Ms. Prime Minister: Gender, Media, and Leadership

By Linda Trimble

© 2017

Ms. Prime Minister offers both solace and words of caution for women politicians. After closely analyzing the media coverage of former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell; two former Prime Ministers of New Zealand, Jenny Shipley and Helen Clark; and Australia’s 27th Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, Linda Trimble concludes that reporting both reinforces and contests unfair gender norms. News about female leaders gives undue attention to their gender identities, bodies and family lives. Yet equivalent men are also treated to evaluations of their gendered personas. And, as Trimble finds, some media accounts expose sexism and authenticate women's performances of leadership.

Ms. Prime Minister provides important insight into the news frameworks that work to deny or confer political legitimacy. It concludes with advice designed to inform the gender strategies of women who aspire to political leadership roles and the reporting techniques of the journalists who cover them.

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Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 328 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.9in x 9.0in
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  • PUBLISHED DEC 2017

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Quick Overview

Ms. Prime Minister analyzes media portrayals of the four female prime ministers of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, arguing that these women’s legitimacy as political actors was sometimes affirmed, but as often questioned, by the news coverage they received.

Ms. Prime Minister: Gender, Media, and Leadership

By Linda Trimble

© 2017

Ms. Prime Minister offers both solace and words of caution for women politicians. After closely analyzing the media coverage of former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell; two former Prime Ministers of New Zealand, Jenny Shipley and Helen Clark; and Australia’s 27th Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, Linda Trimble concludes that reporting both reinforces and contests unfair gender norms. News about female leaders gives undue attention to their gender identities, bodies and family lives. Yet equivalent men are also treated to evaluations of their gendered personas. And, as Trimble finds, some media accounts expose sexism and authenticate women's performances of leadership.

Ms. Prime Minister provides important insight into the news frameworks that work to deny or confer political legitimacy. It concludes with advice designed to inform the gender strategies of women who aspire to political leadership roles and the reporting techniques of the journalists who cover them.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 328 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.9in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    "Linda Trimble is a leading expert in the field of women and politics. Ms. Prime Minister is a timely and important contribution to research on gender and politics."


    Erin Tolley, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto

    "Ms. Prime Minister is a fascinating read on an important and timely subject. Characterized by insightful, theoretically informed and empirically rich analysis, it explores the many ways that gendered representations have played out in the media coverage of female leaders in a number of countries in the Anglosphere over the last thirty years."


    Paul Saurette, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa

    "This masterly analysis will become a central reference point for the study of gender politics and the media. It provides a compelling narrative of the gendered metaphors and discourses that surround prime ministers and a nuanced account of their effects."


    Marian Sawer, Former Head of the Political Science Program, Australian National University, and of the Democratic Audit of Australia
  • Author Information

    Linda Trimble is a professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Alberta. She is the co-editor of two collections on women and political representation in Canada as well as a volume on the changing nature of Canadian politics in the twenty-first century.
  • Table of contents

    1. Gender, Media and Leadership
    2. Ascension Stories
    3. First Women and the X Factor
    4. First Men and the Family Strategy
    5. Body Politics
    6. Love and War
    7. Speech and Shame
    8. Dealing (with) the Gender Card