Making Gender Divisive: ‘Post-Feminism’, Sexism and Media Representations of Julia Gillard

Stevenson, Ana ORCID: (2013) Making Gender Divisive: ‘Post-Feminism’, Sexism and Media Representations of Julia Gillard. Burgmann Journal, 1 (2). pp. 53-63. ISSN 2201-3881


The sexism inherent in media representations of Australia’s first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has been well acknowledged. These discourses implied that women’s bodies were out of place in leadership roles, making Gillard’s attempts to address gender-related issues appear politically manipulative. As the media played a role in making gender divisive, it is important to consider the role of the media and the significance of media products-including newspaper, online sources, television programs and social media-in the perpetuation of sexist political representations. However, new understandings of this phenomenon can be drawn from thinking about the media paradigm, and its ‘post-feminist’vision of society, into which such representations were circulated. Within this ‘post-feminist’paradigm, the media questioned Gillard’s apparent failure to fundamentally change Australian politics at the same time as perpetuating a focus on gender, rather than policy, as the characterising element of her leadership.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2022 04:40
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2022 04:40
Uncontrolled Keywords: Julia Gillard, politics, sexism, Australia, prime minister, gender
Fields of Research (2020): 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4408 Political science > 440806 Gender and politics
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4408 Political science > 440801 Australian government and politics
47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4701 Communication and media studies > 470107 Media studies
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1302 Communication > 130204 The media

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