Some Gendered Discourses Identified to Date



Though relatively few are documented, gendered discourses abound. As an example, I offer a motherhood discourse which we might call ‘Good mums stay at home with their children’. While I am not aware of this discourse being named as such, it is a familiar discourse frequently voiced in relation to family and professional life. It is exemplified in an ‘essay’ in the Sunday Sun of 21 May 2000, in which the writer expresses the opinion, in no uncertain terms, that Cherie Booth, wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, should stay at home with new baby Leo (i.e. not continue to work as a barrister). Entitled, ‘Cherie, try some Leo-natal care’, the ‘essay’ concludes ‘What the soap [i.e. Downing Street life as a soap opera] needs now is a slice of real life … a new mum who puts her career on ice for a while and gives baby her all.’ (For more on Leo Blair, but in relation to his father, see Chapter 6.) It is possible to see this discourse as maintaining a wider, conservative, discourse of motherhood.


Gender Difference Teenage Girl Compulsory Sexuality Gender Discourse Compulsory Heterosexuality 
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  1. 1.
    See also Kitetu and Sunderland (2000) on ‘Gender differences’ discourses in relation to education: those they identify include ‘Vive la difference!’, ‘Gender fixedness’ and ‘What’s all the fuss about?’Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Jane Sunderland 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Linguistics and Modern English LanguageLancaster UniversityUK

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