The Daily Mail, the so-called ‘Newspaper of the Year’, have yet again this week proved their inherent bigotry and sexism with their latest front page: ‘Never mind Brexit, who won Legs-it!’.
Brexit is the biggest talking point in the UK and will be for a long time to come – hell, the minute someone in Spain realises I’m English, their first question is whether I voted for it or not. Everyone in the world wants to know what’s going on and what will happen once we eventually leave in two years’ time, and yet the Daily Mail seems to think that the hottest question on everyone’s lips is: ‘But just who has the better legs: Theresa May or Nicola Sturgeon?’
We are clearly on the edge of our seats wishing we knew the answer, right?
Appearance shouldn’t be on the list of things we take into account regarding Brexit. What is more concerning is the fact that TOMORROW we are triggering Article 50 and in making this decision, caused Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP to call for a second independence referendum. But no, I couldn’t possibly concentrate on all this potential political carnage until I’ve found out who won that leg competition, can I?
The writer in question, Sarah Vine, wife to everyone’s least favourite scapegoat Michael Gove, has turned a simple photo of two politicians into a GCSE-style essay answer, and to be frank, it sounds delusional as hell. Vine paints Sturgeon as the Curley’s wife of the duo, the jailbait trying to lure the Scottish people to join her in her newly revitalised push for independence with her ‘more shapely shanks [that] are altogether more flirty, tantalisingly crossed, with the dominant leg pointed towards the audience.’ Apparently even her shoe is calling out to her people, asking them to ‘succumb to my revolutionary allure… you know you want to.’ What utter bollocks. So what if she’s wearing heels and crossing her legs in the way she wants to? Hell, if you’re able to tell what kind of person people are just from the way they cross their legs, train journeys would be much more interesting. Apparently it’s oh-so-obvious to note that Theresa May is the daughter of a vicar with the way she’s sitting explaining the fact she is ‘always respectful and anxious not to put a foot wrong.’ I don’t think leopard print kitten heels have ever expressed that sentiment, but I guess Vine sees something the rest of us clearly don’t.
This whole article is a farce, mostly due to the fact that a photo of this nature should in no way spark an article that dissects and the way in which the two most important politicians in the UK are sitting when it is the least important part of it. A photo like this should have been something regarded as a tad more revolutionary for the very fact that it is of the female First Minister of Scotland and the female Prime Minister in some of the most important discussions this year, rather than the fact they’re doing so wearing heels and supposedly giving off a ‘come hither’ look to their constituents (which for the record, they’re not).
The Daily Mail released later editions of the front page with the subheading ‘Sarah Vine’s light-hearted verdict on the big showdown’. Legs are not important, sex is not important: this ‘showdown’ is and that is what should have been focused on, end of story. Brexit and Scottish independence are in no way light-hearted, and this entire debacle only reinforces that the Daily Mail need to remind themselves they are writing in 2017, not the ‘50s.
Volume #16 is available here.
Words by Kirstie Sutherland