It is official. The Daily Mail has managed to produce the worst headline of the year and it’s only March. I honestly thought it was an early April fools gag. When I saw it was indeed the Daily Mail, viagra order ampoule I was sadly not surprised.
Brexit and the possibility of a second Scottish Independence referendum is a constitutional crisis. It is one of the biggest decisions in the United Kingdom’s history and it is spearheaded by women. Instead of providing a valuable political commentary on the discussions that took place, click the Daily Mail have decided to compare the legs of the country’s political leaders.
The use of language is incredibly demeaning and misogynistic. ‘Never mind Brexit, who won Legs-it’. The writer wants us to put Brexit aside and focus on the legs of two of the most powerful women on the earth. They are being reduced to nothing but their body parts, it is a minimisation of the work that Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon have done. The inside heading was perhaps what highlights just how sexist the headline and article is. “Finest weapons at their command? Those pins!”. I truly doubt when May and Sturgeon entered the meeting room they tumbled into negotiations legs first, their ‘pins’ drawn at the ready. The greatest weapon at their command are their brains; and it is a testament to their work so far and the work they will continue to do. If they were two male leaders, such as Alex Salmond and David Cameron a comment about their professional work attire would not have been put at the forefront of political conversations and hardly as the focus of a major British newspaper.
What I saw was a deliberate attempt by trashy, tabloid media to degrade our Prime Minister and the Scottish First Minister. Their attempt to inject humour or ‘locker room banter’ is exactly what is wrong when time and time again major newspapers such as the Daily Mail are not held accountable for the misogynistic articles and headlines they post on a daily basis (pardon the pun). By making it look like a bit of fun, they were trying to take away from the shocking underlying sexist tone of the headline.
For the little girls who unfortunately have to come across headlines such as this, I simply want them to remember that they are more than their body parts. They need great role models to look up to, and politics aside Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon hold incredibly high offices in a largely male dominated sector and can be role models for future generations of women.
The fact of the matter is that this is 2017. I should not be having to write about a sexist headline and article by newspapers such as the Daily Mail. The complaints and uproar that have rightly flooded in are only going to continue coming. I hope to see not only a lengthily apology from the Daily Mail, but also a marked attempt to reduce and stop altogether the sexist and degrading articles they frequently post. Women are much more than their bodies; women are also strong and intelligent. Women are the future.
Written by Jasmine Botchey
UCL History Student
Tweet me: @JasmineBotchey