I know she divided the country but I feel sad today that maggie thatcher has died. I was born in 1980 with a female prime minister and a female monarch. I wonder how many years before it happens again?
See, the thing is I don't think she did strike a blow for women in any other way that simply being one. I don't think she represented women any more than any previous or subsequent male PM. Many of her economic policies made things harder for women rather than easier, imo.
I do think you're right but as a child who didn't understand that, I grew up with the knowledge that women could and do rule the country, and I think that has slightly shaped my own views, in that I've always strongly believed in gender equality.
But is it the job of a women prime minister to "strike a blow for women" any more than it is the job of a male prime minister to "strike a blow for men"? I've always thought that a prime minister - male or female - is to be PM for everyone, not just one half of the population.
The very fact that that we had a female prime minister (love or loathe her) means it is a goal that can be achieved by a woman.
I think her background also marks her out- social mobility has contracted since she was PM, and the chances of a grocer's daughter climbing the greasy pole of the Tory party hierarchy are pretty remote these days.
I was no great fan of her policies, or her leadership style, but she did realise a massive change on our country, and for that she deserves recognition. This seems the most thoughtful of the Thatcher threads on here today!
She was a clever girl, who rose through the education system and went to Oxford on a scholarship. From then on her future was pretty secure, either as the wife of a successful and/or rich man, or more remarkably as it turned out for the time, as a success in her own right. The key to her success was being academically able. I would venture to say that she is very unrepresentative of the women of her time at large, and didn't really have any time for the not academically-able. This is her one major area of blindness, which she shares with many currently successful people- they forget that the conditions in which they were able to succeed are not necessarily present now or even 20 years ago.
Yes a good number of politicians are alike in that respect duchesse. She wouldn't have been helped in this by her peers. I do wonder though when the next female MP will come forward to lead one of the parties. Maggie was 20 years ago now...
Tonight there was an interesting interview on Radio Scotland Newsdrive (towards the end of the 1st hour if you want to Listen Again) - it was with Beatrix Campbell who in her very clear and uncompromising way made several points, incl Thatcher liked strong, macho men, NOT women, and she only really made it in the tory party because of her marriage to very rich man. It's not to say she wouldn't have been succcessful otherwise - she was clever woman in her own right, from academic POV.