this are so vitally important, important for both men and women. So go read it! I’m not trying to shame my male friends, but merely point out the imbalance in the readers of this book, at least, here on goodreads. Why is this I wonder? Mary a...
  • Ina Cawl
    It is a shame for women to be loudI don’t know who told me this this stupid wisdom and I don’t remember Maybe in my school or maybe in my house but nevertheless I feel guilty for believing it.Why some men or most of traditional men are scared of women talking loudly, what about women doest those feel irritated by it ?Lack of public speaking to group of people was curse that befell on women for most of time and still now that right to speak in...
  • Lisa
    We've come a long way. If we compare our lives today with any earlier time and our place here in Northern Europe with any other place, we should celebrate. And there is nothing wrong with celebrating either, for example by reading an entertaining volume on the voice and power of women - written by one of the many women who have used the luck of time and place well - to become a professor with a clear and loud, and female voice.So, let's celebrate...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    This is a very thought-provoking read, as long as you understand what it is - the texts of two speeches Mary Beard has given in the 21st century. Honestly, I do wish she'd used them as a starting point and written a much longer book about the topic, because I think she is drawing some connections I have not seen before - between classical imagery and modern politics, the cultural precedents for the oppression of women in the oldest literature, et...
  • Thomas
    A splendid start to the discussion about the silencing of women and how patriarchy precludes them from gaining power. Mary Beard traces the roots of this hatred against women back to Greek and Roman mythology, and she connects these historical examples to the modern-day mistreatment of women like Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton. My favorite part of this book: how Beard argues that instead of trying to make women powerful like men, we should ...
  • Nicola
    I pretty much wanted to underline the whole thing. Review coming in The Big Issue soon.
  • Trish
    This book is two lectures modified and dispensing the understanding of a classicist with regard to “The Public Role of Women,” the very title of the first lecture. My markers are all in the second lecture, delivered in March 2017 and titled “Women in Power.” Mary Beard applies her knowledge of ancient languages and civilizations to uncover for us the origins of our notions of sexuality and power. It is not all she knows. It is merely her ...
  • Monika
    There's really nothing new here, but Mary Beard does a wonderful job bringing classical history/misogyny into the 21st century. My biggest complaint is that it just didn't go far enough. I would have loved a full length book on the subject, and she did raise some really interesting comparisons. It just wasn't fleshed out enough for me, and I think it's a better pick for readers just getting started with feminist texts.
  • Ted
    4 1/2 the authorBeard, born in 1955, is the author of the popular SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome (2015 finalist National Book Critics Award for non-fiction), and is Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge and the Classics editor of the Times Literary Supplement. She makes frequent media appearances, gives many public lectures, and is active on social media. The Wiki article about Beard ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Be... ) re...
  • Hannah
    I don’t have all that much too say about this book which is why my review will be rather on the short side (quite like the book). This book collects two speeches Mary Beard has given, one called “The Public Voice Of Women” and one “Women & Power” and as speeches I am sure this worked wonderfully. As a book however, it really fell a bit short for me. I might not be the target audience and this might work better as an introduction to femi...
  • Raymond
    "When it comes to silencing women, Western culture has had thousands of years of practice." -Mary BeardBeard’s Women & Power is a collection of two lectures that she gave in 2014 and 2017 both on the subject on how women are treated and perceived in the public sphere and the historical roots of this treatment. Beard shows through her lectures that the silencing of women as well as the way we view women in power has its roots in Greek and Roman ...
  • Becky
    I will get straight to the point, with no ladylike silly shally.... this is bloody brilliant.
  • Tiffany Reisz
    Damn, women have it tough in this world. Good thing I’m not a...what was that? I am? Shit.
  • Paul
    4.5 stars rounded upThis brief book is based on two lectures, one from 2014 and one from 2017 by Mary Beard. Beard is a classicist and historian, a very good one. The primary subject is female voice and silence and is very much concerned with misogyny and links to the abuse Beard and others have experienced on social media. Given the recent revelations relating to Harvey Weinstein and the current social media landscape it is a much needed wake up...
  • Alice Lippart
    Very interesting, especially liked how Beard draws parallels to ancient history.
