Ms. Prime Minister offers both solace and words of caution for women politicians.
After closely analyzing the media coverage of former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell; two former Prime Ministers of New Zealand, Jenny Shipley and Helen Clark; and Australia's 27th Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, Linda Trimble concludes that reporting both reinforces and contests unfair gender norms.
News about female leaders gives undue attention to their gender identities, bodies and family lives.
Yet equivalent men are also treated to evaluations of their gendered personas. And, as Trimble finds, some media accounts expose sexism and authenticate women's performances of leadership. Ms. Prime Minister provides important insight into the news frameworks that work to deny or confer political legitimacy.
It concludes with advice designed to inform the gender strategies of women who aspire to political leadership roles and the reporting techniques of the journalists who cover them.