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Manterrupting in the German Bundestag: Gendered Opposition to Female Members of Parliament?

  • Malliga Och


The problem of manterrupting, i.e. men interrupting women to take control of a conversation, claiming superior knowledge, or discrediting women's arguments, has garnered major attention in social and traditional media. Yet scholarly accounts of gendered speech interruption patterns in parliamentary debates are less common. In this article, I argue that manterrupting can be considered a form of resistance against women in politics and, in its worst iteration, prevent female representatives from representing women's interests. This article will analyze the problem of ‘manterrupting’ regarding parliamentary debates in Germany by investigating the nature and extent of male interruptions during parliamentary debates in the 17th legislative period. Drawing on insights from social psychology and masculinity studies, this article finds that in the case of Germany, manterruptions are neither systemic and frequent enough to constitute a form of resistance against women in politics nor do they prevent female representatives from engaging in the substantive representation of women.

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Previous versions of this article were presented at the Resisting Women’s Political Leadership: Theories, Data, Solutions Conference at Rutgers University (2017), the 24th World Congress of the International Political Science Association, and the Men and Masculinities and Politics workshop at the University of Bristol (2016). Many thanks to Sarah Childs, Mona Lena Krook, and Jennifer Piscopo for their insightful feedback.



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