Here at IMAGE.ie our love for Amal Clooney née Alamuddin knows few bounds. Whether she is killing it on a red carpet – those gloves at the Golden Globes anyone? – or making waves during her day job as an accomplished human rights lawyer, she is a woman to be admired for her achievements. She has also managed to transition into public life with style, elegance and grace. No easy feat, considering she married Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor. Regardless of how she is viewed by the public, her successes, particularly those relating to her career, have more than proved she is her own woman. To put it simply, she’s so much more than “an actor’s wife.” But that was what the Associated Press, a respected media outlet, chose to call her. To them, she is simply the wife of a famous actor. Here is the tweet:
Amal Clooney, actor’s wife, representing Al-Jazeera journalist accused in Egypt of ties to extremists http://t.co/i6nQg0xPg3
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 29, 2015
Okay, she is married to a high-profile celebrity, but so what? It naturally does not diminish any of her accomplishments, but labelling her as such is rather belittling and sexist, even if she is in the public eye. Is it fair to say she is just one-half of a famous pairing when she is also a lawyer, advocate and published legal author? Surely she is entitled to more? To recap, Amal is an international human rights barrister who has defended Julian Assange and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, as well as Al Jazeera English journalist Mohamed Fahmy. She’s been an appointee to numerous U.N. panels, including one that investigated America’s use of drones as counter-terrorism tools. She clerked for Justice Sonia Sotomayor in the U.S. Court of Appeals and has also co-authored four legal books and lectures at Columbia University in New York. That is quite a CV.
The tweet was regarding her case representing Fahmy (which resulted in both Fahmy, and his Egyptian colleague Baher Mohamed being jailed for three years), and has generated quite a reaction online. It may simply just have been a poor choice of words, but many feel she deserved better. A woman obviously isn’t defined by her spouse, and it may only be a small thing, but perhaps these instances of sexism against women (however slight they may be) in the entertainment industry would happen less if more thought was given to even the finer details. Plenty weren’t happy with the context of the tweet regardless and were not afraid to say so:
@AP it’s a good job that when she’s not being George Clooney’s wife she’s not like A HIGH PROFILE HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER or anything.
— Tim Stillman (@Stillberto) August 29, 2015
@AP poor choice of words. A woman is not defined by her spouse. You can do better.
— Jessica M (@jayjum) August 29, 2015
Lawyer? Attorney? Advocate? Solicitor? Correct description rather than “actor’s wife” & the story is about the journalist by the way! @AP
— Gone to Swan (@waheedaharris) August 29, 2015
@AP ummm, sexist much? how about human rights attorney? Her marital status doesn’t define her. You really need to fix this.
— Michele McKeon (@MicheleMcKeon) August 29, 2015
@AP Do you mean Amal Clooney, lawyer, activist, writer? Whoever wrote that needs a head check, never mind a spell check. Laughable u r
— Jacky Tweedie (@jstweedie) August 29, 2015
What do you make of this?