Gender in politics
Interview with Frédérique Matonti — Professeure de Science politique — Université Paris 1 (CESSP)
If women are, thanks to the - relative - application of the so-called “law of parity” of June 2000, more numerous than before in the political world, the representations towards them hardly changed. By a kind of paradoxical backlash, the political women of the era of parity are more and more sent back to their traditional social roles (daughters, wives, mothers) and to gender stereotypes. Their bodies, their outfits, their intimate lives are more discussed by the medias than their deeds. This media framing built-up by both the media and the communicators, qualified by Frédérique Matonti as an “Harlequin” framing because it depicts women as emotional beings rather than political strategists, works as an interpretative model: by repeating itself, it contributes to deligitimize women in politics, and beyond, to reproduce the old traditional gender hierarchy. Likewise, men in politics are more and more enclosed in a stereotyped manly image.
Summary
As one of the researchers in the field of political studies who started working since the early 2000s on the so-called “Parity law”, Frédérique Matonti here focuses on ordinary discourses on professional politicians. Even though women are more and more numerous in the political world since the application of the law, journalists and humorists’ discourses paradoxically reinforce the traditional gender hierarchy by sending women back to gender stereotypes.
Interview published on 04-03-2018
Last modified on 04-03-2018
Original language: English Lire la version French
  • Bibliography of Frédérique Matonti
  • Thematic bibliography

Le Genre présidentiel. Enquête sur l'ordre des sexes en politique, Paris, La Découverte, 2017.

Hérault de Séchelles ou les infortunes de la beauté, Paris, La Dispute, 1998.

Joan W. Scott, De l'utilité du genre, Paris, Fayard, 2012.

Catherine Achin (dir.), Sexes, genre et politique, Paris, Economica, 2007.