Today, I need to prepare a certain faction of our population… I need them to be grromed for what’s in store… So that they are ready to embrace the terrible things that they face… Let me explain…

Ok, so today let me offer a word of warning to all you clever and intelligent females out there… Those females that dare be intelligent in public especially need to take heed of my words today… A public display of your intelligence could have the population turning against you… You need to prepare for the worst.

You may be called unpleasant names: Being labelled “a complete bitch” is the
tip of the iceberg, and you’ll need to have an ice-induced emotional numbness if you are to cope with what ensues.

Oh yes, because your looks are going to be discussed… Then all of those exams you have excelled in and all of those equations you have solved count for little else than mere flights of fancy while groups of people gather around water-coolers to discuss the hot topics of your attire, your chest, your chin, your skin and other related, yet extremely pertinent subjects too.

I must not forget to mention that people you have never met before will suddenly pay attention to and care about what you wear… The up-close scrutiny may leave you feeling violated. Expect it to be as merciless as a flock of papparazzi around a drunken, fallen celebrity…

Strangers will suddenly have opinions of you… They’ll severely dislike things about you that no-one ever noticed before… Like the way you tilt your head when pondering something and the way you dare to hold your hands together.

To top it all off… Many of those who have started to dislike you- as well as many of those who actually do like you — will discuss and imagine what sex with you might be like.

Because oh yes… If you enter the realms of this crazy behaviour… If you publicly display sheer intellectual brilliance… If you offer up a public display of a brain that works fabulously well… Then complete strangers from around the world will discuss:

Would you do her? Would I? Who’d give her one?

We all need to hide our brains away, do we? Because this is exactly what is currently happening to one of our own home-grown graduate students, namely Gail Trimble.

She has thrashed the competition on TV’s long running high-brow quiz show University challenge… She answered a massive percentage of her teams questions all by herself… She knows loads about subjects from science to theatre and everything in between… She triumphed!

The bespectacled 26-year-old virtually carried her team of fellow Oxfordians to victory this week… Are we celebrating her cleverness? Are we raising a glass in admiration and respect for the wonder of how she uses her brain to such marvellous effect?

No, not one bit.

In fact, her triumph has now spawned waves of hatred in blogs, where visitors are calling gail Trimble a “horse-toothed snob” and a “smug cow” and much worse.

It has featured on prime time news, even they discussed how so many people are taking a dislike to this girl.

I can honestly say I have never seen an urchin of such intolerable smugness as that foul Trimble mess,” wrote a visitor to this hatemongering blog.

During the shows when I have watched her and when I have seen her interviewed, Gail Trimble came across as rather shy and self-effacing, and afterwards she seemed genuinely pleased to have won.

Hated her! Really got quite angry!” posted another.

Not for some time have I been so angry at a complete stranger as I was with this Trimble character,” raged yet another. There is more of this stuff:

I wish her parents bible-bashed her a bit round the head before setting her loose on TV audiences. She ruined my already crappy Monday evening.”

No-one made you tune in! I can’t believe the assumptions and innuendo being made, even including references to her family…

What she needs is a bad kebab about an hour before the final. Lets see how clever she is when it’s coming out of both ends!”

By the way She’s deffo a V.”

She looks like she would sob if someone cut more than two inches off her hair,”

She may have exam/ quiz skills but does she have any social skills?”

Where are all these snipes coming from? Why is there so much disdain and seeming hatred for someone that I believe should be celebrated?

Educated at an all-girls’ private high school, Trimble was accepted at Oxford after earning top test scores in Latin, Greek, English literature and math. A classics major working toward a Ph.D in Latin, she has won a declamation prize for Latin recital, sings with choirs as a soprano, and teaches courses on Ovid and Hellenistic poetry.

There is a minor flipside of opinion… Yet the discussion content is still verging on hilarity:

I must admit that I found her sexy,” ventured one blog visitor. Another mused:

She’s a smoking hot minx with those sturdy, yeomanlike thighs itching to clamp you in their embrace.”

Hahahahaha… Man oh man…

It always seems to come down to that, doesn’t it?

Sure, the public disses and dissects and imagines sex with models and celebutantes as well. But what is it about brainy females that inspires such venting and wheezing?

This current example has surely gone beyond the standard anti-intellectualism by which many people equate high intellect with class struggle. But surely it can’t simply be that extreme intelligence in females is threatening. Surely it can’t be so reductive as that. Surely it can’t be that old chestnut, that ancient feminist cliché.

So what is it then? It has me very perplexed and utterly disappointed…