Fed-up with Blair's babes, Gordon's gals, Cameron's cuties, Nick's nymphets: challenging gendered media representations of women political leaders

Mavin, Sharon, Bryans, Patricia and Cunningham, Rosie (2010) Fed-up with Blair's babes, Gordon's gals, Cameron's cuties, Nick's nymphets: challenging gendered media representations of women political leaders. Gender in Management: An International Journal, 25 (7). pp. 550-569. ISSN 1754-2413

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/17542411011081365

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to highlight gendered media constructions which discourage women's acceptability as political leaders and trivialise or ignore their contribution.
Design/methodology/approach – Media analysis of UK newspapers, government web sites, worldwide web relating to the UK 2010 government election, women MPs and in particular representations of Harriet Harman and Theresa May.
Findings – Media constructions of UK women political leaders are gendered and powerful in messaging women's (un)acceptability as leaders against embedded stereotypes. Being invisible via tokenism and yet spotlighted on the basis of their gender, media constructions trivialize their contribution, thus detracting from their credibility as leaders.
Research limitations/implications – UK-based study grounded in opportune “snapshot” media analysis during election and resultant formation of UK coalition Government. Focus on two women political leaders, results may not be generalisable. Practical implications – Raises awareness of the numerical minority status of UK women political leaders, the invisibility-visibility contradiction and the power of the media to construct women leaders against gender stereotypes. Call for continued challenge to gendered leader stereotypes and women's representation in UK political leadership. Originality/value – Highlights power of media to perpetuate gender stereotypes of UK women political leaders.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gender, information media, leadership, newspapers, politics, women
Subjects: L200 Politics
N200 Management studies
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School > Corporate and Executive Development
Related URLs:
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2011 10:59
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 11:05
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/1589

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