Controversy

British magazine sparks outrage with sexist cover about childless politicians

https://twitter.com/NewStatesman/status/621302039440699392/photo/1

The British magazine New Statesman ignited some outrage this week when it released its most recent cover art accompanying a cover story titled, “The Motherhood Trap: Why are so many successful women childless?” The cover illustration depicted some of the women discussed in the article — German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon, Conservative member of Parliament Theresa May, and Labor member of Parliament Liz Kendall — as standing around a crib with a ballot box in it. People immediately took to Twitter to express outrage, with Nicola Sturgeon (one of the women pictured) tweeting “Jeezo … we appear to have woken up in 1965 this morning!” The controversy seemed to baffle people, as the New Statesman is seen as a left-leaning magazine, and the article’s author, deputy editor Helen Lewis, has often written material in support of feminist issues. While some people criticized the story, asking whether the New Statesman would write a similar article about men, others (including Lewis) were quick to point out that the actual article hadn’t come out yet, and people should hold their judgment. In the article, Lewis argues that women face increased scrutiny and pressure when it comes to children and work, and Britain should reassess its attitude on that front, noting that, “Until then, men enjoy a double advantage, whether they have children or not.” A lot of people — including Nicola Sturgeon — reassessed their outrage after they had read the article, while maintaining that the cover art was lamentable.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.

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