Women & Power

Women & Power

A Manifesto

Book - 2017
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Two essays connect the past with the present, tracing the history of misogyny to its ancient roots and examining the pitfalls of gender.
Publisher: New York ; London : Liveright Publishing Corporation, a Division of W.W. Norton & Company, [2017]
Edition: First American edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781631494758
Branch Call Number: 305.42 Be
Characteristics: xi, 115 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
Alternative Title: Women and power


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Nov 02, 2019

This is a book that I feel conflicted about. It contains two different essays written by the same author over a few years. The subjects are women and public speaking and women and power. And it is certainly an interesting read.

The connection between masculinity and public speech is a really unusual point. I agree that males in general put great value in this trait. But I find it difficult to admit that women have had no power in the world.

I don’t mean just in public squares, because women have not always had as much precedence in government. But women have a domestic power. I will not go into the details of how my faith intertwines with this topic, but this book has made me think about gender roles and my own beliefs.

This book is something I would suggest for people who want to know more about women and their positions in history. This will start a conversation amongst friends, and I enjoyed the essays, even though I didn’t agree with everything. Great book!

Jun 01, 2019

This is an important topic, and an interesting way to frame it. However, as someone who is not a scholar of Greco-Roman history and mythology, nor any interest to learn much more than I was forced to learn in high school, I found it irritating to have to continuously google the references. Still, overall Beard did a solid job of reconfiguring these two talks into a good book.

Feb 04, 2019

An interesting account of why women are where we are in society and moving forward.

Hillsboro_StephanieC Dec 19, 2018

A must read for any woman who believes in the power of women, interested in a thoughtful, thought-provoking discussion on how the current structures of power are stacked against women.

Aug 11, 2018

A very brief book comprised of two lectures; they draw upon ancient history as a foundation for the deep cultural prejudice about women and brings it up to today, incorporating modern politicians and pop culture. Several times the different responses to disagreements the audiences have to politicians' remarks (with more severe negative responses to female politicians). The upshot is nevertheless is well worth the little effort to discover from this well written essay.

AnnabelleLee27 Apr 27, 2018

Drawn from two lectures presented by Beard, a classical scholar and author, examining the relationship of women and power in Western culture. She presents fascinating examples of how many ancient sexist ideas continue to influence and operate in the present day (including internet trolls and the like). The book is quite brief and thus does not offer ideas for transforming the current culture but it is an impressive step in understanding the pervasiveness of misogyny through the centuries.

VaughanPLKelly Mar 31, 2018

This book contains two transcribed lectures that Mary Beard presented to the London Review of Books Winter Lecture Series. The lectures are fairly recent (2014 and 2017), and make connections between the classical and modern worlds with regards to how women are perceived. The lectures are thought-provoking, timely, and left me wanting more -- I would love it if Beard tackles this subject more in-depth in the ancient world.

TechLibrarian Mar 17, 2018

I heard about this book as I was reading Mary Beard's SPQR, a really fat book about Roman history. While Women & Power does pull in some ancient history, it is by contrast a very fast read. (It's actually a transcribed lecture.) In this powerful little book, Beard deconstructs some popular ideas about women in power, and about women's voices in the public forum. Beard draws on history, art and pop culture to make her point, which I will not spoil for you here. This is a very important book, and well worth the small investment in time to read. Please take it home and share it with your friends and family!

ArapahoeLesley Feb 08, 2018

Cambridge classicist Mary Beard combines 2 relatively recent (2014 and 2017) lectures on Greco roman and modern imagery/ideals/blatant misogyny and she draws some very interesting parallels. I am glad that she expressed a desire to expand further upon these two lectures because this book leaves you wanting more.

liljables Jan 31, 2018

Women & Power brings together two public lectures given by classicist Mary Beard, linking modern-day misogyny to its historical roots. Beard's central premise is that our cultural beliefs about power have remained essentially the same since ancient times. She likens the treatment of women in some very well-known classic works to their modern counterparts, demonstrating for the reader just how ingrained sexism is in our society, especially when it comes to positions of power. I hope that Beard will use this tiny volume (like, read-it-over-lunch tiny) as a springboard for a more expansive book!


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Hillsboro_StephanieC Dec 19, 2018

" ...my basic premise is that our mental, cultural template for a powerful person remains resolutely male... we have no template for what a powerful female looks like, except that she looks rather like a man."

May 17, 2018

"You cannot easily fit women into a structure that is already coded as male; you have to change the structure." (pp. 86-7)

May 16, 2018

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


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