'Politics as War': Women and Leadership into the Future

Kathryn Gooch


This chapter explores the presence of war metaphor in contemporary political discourse and its impact on women’s political leadership. It is particularly concerned with the implications of the continuing relationship between politics and war in view of the norm that women are not, or should not be, violent. This norm is identified through a study of public attitudes towards women in war as they have been expressed in online comments posted to news websites. The analysis of these attitudes, together with an examination of the use of war metaphor in contemporary Australian politics, offers new insights into some of the cultural challenges faced by women in leadership roles.


women, politics, leadership, war metaphor, gender norms

Full Text: PDF