Front page news for the Daily Mail: Woman wears skirt
This time it was PM Theresa May in a knee length number that was judged just too revealing
Theresa May isn’t the first person you’d expect to appear on page three, but that’s where she was today, in all her glory in the Daily Mail. She wasn’t posing topless and it wasn’t even at the front of the paper because of some important news on her policies.
Actually, she just wore a skirt that they thought was a bit short for her.
“Remember the first rule of negotiating Theresa… try not to reveal too much!” the headline reads, referring to the Prime Minister’s “daring thigh split”. It goes on to talk about her “sparkly loafers”, “soft grey jacket and pearl necklace”, “leopard print kitten heels” – which by the way, she wore 14 years ago – and how in her meeting with Donald Tusk he bravely “managed to keep his gaze firmly at eye level”.
It’s not until the last line of the piece that there’s any mention at all of what they actually spoke about in their 75-minute meeting on Brexit, when the PM was told “the ball’s in your court”.
It’s easy to think it’s satire, or that it’s an article about our last – and first- female Prime Minister, because at least 30 years ago you could cringe at how myopic it is. But it’s not. Despite being in the unusual position of having more high profile women politicians than in recent memory, we haven’t moved on in how we speak about them.
Theresa May has been in the papers a lot this week for her controversial decision on grammar schools. She’s been attacked and lauded for her political decisions, and though you might be sick of seeing her,that is the only way you should see her: as a politician.
You don’t have to like her political decisions, and by all means you can get angry when you read about her, but angry at her as a politician, don’t sniff derisively because she’s decided against a pant suit.
In continuing to focus on her dress sense and engaging in some casual slut-shaming – What? A knee length skirt? To a meeting? Surely not – all the Daily Mail does is stop us from actually examining who she is as a politician, from deciding whether or not we like her, whether or not we want her to run the country, based on her political prowess.
To them it doesn’t matter what she has to say, she’s just some bird in a skirt.