Posts Tagged ‘mary beard’

Quote of the day: TROLLS

August 28, 2014

TROLLS

There is an injunction among users of social media that one should not pay attention to online detractors. There is even a Twitter account, @AvoidComments, which issues monitory statements: “You wouldn’t listen to someone named Bonerman26 in real life. Don’t read the comments.” [Mary] Beard argues, instead, that comments sections expose attitudes that have long remained concealed in places like locker rooms and bars. Bonerman26 exists; his vileness should be contended with. In this spirit, she posted the image of herself-as-genitalia on her blog—it was surely the first time that the T.L.S. site might have needed a Not Safe for Work warning—and suggested possible responses for her supporters to take, such as flooding the offending message board with Latin poetry. The story made international news, and the message board soon shut down…

In another highly publicized incident, Beard retweeted a message that she had received from a twenty-year-old university student: “You filthy old slut. I bet your vagina is disgusting.” One of Beard’s followers offered to inform the student’s mother of his online behavior; meanwhile, he apologized. Beard’s object is not simply to embarrass offenders; it is to educate women. Before social media, she argues, it was possible for young women like those she teaches at Cambridge to enjoy the benefits of feminist advances without even being aware of the battles fought on their behalf, and to imagine that such attitudes are a thing of the past. Beard says, “Most of my students would have denied, I think, that there was still a major current of misogyny in Western culture.”

The university student, after apologizing online, came to Cambridge and took Beard out to lunch; she has remained in touch with him, and is even writing letters of reference for him. “He is going to find it hard to get a job, because as soon as you Google his name that is what comes up,” she said. “And although he was a very silly, injudicious, and at that moment not very pleasant young guy, I don’t actually think one tweet should ruin your job prospects.”

–Rebecca Mead, profiling classics scholar Mary Beard for The New Yorker

photo by Victoria Hely-Hutchinson

photo by Victoria Hely-Hutchinson

 

In this week’s New Yorker

August 28, 2014

The three long features are all worth reading, for very different reasons.

Rebecca Mead’s “The Troll Slayer,” a profile of British classics scholar Mary Beard, is the most entertaining because its subject is so self-accepting and outspoken and reasonable.

The subject of William Finnegan’s “The Man Without a Mask” — Mexican drag queen wrestler Saul Armendariz, aka Cassandro — sounds both tough and tortured, not unreasonably, given the amazing life he’s lived and the profession he has pursued. It’s a world I knew nothing about. Check out this amazing photo by Katie Olinsky:

cassandro by katie orlinsky

Connie Bruck’s “Friends of Israel” belongs to the category of Ugly Truths Department — one of the New Yorker’s political pieces that informs you about stuff you don’t really want to know but you really should, namely the negative impact that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has had on American politics by pouring tons of campaign money into Congress and enforcing an ironclad Israel-can-do-no-wrong attitude. Ugh. In its own way, AIPAC is as troublesome as the Koch brothers.

I gobbled up Lena Dunham’s “Difficult Girl,” but something about the glib way she plays her lifelong OCD for trendy status bugs me.

And another great cover by Eric Drooker, titled “Ferguson, Missouri”

new yorker ferguson cover

%d bloggers like this: