Celebrating International Women’s Day

12 03 2014

Last friday, March 7, I spoke at a special meeting of the provincial parliament in North-Holland (my home province) about women in politics. About 80 local representatives, from council members to mayors, were invited by Elvira Sweet, Provincial Deputee, and listened to keynotes about the first women in the States Provincial (Liesbeth Ribbius, beautiful presentation by Ulla Jansz), the experiences of the once youngest female mayor in the Netherlands (inspiring and moving talk by Mirjam van ‘t Veld) and about the role of celebrity culture and social media for female politicians. The latter was mine, evidently. I briefly addressed general patterns in media coverage of women in politics (invisible, traditional, focused on appearance and emotions, disproportionate attention for family life, and general suspicion of incompetence) and then showed in more detail how celebrity culture excacerbates the attention for appearance and family life, Many female politicans therefore chose to construct a public profile (on their blogs and through their twitter accounts) that is entirely professional and does not ‘do’ frivolities or family matters. The discussion at the bar was interesting because most of the attendees are in the middle of local election campaigns, and concerned about their public performance, if and how to tweet. See also: Van Zoonen, L. (2006). The personal, the political and the popular. A woman’s guide to celebrity politics. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 9(3), 287-301.TED_9562




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: