Big Questions and Big Issues: A Brief Look At Legs-It
By Iona Gaskell | 28 March 2017
For anyone who didn’t catch the front cover of this morning’s Daily Mail, it was blazoned with the riveting question that I know was top of everyone’s minds following yesterday’s politically crucial and historically notable meeting between the Prime Minister and the First Minister: ‘Never mind Brexit, who won Legs-It!’. Accompanying this intriguing journalistic line of inquiry was an official photograph of Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon in their meeting - both sporting what are, unmistakably, legs.
It’s a headline designed to grab eyes and make the odd punter chuckle, from the original overlord of click-bait themselves. And in their statement responding to today’s reactionary twitter storm, they insist that this is no more than light-hearted banter, ‘a side-bar alongside a serious political story’.
And of course they’re right, it’s hilarious. Not so much in a haha-what-a-witty-pun way as a haha-face-in-palm-how-is-this-still-happening-in-2017 kind of way.
We can all recognise the sexism within the comment. It doesn’t matter whether it’s intentioned light-heartedly or not, nor that the author is a woman - it’s following a familiar and well-worn tradition of belittling women in positions of power and it’s something that’s got to change if we ever want to see equal gender representation in our parliament.
Before I hear any cries of ‘calm down, dear’, I’ll admit that in the face of media coverage that looks at two of the most powerful people in UK politics and says ‘LOL legs’, one can only laugh. It’s moronic and preposterous to see this kind of attitude today - but it’s also a good reminder of the work still to be done.