Beard, Women & Power


This was my first book by Mary Beard I've read. I have been procrastinating starting SPQR. Every now and then I decide I am going to start it, and then I read a page or two before remembering that I have never, ever had any interest in Rome.

At the same time, Beard is obviously a huge inspiration in basically every way. This book, Women & Power is basically just a pamphlet. I read the whole thing in a morning while drinking coffee. She talks about women in classical writing, specifically returning to the topic of voicelessness, and the various ways in antiquity woman were praised, punished and excluded for use and disuse of their voices. I found it very moving, as I am not an excellent communicator, and that seems to come from a lack of confidence that chokes me up as words come out of my mouth.

I have to say one negative thing. She suffers a bit from Wallace Shawn syndrome, where she talks a lot about the current political sphere, and I found that a little jarring.