By Maria Braden
All American politicians face the glare of media assurance, either in operating for place of work and in representing their parts if elected. yet for ladies looking or preserving excessive public workplace, as Maria Braden demonstrates, the scrutiny by means of newspapers and tv could be either withering and damaging―a proven fact that has replaced little over the a long time regardless of the emergence of extra girls in politics and extra girls within the information media.
Particularly irritating is the truth that the rise within the variety of ladies newshounds seems to have had little impact at the approach ladies applicants are portrayed within the media. a few ladies newshounds, in truth, look reason on proving that they are often simply as difficult on girls applicants as their male opposite numbers, hence perpetuating the misrepresentations of the past.
Braden examines the political fortunes of Jeannette Rankin, the 1st lady elected to the U.S. condo; these of the congressional "glamour ladies" of the Nineteen Forties, Clare Boothe Luce and Helen Gahagan Douglas; the lengthy Senate profession of Margaret Chase Smith; the political struggles of various ladies of newer a long time, together with Bella Abzug, Elizabeth Holtzman, Nancy Kassebaum, Barbara Jordan, Dianne Feinstein, and Ann Richards; and the disastrous vice presidential bid of Geraldine Ferraro.
Braden strains a power double commonplace in media insurance of women's political campaigns in the course of the prior 80 years. newshounds live at the applicants' novelty in public workplace and describe them in ways in which stereotype and trivialize them. specially demeaning are reviews on women's visual appeal, character, and relatives connections― reviews of a type that may hardly be made approximately males applicants. Are they too beautiful or too simple? What do their outfits say approximately them? Are they "feminine" sufficient or "too masculine"? Are they nonetheless simply usual housewives or are they neglecting their households by way of heading for Washington or the kingdom house?
Braden's research relies on either media debts and the disclosing own interviews she carried out with a wide variety of modern ladies politicians, together with Margaret Chase Smith, Bella Abzug, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Nancy Kassebaum, and Ann Richards. All describe agonizing struggles to get throughout to the general public the message that they're severe and powerfuble applicants in a position to keeping excessive place of work and shaping our nation's direction.
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Extra resources for Women politicians and the media
The coverage of First Lady Hillary Clinton's changing hairstyle is a continuation of the practice of focusing on women's physical appearance rather than their capabilities. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland), first elected to the House in 1976, said her physical appearance was always cited in the Baltimore press. S. senator: Page 6 Image not available. House of Representatives. " At just over five feet tall, Mikulski couldn't change her gender or her height. So she used humor in her successful congressional campaign two years later.
But on the whole, women politicians have benefited from being on television. Although they may have been ignored as sources by newspapers, they are legitimized when viewers see them included in television's overall pictures of Congress or as articulate members of congressional committees or giving speeches. Television also can create a national audience for women politicians who may have had only a regional or local reputation through the print media. Texas representative Barbara Jordan became a national figure after her televised keynote address to the Democratic National Convention in 1976, for example, and so did Christine Todd Whitman after she gave the GOP response to President Clinton's State of the Union message in 1995even though Clinton's speech ran long and pushed Whitman's response out of prime time.
A study of the August 1992 issues of the nation's top three news magazines, for example, found women referenced only 14 percent of the time, compared with 86 percent for men. August was the month of the Democratic National Convention, run by two women politicians, and the nation's news media were focusing heavily on politics. Yet similar results were reported for newspapers and network nightly news. Media consultant Nancy Woodhull, a founding editor of USA Today, said women are still largely invisible in the media.
Women politicians and the media by Maria Braden