Sexy, Tough or Inept? Depictions of Women Terrorists in the news.

Author:

Sternadori, M. M.

Editor:

Date:

2007

Region:

Theme:

Gender, Conflict and Extremism

Language:

English

Publisher:

Full Harvard Reference:

Sternadori, M., 2007. Sexy, tough, or inept? Depictions of women terrorists in the news. Depictions of Women Terrorists in the News (October 1, 2007). Media Report to Women, Fall. pp. 14-22.

Using a constructionist approach and feminist rhetorical theories, this study analyzes how women terrorists are portrayed in English-language publications between 2000 and 2005. Five stereotypical categories for violent women are explored: (a) the technically unskilled suicide bomber; (b) the “attack bitch” seeking revenge; (c) the failed mother; (d) the brainwashed victim; and (e) the sexy "babe" with personal issues. The analysis looks at subtly implied emotional and intellectual deficiencies of women terrorists, especially in the context of their physical attractiveness (or lack thereof) and reproductive history.