The Hypocrisy of Newsweek

South Carolina gubernatorial candidate, Nikki Haley, is featured on the cover of the current Newsweek that includes two whole articles about women in politics (!) But despite decades of research showing that reporters disproportionately sexualize female candidates in ways that diminish their candidacies, even reputable publications like Newsweek continue this tired trend. My research shows that female reporters are just as likely as their male counterparts to discuss female candidates in such damaging terms.


In the current issue of Newsweek, Julia Baird criticizes the press’ sexualization of female Republican candidates in (the poorly titled) “Too Hot to Handle.” She correctly notes that “The wisdom has long been that discussions of their sexuality are not just distracting and degrading, but also destructive.” Yet, in the very next article, Arian Campo-Flores’s provides a profile of candidate Haley that is rife with sexualization in “Woman on the Verge.” Campo-Flores comments on Haley’s snug fitting suit and stiletto heels, describes Haley as “attractive,” and plays with words to be sexually suggestive: “Now she’s the hottest thing in South Carolina politics.” Perhaps Baird could lead a seminar about the political effects of sexism for the entire Newsweek staff.

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