Transforming the Politics of Gender and Voice: Strategies of Expertise and Experience

Anita Biressi, Heather Nunn

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This chapter reflects on the ways in which women’s voices have been silenced in the public sphere, and explores some of the counter-tactics deployed by women in reply. It reviews the historical legacy of women’s disenfranchisement and establishes the precarious footing upon which their participation now stands. It focuses on two cases in which women have been caught up in this sexist dynamics: first, Mary Beard’s refusal to ‘shut up’ and capitulate to a normative politics of voice, attracting misogynistic abuse; secondly, Ghazala Khan’s media appearance, which was condemned, not for her speech but for her silence. It discusses how expertise (Beard), experience (Khan), and combinations of the two can be deployed strategically to reply to insult and dismissal in the public sphere.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRepresenting Communities
    Subtitle of host publicationDiscourse and Contexts
    EditorsRuth Sanz Sabido
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
    Number of pages53
    ISBN (Print)9783319650296
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


    • Gender, politics, voice, representation, public sphere

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