I actually thought this was a spoof when I first saw it on Twitter, I mean this is 2017 after all. But then again this is also the Daily Mail…
But it isn’t 1st April. Here we have two women in positions of power, about to discuss one of the biggest issues facing our country today, and a major national newspaper focuses on their legs. Obviously.
Yes this is 2017, but sadly sexism is clearly still widespread. You only have to glance at the twitter trolls, examine the mountains of evidence gathered daily for the everyday sexism project, gender pay gap, and the actual numbers of women leaders in business and politics. Apparently there are more men called John leading FTSE 100 companies than there are women.
Also there is no way that this headline would have been written about two men. This double standard is also everywhere and has been brilliantly exposed by the spoof twitter feed of ‘the man who has it all’.
Is it deliberate?
Having seen the derisory response of the Daily Mail to the internet meltdown that their headline caused, I am certain that it was written quite deliberately in order to cause the response that it did. Clearly a woman in a position of power is a threat, and a belittling headline like this was designed to ‘put these women back in their place’.
But could there be another, more disturbing reason for the headline? Was it written to deliberately cause this outrage in order to distract us from discussing the real issues, from having a proper conversation about Brexit and everything that it means?
This reminds me of a tactic of a certain controversial figure from across the pond. Donald Trump is just as quick to make outrageous statements that move focus away from aspects of his Presidency that he would rather we didn’t pay much attention to.
The lesson for us here is to absolutely get involved in the debate but not to the point of being sidetracked by the issues that really matter.