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

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Sternadori, Miglena, Sexy, Tough, or Inept? Depictions of Women Terrorists in the News (October 1, 2007). Media Report to Women, Fall 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2996053

Miglena Sternadori (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University ( email )

2500 Broadway
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

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