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Girls & Women

Outrage at Daily Mail's 'Legs-It' Front Page Is Swift and Fierce

“Legs-It.”

Those are the words emblazoned across the front page of a major British newspaper, the Daily Mail, in today’s edition, to describe a meeting between two world leaders.

The UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May met with Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon on Monday to discuss the forthcoming “Brexit” — which is officially starting Wednesday.

Read More: Number of Female Leaders Around the World Remains Stagnant, UN Finds

And while there was much to comment on — what will happen to Scotland, which is considering staying in the EU marketplace, how Brexit will impact the UK’s economy, and more — the Daily Mail ignored all that.

Instead, we got “Legs-It.”

Inside the paper, it was worse. A headline read, “Finest weapons at their command? Those pins!” A column by Sarah Vine was rampant with sexist observations. She described Sturgeon’s legs as “altogether more flirty, tantalisingly crossed … a direct attempt at seduction.” Read more of it, if you can stomach it, here.

The reaction around the internet was swift and fierce.

Later editions of the front page claim the “Legs-It” moniker was “light-hearted.”

Some tried to correct the faux-pas with more appropriate imagery:

Female leadership is stagnant around the world. The US failed to elect its first US president last fall, and instead a man who once said he likes to “grab [women] by the pussy” is in office. Globally, there are just 16 women who serve as heads of states and government, eight of whom are their country’s first woman in power.

How do you fix this problem? Let's start with journalism outlets that treat female leaders with the same respect they give male leaders.