Classicist Mary Beard was subjected to a torrent of online misogynist abuse after discussing immigration on Question Time. She fought back by writing about it, and even reproducing some of it (now removed) on her blog, to show just how bad it can be.
Adopting what she said was a “high-risk strategy,” Ms. Beard reproduced on her blog some of the most unsavory remarks and the mocked-up image, which she has since removed.
“I wanted people to see how bad it is,” she said in an interview at Cambridge’s Newnham College, which she attended and where she has taught for nearly 30 years. “You never know what it’s like, because no mainstream paper will print it, nobody on the radio will let you say it, and so it came to look as if I was worried that they said I hadn’t done my hair.
“What was said was pornographic, violent, sexist, misogynist and also frightfully silly,” she said.
One of the most offensive sites has since both apologised and closed down.