everyday sexism

People Are Really Mad About This Daily Mail Cover Featuring Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon

The Daily Mail cover featuring Britain’s prime minister Theresa May and Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon. Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

After British prime minister Theresa May and Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon — two of the most powerful women in the U.K. — held talks to discuss Brexit and the possibility of a second Scottish referendum, The Daily Mail ran a front-page story on the meeting. But instead of focusing on the meeting’s content, the Mail ran a photo of both women alongside the headline, “Never mind Brexit, who won Legs-it!”

The article itself attempted a breakdown of both women’s body language, which of course meant it included an entire passage about legs:

May’s famously long extremities are demurely arranged in her customary finishing-school stance — knees tightly together, calves at a flattering diagonal, feet neatly aligned. It’s a studied pose that reminds us that for all her confidence, she is ever the vicar’s daughter, always respectful and anxious not to put a foot wrong.
Sturgeon’s shorter but undeniably more shapely shanks are altogether more flirty, tantalisingly crossed, with the dominant leg pointing towards her audience. It’s a direct attempt at seduction: her stiletto is not quite dangling off her foot, but it could be. ‘Come, succumb to my revolutionary allure,’ she seems to be saying. ‘You know you want to.’

Online observers were … not pleased.

Even current (and former) members of the Labour Party — the political party opposed to May’s — chimed in.

According to the BBC, The Daily Mail responded to criticism in a statement that read, “For goodness sake, get a life!”

People Are Really Mad About This Sexist Daily Mail Cover