Don’t you miss your kids? (2017)

Kudos with cream and blueberries on to DN photographer Anette Nantell for these pictures of Jan Björklund with family. 😍

Photo: Anette Nantell, DN, 2017.

A long-lived gender cliché in the media is namely that female politicians – but not men – get interview questions that remind them of their children. Even in articles or hearings that are actually about their politics or career.

Men are rarely identified in texts such as the Father of Three Children, or receive surprised headlines such as “Minister and father? 🤯”. Despite the fact that – according to Google – there are male politicians who also have children. All current male party leaders do, for example.

Photo: Magnus Liam Karlsson, Aftonbladet.

When only female politicians are asked questions about the “life-puzzle” or are portrayed with children on their arms in flowery parks, the backwards idea that “the public sphere is a male domain while the private sphere is a female one” is cemented, according to media researcher Gunilla Jarlbro (in the book Gender-Aware Journalism).

There are two solutions to this. Either educate or electrocute journalists until the impulse to turn female politicians into mothers – or portray male politicians as parents too!

I think the second solution would be best. That’s why I love the pictures of the Liberal party’s leader Jan Björklund cooking and eating waffles with his family. Which appears in an article that is otherwise about politics. That the focus can be politics, work – and family.

So come on, male politicians! You can do it! Stop eating hot dogs in public, go home and cook!

Bonus image: Another example indicating change…

Photo: Henrik Montgomery, SvD, 2018.

The SvD headline “Parliament speaker’s life tough for small-child father Norlén”. A headline which, in an everyday way, focuses on a male politician’s family responsibilities. However, in the photo he’s still portrayed in the public eye, with no trace of any kids…

Which brings me to Bonus Image 2: DAD magazine, whose cover made confused potential readers wonder: WHERE ARE YOUR KIDS, DAD?

Design: Students at Lunnevad folk university