The Weight Of Words

Nick Lowndes
Nick Lowndes

The Economist explores the way in which women in politics are scrutinised on the way in which they speak and how that works either in their favour or against them in the media and voting public. It draws from a study by Deborah Cameron and Sylvia Shaw, two British academics, who analysed the 2015 general-election debates, and found that Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish Nationalists’ leader, interrupted most among the seven participants.

Interrupting is a quintessentially male tactic—the kind of thing women are punished for—but her performance won rave reviews. Ms Cameron notes that Ms Sturgeon moves comfortably between cut-and-thrust debate, statesmanlike speech and warmth. Most politicians are lucky to be good at just one of these, but women must be especially agile to avoid falling into a stereotyped box.

(Read the article in full at The Economist)

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