Disturbing Femininity
Kirsten Hvenegård-Lassen: Department of Culture and Identity, Roskilde University, Denmark
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Theme: Feminist Cultural Studies Edited by Fanny Ambjörnsson & Hillevi Ganetz

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When Helle Thorning-Schmidt in 2011 became the first female Prime Minister in Denmark, this “victory for the women” was praised in highly celebratory tones in Danish newspapers. The celebration involved a paradoxical representation of gender as simultaneously irrelevant to politics and – when it comes to femininity – in need of management. Based on an analysis of the newspaper coverage of the election, I argue that highlighting gender (in)equality as either an important political issue or as something that conditions the possibilities of taking up a position as politician was evaluated as a performative speech act, i.e. an act that creates the trouble it names. Ruling out gender equality as relevant was, however, continually interrupted by comments on how Thorning-Schmidt and other female politicians perform gender in ways that fit or do not fit with “doing politician”. These com-ments tended to concern the styling of bodies and behaviour and followed well known – or sticky – gendered scripts.

Keywords: Gender; gender equality; politics; performativity; performance; celebrity; Danish newspapers

Volume 5, Theme: Theme: Feminist Cultural Studies Edited by Fanny Ambjörnsson & Hillevi Ganetz

, Article 12, 2013

Kirsten Hvenegård-Lassen
Disturbing Femininity:
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  • Volume 5, Theme:: Theme: Feminist Cultural Studies Edited by Fanny Ambjörnsson & Hillevi Ganetz

    , Article 12, 2013

    Kirsten Hvenegård-Lassen
    Disturbing Femininity:
    Note: the following are taken directly from CrossRef
  • Michael Higgin & Fiona M McKay (2016). Gender and the development of a political persona: The case of Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. British Politics, 11(3): 283. DOI: 10.1057/bp.2015.44

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