From legsit to feminazis: Sarah Vine's long history of controversial columns

Legs-it: Sarah Vine continues her long line of controversial articles

Sarah Vine has caused controversy with her Daily Mail article

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Journalist Sarah Vine may be in the middle of a firestorm over her front-page article on Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon in the Daily Mail, but this certainly isn't the first time the paper's superstar columnist has caused such controversy.

Vine, partner to Michael Gove and one of Britain's most outspoken journalists, has regularly found herself embroiled in such furores. So her latest article, headlined "Never mind Brexit, who won Legs-it?" is unlikely to cause her too much alarm.

Many have slammed the article as sexist and demeaning, but the piece has also generated huge publicity for the Mail - and so may have fulfilled its core objective.

Vine previously worked at The Times as a beauty editor, radio critic and columnist, and also worked as a tabloid sub-editor and broadsheet arts editor, as well as writing books.

Her column at the Mail is always incendiary but few would accuse her of being boring. Her articles are hated, abhorred but rarely ignored.

Stream of controversy

The outcry over 'legs-it' pales into insignifance when compared with an article Vine wrote about Jack Monroe, the food blogger who was born a woman.

Monroe, a prominent activist for transgender rights, claimed on Twitter that David Cameron "uses stories about his dead son as misty-eyed rhetoric to legitimise selling our NHS to his friends."

This caused Vine to hit back and write a column on the entire incident, claiming Monroe "used misty-eyed rhetoric about your son to build your career."

Vine also said Monroe "should have taken greater precautions" before having a baby and it shows she doesn't take "responsibility for her actions," in her column

This story caused so much backlash Vine said she blocked "half of north London" online.

Vine was also criticised after comparing feminists to Nazis in a column, when talking about lawyer Charlotte Proudman, who in 2015 publicised sexist messages she had received on Linkedin.

She claimed those who supported Proudman were “feminazis, permanently stationed at their computers ready to pounce at the slightest hint of politically incorrect utterance."

Many hit back at her on Twitter, saying it was a ridiculous comparison, according to The Independent.

The journalist also mocked an image of former Labour leader Ed Miliband and his wife Justine Thornton in her column, saying  "there’s nothing... that makes me believe that [Ed Miliband] and Justine are not, in fact, aliens."

But she was then slammed by Michael Portillo on TV show This Week, who described the article as "vile" and "bitchy."

He said: "That was pretty tough talk. Particularly for someone who knows how vulnerable you are in political life."

But Vine argued you have to be tough in politics, mentioning abuse she herself had received via social media.

Vine's latest firestorm will eventually blow itself out, but it surely won't be long before this hugely controversial columnist lights the blue touch paper again.

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