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British Prime Minister Theresa May and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon are currently trending on Twitter.
Unfortunately, interest in the two women has nothing to do with their Brexit discussion in Scotland earlier this afternoon, and Scotland’s request for independence ahead of the rest of the U.K.’s exit from the European Union, to be finalized on Wednesday.
Instead, a cover line from the front page of the Daily Mail‘s March 28 edition, revealed by BBC reporter Neil Henderson on Twitter late Monday evening, is dominating the online conversation: “Never mind Brexit, who won Legs-it?” reads the text accompanying a photo of the pair, each outfitted in a navy skirt suit, hose and kitten heels, following their discussions.
Many (including this reporter) failed to believe that in the year 2017 such a blatant show of sexism could exist, let alone be published on one of the most popular, albeit generally disrespected, publications across the pond. The Daily Mail U.K. posted the image on its Twitter account, however, confirming the cover, inciting cries of “Shame on the Daily Mail” and “What year is it?” with others suggesting that “No one won Legs-it… We all lost.”
“Tomorrow morning, a young girl will look at that cover and think, maybe politics isn’t for me,” tweeted Claire Porter, head of external affairs for think tank NLGN.
The story that accompanies the headline goes on to discuss how May shut down Sturgeon’s request for a fresh independence referendum during their meeting, all, shockingly, without mention of the leaders’ legs. (Only awkward smiles and stiff body language were observed with regards to appearance.) The story goes to prove that, as if we didn’t already know this, the headline was wholly unnecessary.
Of course, this isn’t the first time female politicians have been reduced to their body parts, and it probably won’t be the last. But hopefully the backlash from the sexist cover — a clear grab for attention — will be strong enough to make the Mail think twice.
Read the Twittersphere’s reaction below:
Oh FFS that Daily Mail “legs cover” is real?
— Gareth Morgan (@MogsyMorg) March 27, 2017
“What about SEX-it…”
— James Martin (@Pundamentalism) March 27, 2017
I think we can safely say that no one won legs-it. No one won a single thing. pic.twitter.com/M2d6QxgWm2
— Felicity Morse (@FelicityMorse) March 27, 2017
— Evie the Cat (@HMCabinetCat) March 27, 2017
still no clearer on who did actually win Legs-it. once again, with all the Twitter outrage, the real issue gets buried
— Joel Golby (@joelgolby) March 27, 2017
Nobody won Legs-it. Nobody won anything. We all lost. pic.twitter.com/TddtEPbEo6
— Dr Paul Coxon (@paulcoxon) March 27, 2017
Legs-it doesn’t even work. Are their legs leaving? Is there a race? What?
— Left Outside (@leftoutside) March 27, 2017
surely that’s no the front cover of the daily mail? SURELY NO https://t.co/blvDQW432c
— caity cat (@caitorz) March 27, 2017
‘Legs-it’. The Mail is literally that man on the last train home who leans over stinking of piss and brandy and tells you to cheer up. https://t.co/tBYHRy2abK
— Eva Wiseman (@EvaWiseman) March 27, 2017
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