Why this BBC interview of New Zealand PM irked Twitterati
Wellington, Jan 25: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made special headlines for not just being a country's premier but also as an unmarried mother and a working woman. However, a recent interview of her to BBC News came under criticism as the 38-year-old was asked what were perceived to be sexist questions and the news outlet was blasted on social media.
Ardern, who became mother just a few months ago and was seen with her newborn at big international meetings, was asked whether she has plans to marry her partner Clarke Gayford and about guilt pangs for being a working mother. The questions from Victoria Derbyshire came after Ardern spoke on more relevant topics like trade deal with the UK post Brexit and the emerging world order.
Ardern was a little surprised when she was asked whether she had plans to propose to Gayford to which she said "No I would not ask, no."
The next question was whether the prime minister was a feminist. To this, the latter said she is indeed a feminist, but added: "But no, I want to put him through the pain and torture of having to agonise about that question himself, that's letting him off the hook, absolutely not."
"I want to put [my partner] through the torture and pain of having to agonise about that question himself"— Victoria Derbyshire (@VictoriaLIVE) January 21, 2019
New Zealand @jacindaardern tells us she is a feminist, but she'd never be the one to pop the questionhttps://t.co/MCAoKLpCGK #VictoriaLIVE pic.twitter.com/rfbSp4NOmf
The interviewer said at this point: "OK, fair enough. We await that day."
The NZ prime minister, who is only the second world leader to turn a mother while in office, was also asked whether she experienced "guilt" for being a working mother. She admitted that it was "sometimes a struggle" but also added that it also gave her valuable and "insightful" experience that was more like how every woman balances their work and family duties.
The PM also discussed bringing up her daughter Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford and said she was "a mother, not a superwoman".
The Twitterati was clearly not amused by the personal questions posed by the BBC interviewer and came up with strong disapproval. Here are some of the reactions on Twitter on the issue:
Honestly @BBCNews you’re asking a Prime Minister if she’s going to propose to her husband & when she says no questioning her #feminist credentials? Seriously questioning your inappropriate & lazy #journalism lately 🤦🏻♀️ https://t.co/BjgnPpp3u1— Charlotte Minvielle (@Cha_Minvielle) January 23, 2019
In stead of taking a jab at Jacinda Ardern's feminism maybe Victoria Derbyshire should look at her sexist interview questions, including asking Ardern how she balances motherhood and running a country and whether she feels guilty about it 🙄🙄🙄https://t.co/oM5SzXZE1P— Alexandra Sinclair (@alexandrasinc10) January 22, 2019
And how do you juggle running the country and being a mum ? Stupid question from a stupid woman. https://t.co/1HyvjRmJ1h— Mike Carlton (@MikeCarlton01) January 22, 2019
Jacinda is amazing in this interview, warm and articulate, but sheesh these questions just aren’t asked of male leaders with children. https://t.co/Pq726P4wAt— Bounder (@DawgBelly) January 22, 2019