Is media coverage of B.C. Premier Clark sexist?
Is media coverage of B.C. Premier Clark sexist? Or is it fair comment? Katie Hyslop asks reporters, politicians and academics to weigh in.
By Katie Hyslop, for The Tyee
It's no surprise that Premier Christy Clark has been the centre of media attention and criticism in her short tenure in the province's top job. But how much of the criticism is fair comment and how much is sexism against a female premier?
"If the legislative precinct makes her sick, as she has said it does, why is Christy Clark so keen, apparently, to stay there as premier? Is there such a thing as political bulimia?" Hunter makes casual jokes about bulimia."A lot of it has to do with her sex." Hunter suggests that her unpopularity is because she's a woman."Political leadership makes hard demands of women." Hunter condescendingly suggests that all women aren't up for leadership."Trying to be more like men throws away the only advantage they have. Floppy grey pant suits don't suit."Hunter implies that "the only advantage" women in politics have is their sexuality and appearance."…delegates chose a leader, not for leadership abilities, but because they thought a woman had the best chance of keeping their party in power."Hunter says that BC Liberal Party members — who democratically elected Premier Clark as leader — only picked her because they decided to take a "chance" on a woman.
But Clark hasn't been the only victim of sexism in B.C., Isinger told The Tyee. Carole James faced a lot of nastiness and a lot of buzzwords that were used to describe her: she was often called shrill or similar things to suggest she was a little bit too harsh as a leader or not feminine enough," she said.