Language, gender, and the discursive production of women as leaders

Authored by: Roslyn Appleby

The Routledge Handbook of Language, Gender, and Sexuality

Print publication date:  April  2021
Online publication date:  April  2021

Print ISBN: 9781138200265
eBook ISBN: 9781315514857
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315514857-37

 Download Chapter

 

Abstract

This chapter discusses the discursive construction of Australia’s first (and so far, only) female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. The chapter demonstrates how intertwined discourses that circulated in the media and the political domain constructed Gillard as a particular type of gendered and sexualised person. First, Gillard was faced with the challenges of a gendered ‘double bind’, by which female leaders are expected to demonstrate qualities stereotypically associated with masculinity, and at the same time to display qualities stereotypically associated with femininity. Second, Gillard faced sexualised abuse in politics and the media which worked to represent her as an ‘unintelligible being’. Third, in acts of strategic essentialism, Gillard condemned the misogyny she endured, repositioning herself as a coherent political force and marking the re-emergence of feminism in Australian politics.

 Cite
Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.