Women & Power: A Manifesto – Mary Beard

Women & Power is the second book I read b Mary Beard after Civilisations, and it won’t be the last one. The book, which contains two different speeches of her, questions the place of women in power.


When it comes to silencing women, Western culture has had thousands of years of practice.

Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
Women & Power A Manifesto - Mary Beard

I think this is a book that men should read rather than women. I don’t know any women who aren’t questioned for their intelligence or success just because they are women. I’m sure you’ll see the same thing when you look back and think about it. Beard starts from Homer’s Odysseia to explain the injustices. Looking at our present time, one can see that the changes are not enough. This is a short yet powerful book; you have to take time to read. Enjoy!

About the book: Women & Power: A Manifesto

Why the popular resonance of ‘mansplaining’ (despite the intense dislike of the term felt by many men)? It hits home for us because it points straight to what it feels like not to be take seriously: a bit like when I get lecture on Roman history on Twitter.

Britain’s best-known classicist Mary Beard, is also a committed and vocal feminist. With wry wit, she revisits the gender agenda and shows how history has treated powerful women. Her examples range from the classical world to the modern day, from Medusa and Athena to Theresa May and Hillary Clinton. Beard explores the cultural underpinnings of misogyny, considering the public voice of women, our cultural assumptions about women’s relationship with power, and how powerful women resist being package into a male template.

With personal reflections on her own experiences of the sexism and gendered aggression she has endured online, Mary asks: if women aren’t perceived to be within the structures of power, isn’t it power that we need to redefine?

From the author of international bestseller SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome.


About the author: Mary Beard

Dame Winifred Mary Beard, DBE, FSA, FBA is an English scholar and classicist. The New Yorker characterises her as “learned but accessible”. Beard is Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge, a fellow of Newnham College, and Royal Academy of Arts Professor of Ancient Literature.

Women & Power A Manifesto - Mary Beard

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

A Non-Fiction a Month

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