  • Kristen
    I would probably give this a 3.5. This book offers a wealth of history on the treatment of women, particularly in regards to their attempts at having an accepted public voice. As others stated, where this book falls short is in its offering of any strong solutions to the problem. Granted, when I stopped to really think about it, I had a difficult time coming up with any solutions either. How do we go about correcting a problem that has been so de...
  • Julie Ehlers
    There have been a lot of tiny feminist books published recently, and there's not much point in comparing them—just read them all; they all have worthwhile things to say. Nevertheless, I thought Women & Power was more fun to read than Rebecca Solnit's small volumes and had more depth than Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie's. I liked the look at the classical world (something I haven't thought about much since my university days), and I thought she made s...
  • Bfisher
    This is a repackaging of two essays written for the London Review of Books in 2014 ("The Public Voice of Women") and 2017 (Women In Power). As a classical scholar, she has some illuminating comments about long running cultural constraints on the voices of women in the public sphere.
  • Anna Baillie-Karas
    A gem. Crisp, erudite writing on women and power. Especially interesting about women’s voices and how they are silenced, ignored or worse. Up to the minute but draws on the classics (Mary Beard’s specialty). Beard says we should redefine power so women can participate in different ways. Lightly written but much food for thought. My first of her books but won’t be the last.
  • Joanna Flis
    A very important book. Loud voice about voiceless women.
  • Jaya
    At the beginning itself Beard mentions that this is mainly about Women vis-a-vis Power wrt to "the western civilization". Drawing examples from Classical Graeco-Roman times and creating parallels with contemporary incidents/events makes this quite an engaging read. The arguments and issues that Beard throws up surely will resonate with most of us in some way or the other.I wish there were similar studies, (there very well might be and am ignorant...
  • Abigail Bok
    Women are having a moment—though this aged cynic believes it will last only a moment. And into this moment steps Mary Beard, a British classical scholar who has taken more than her share of abuse, mostly via the Internet, to speak truth to power (or at least truth to trolls). In response to the haters she published two essays in the London Review of Books, in 2014 and 2017; and this slim volume is a reissue of those essays, with some emendation...
  • Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)
    Read in one late-train-journey gulp and very much enjoyed. There isn’t a lot new here from a feminist theory perspective but I really appreciated how Mary Beard foregrounds the impact of speech and speech imagery. It’s engaging, thoughtful and so inventive in the connections made between the classical and the contemporary world. I just wish it was longer, with more space to expand.
  • Debbie
    And here I thought I’d read pretty much everything on feminism...NOT! Beard took me back to Greek and Roman mythology. How the silencing of women in these myths translate to the present. She uses examples of modern day women such as Hillary Clinton, and Elizabeth Warren to really drive home her point. I was amazed at just how relevant these early myths are. What a fascinating and short read!
  • Jo (An Unexpected Bookish Geek)
    "When it comes to silencing women, Western culture has had thousands of years of practice"I love Mary Beard. She's clever, interesting and really raises some rather thought provoking issues. I have enjoyed watching her documentaries, and when I noticed she had written "Women and Power" I'll admit, I was quite delighted.This rather short book consists of two lectures given in different years based on the subject of the treatment of women in societ...
  • Steven
    "If we want to give women as a gender—and not just in the shape of a few determined individuals—their place inside the structures of power, we have to think harder about how and why we think as we do. If there is a cultural template, which works to disempower women, what exactly is it and where do we get it from?" (58)
  • Kristi
    Reading a book with this title while on public transit felt like an act of aggression. Which is I guess exactly why books like this are necessary.
  • TheSkepticalReader
    A really great book that gives you something to think about. My only complaint is that while Beard acknowledges the ‘power’ she discusses in her essay is ‘high end’ (elitist), she doesn’t actually delve into a different way we might consider power.Nonetheless, every thread from Lysistrata to Herland to Medusa is worth exploration in here.
  • Rebecca Foster
    Beard argues that, ever since the time of the Greeks and Romans, women have been silenced and held back from power, which is concomitant with public prestige. Now the need is not for women to infiltrate that structure – possibly meeting with a glass ceiling – but for the structure itself to be changed. These two essays, based on lectures Beard gave at the British Museum in 2014 and 2017, capably set out the problem with lots of examples, but ...