Does being pretty help?

Miri Cohen-Achdut, Leon Shor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article analyzes debut interviews of female Israeli politicians, in which the interviewees are faced with questions or statements that imply that their gender, ethnicity or background prevent them from fulfilling their function as politicians successfully, in accordance with the "Gendered mediation thesis" (GoodYear-Grant 2013). We focus on the interviewees' responses to these questions, and particularly on how grammatically negative utterances are deployed in the service of coping with the presuppositions directed at them. The analysis indicates that the negative utterances do not carry the full weight of rejection of implied presuppositions. Moreover, in some cases negative utterances are used by the speakers as part of a hedging strategy. By describing the role of negation in debut interviews of female Israeli politicians, the paper aims to advance a more comprehensive understanding of linguistic patterns used by women, and other silenced groups, to cope with biased representation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-260
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Language and Politics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 8 Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • challenge
  • Female politicians
  • gendered media representation
  • negation
  • presupposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language


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