Fashionable (dis-)order in politics: Gender, power and the dilemma of the suit | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1740-8296
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0918



Women in political leadership are imprisoned in a double-bind communication: when they perform and dress along feminine patterns, they might be looked as deficient actors in the hard field of politics. When they refuse typical female looks and submit to male dress code, their performance is commented as conspicuous. The global visual political communication in media sends clear signals: nothing changes. Women are still the exception, ‘the other’. The visualized lose-lose situation for female politicians is conceived as symbolical violence. In this article the central piece of clothing - the dark suit – is discussed under cultural perspective, along macro-structural principles of the gender order, as instrument in the repetitive practice of exclusion in politics and within the distribution of media pictures. A visual discourse analysis - a ‘vis-course analysis’ - of international group photos from political events like summits traces fashion practices marking the fields of masculinity and power.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error