New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Election 2024
27 October 2014

David Cameron refused five times to wear ELLE’s feminist t-shirt

The PM refuses to pose wearing a "This is what a feminist looks like" t-shirt for ELLE magazine.

By Media Mole

“Why is David Cameron so afraid to call himself a feminist?” is the question ELLE magazine is asking today.

The magazine asked Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg, and the PM (among some male celebrities) to pose wearing the Fawcett Society’s famous slogan t-shirt that reads “This is what a feminist looks like”. Miliband and Clegg obliged. But the magazine claims Cameron refused its request not once, but five times.

The editor-in-chief of ELLE, Lorraine Candy, commented:

We asked the Prime Minister five times if he would wear the Fawcett Society’s iconic This Is What A Feminist Looks Like slogan T-shirt and send us a snapshot (it would only take 10 minutes). Five times, he declined. This is a shame on so many levels, especially given he knew Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband had agreed without hesitation, alongside many other influential men who were more than happy to call themselves feminists. It seems the Prime Minister still has an issue with the word “feminist”.

I was personally disappointed that we couldn’t feature Mr Cameron in our Feminism Issue because it is ELLE’s aim to engage with men in the fight for equality: because of parliament’s current gender imbalance, it is men who have the power to make changes in every area of British women’s lives. When the man in charge doesn’t engage, it doesn’t bode well. Given the huge international male support for UN Women’s #HeForShe campaign, it does rather make our Prime Minister look like the odd one out.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Here are Miliband and Clegg sporting the t-shirts:

Photos: ELLE

It occurs to this mole that this situation has parallels with the time Miliband failed to pose wearing a Help for Heroes rubber wristband for The SunBut with Miliband close to reaching his aim of a 50 per cent female cabinet, and the PM’s enduring “women problem”, it sees this story as far more revealing of Cameron’s priorities.

Content from our partners
Peatlands are nature's unsung climate warriors
How the apprenticeship levy helps small businesses to transform their workforce
How to reform the apprenticeship levy