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Gender clashes and faux pas: The political diaries of Ulla Lindström, Swedish minister in 1954-66
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (CFS, Centrum för feministiska samhällsstudier)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2584-064X
2016 (English)In: European journal of life writing, ISSN 1555-4015, E-ISSN 2378-8526, Vol. 5, 24-44 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Sweden, as in many other countries, women’s political representation was a contested issue long before 1922, when the first five women entered the Swedish Parliament among 375 male MPs. In general, the few women in top political positions have met resistance both from male colleagues and in the mass media. Biographies and memoirs of political women in different countries from the 1950s until today show a similar pattern: political scandals are more devastating for women than for men; and for women the question of doing gender “right” is often crucial.1 The mass media’s tendency to stereotype female politicians is also immensely influential.2 In this paper the special discourse developed in the Swedish press regarding Ulla Lindström, the only female minister between 1954 and 1966, is scrutinized. The concepts of ‘doing gender’ and ‘gender clash’ are used to analyse how women politicians are constructed as ‘not right’, and to show how women politicians are stereotyped in the press. The question is whether and how the political persona created in the national press corresponded with the political persona created by Ulla Lindström in her political diaries, written during her time as a cabinet minister. These diaries created a sensation when they were published in two books, in 1969 and 1970, partly because they were published such a short time after Lindström’s resignation, partly because the diaries were based on shorthand notes and revealed the internal discussions among members of the government in a way that was unique at that time, both in Sweden and Europe.

Abstract [sv]

Såsom åtskillig forskning visat har det varit svårt för politiskt aktiva kvinnor att förena de motstridiga krav som ställts på dem som handlingskraftiga politiker och “riktiga” kvinnor. Inom massmedieforskning används ofta ordet persona för att beskriva den personlighet som en politiker iscensätter på den offentliga arenan, en politisk persona. Problemet för politiker är att det i massmedia ofta skapas en annan persona än den som politikern själv iscensätter. Den svenska pressens bild av Ulla Lindström som ett pratigt och beskäftigt statsråd, vars karriär präglades av grodor, fadäser och klavertramp, kan ses som ett sätt att “skapa” en politisk persona och med den en diskurs; ett specifikt sätt att tala och skriva om regeringens enda kvinnliga minister åren 1954–66. När Ulla Lindström efter sin avgång 1966 publicerade de politiska dagböcker hon fört under sin statsrådstid var ett av hennes motiv sannolikt att hon ville ge sin version, dvs skapa sin egen politiska persona som motvikt mot den bild som skapats av henne i pressen. I mitt bidrag skall jag med stöd av begrepp som “genuskrock” och att “göra kön” ge exempel på hur Ulla Lindström skapades som politisk persona och hur hon själv såg på eller tolkade den bild som konstruerades i pressen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: VU University Amsterdam , 2016. Vol. 5, 24-44 p.
Keyword [en]
women in politics, political persona, political diaries, faux pas
National Category
Gender Studies
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-54205OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-54205DiVA: diva2:1060658
Available from: 2016-12-29 Created: 2016-12-29 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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