Mary Beard is becoming a regular target. Today's pathetic dogwhistle has brought out the filth:I was raped when I was a student claims Mary Beard: Historian said she was sexually assaulted on a train while backpacking in Italy
First of all, this is plagiarism. Attributed to Mail hack Alasdair Glennie (whose name is misspelt in his own byline: that's how much attention the Mail is paying to this story), it's lifted from yesterday's Sunday Times, although this is unacknowledged. (The Telegraph, which has also pilfered the story, at least mentioned the source.) But the Sunday Times story was itself a rehash of an article written by Beard herself and published in the Guardian in 2000
. Beard's piece is thoughtful, nuanced, and helpful — recommended reading. The Mail's ignores all of that and settles for the following structure:
1 Mary Beard was raped when she was a teenager.
2 Well, it wasn't really rape, but that's what she
3 Mary Beard is ugly and a bit weird.
What do you get if you put those three together into a narrative?
Practically every one of the 50+ comments so far is a candidate for cunt of eternity. Many of them are challenging Beard's assertion that she was raped; others wish to prevent her from talking about it. Here's how she described the attack* (Mail/Sunday Times version):
She said an architect helped her with her luggage before bustling her into his first-class cabin and forcing her to have sex.
‘The coercion wasn’t violent,’ she said in an interview.
‘You know what you’re doing, you know you’re being absolutely stupid.
‘Was I raped? I had sex with somebody I didn’t want to have sex with. In a way, yes, I was raped.
'It was seedy. I was in a state where I was absolutely knackered.
'You didn’t have enough money for a couchette. You lose your judgment.’
The architect took advantage of a vulnerable young woman and coerced her into having sex. Why does it matter whether it was technically sexual assault or rape? I doubt the victim would feel better either way. And Beard's concessionary "In a way" goes unnoticed:
She dishonours all those that have been actually raped. "I had sex with somebody I didn't want to have sex with" what a joke
- Omni314, Bournemouth, 18/2/2013 11:54 Rating 4
Note that first verb. Beard is dishonourable
for having been assaulted and choosing to talk about it. And it's most generous of Omni to speak on behalf of all rape victims.
No, Mary. That is not rape. You simply decided afterwards that you hadn't enjoyed it.
- Gallowglass, London, United Kingdom, 18/2/2013 10:54 Rating 1
Sinister. The type of self-justifying comment one hears from rapists.
So she wasn't raped she was tired and gave in? Hummm this doesn't make sense
- Lovely me, Hull, 18/2/2013 10:32 Rating 2
Indeed it doesn't. Try: she was tired, so she gave in to the man who was intent on raping her. (Beard's own account in the Guardian explains her 'giving in' much more clearly, but with an ounce of empathy it should be possible to comprehend.)
If she was fully conscious and she's still not sure whether she was raped....... then she was NOT raped. If she didn't tell the man to stop by word or action then IT WAS NOT RAPE.
- Paul, Stirling, United Kingdom, 18/2/2013 9:29 Rating 60
False. (The absence of No does not mean Yes.
) And cunt.
A classic of the silencing genre:
This tedious self obsessed woman thinks she is now a celebrity and that we are therefore anxious to hear the least titivating detail about her. If she wants to tell us some history, OK Her own history - no, boring stuff that should remain private. Get a life and shut up
- attilathereasonable, berwick, United Kingdom, 18/2/2013 11:31 Rating 2
Sorry, Mary, this bid for the sympathy vote after your outrageous comments on "Question Time" is outside the "5 minute rule". We still despise you.
- Aelfred Wantage, UKIP, 18/2/2013 10:01 Rating 3
As the Guardian article makes clear, Beard does not talk about this incident in a bid for 'sympathy'. But that's how the Mail frames all
stories about women who have been raped, gay people who have been bullied, etc.
As much as I sympathise with the lady she now thinks she has been raped, when the truth of the matter is that she willingly, ("the coercion wasn't violent") had sex with a stranger when she was a young, naive women and she probably enjoyed the whole excitement AT THE TIME. Now, however, a much older and wiser lady realises she has probably been stupid and regrets a total stranger taking advantage of the situation. But Rape is a very, very serious allegation and the passage of time in her mind has changed the situation from exciting and fun to Rape. Therein lies the problem with bringing up previous sexual encounters that happened a long time ago, when no force was used and both were willing partners, to be brought up as Rape 30 years later just because your attitude and circumstances are vastly different.
- Robadobdob, Manchester, United Kingdom, 18/2/2013 8:44 Rating 1
What a massive, massive cunt.
* Note that the Mail's story focuses on the details of the attack (which is all that interests them). Beard's own article used it as a springboard to think about how survivors use their experience of rape to reconstruct their sexual identities and histories.