Nicola Sturgeon has claimed she earned her “nippy sweetie” nickname because she tried to emulate the aggressive and adversarial approach of male politicians when she began her parliamentary career.
Speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the First Minister said she began her political career surrounded by “middle-aged white men”.
“Unconsciously and unknowingly I started to behave in a way that was about conforming and fitting in with the people that I was surrounded by,” Ms Sturgeon said.
“ That was reflected I guess. in how I chose to dress as a young woman in politics. In how I behaved. In politics if you are trying to fit in with how the men around you are behaving then that means you become adversarial and dare I say it aggressive in how you pursue and articulate your arguments.
“But here’s the real nub and here’s the trap for women. You find yourself emulating the traits that in men are seen as strengths. Then you quickly realise that in women they are not seen as strengths. So the male politician who’s very assertive, aggressive and adversarial is a great, strong leader. A woman is bossy and strident – a nippy sweetie as they used to call me.”