Sexy, Tough, or Inept? Depictions of Women Terrorists in the News
Media Report to Women, Fall 2007
9 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2017
Date Written: October 1, 2007
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.
Keywords: gender, women, terrorism, news
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