The Monkey Princess (stellanova) wrote,
The Monkey Princess
stellanova

here's maggie thatcher, throw her up and catch her....

Here's an interesting article by the always great Zoe Williams about Thatcher and feminism. Patrick and I have actually had several arguments about this: he claims that Thatcher, however evil she was, should be acknowledged by feminists because thanks to her, a generation of girls (including me) grew up taking it for granted that a woman could be the political leader of one of the most powerful countries in the world. Thatcher became PM when I was 4 and didn't leave until I was 15, and I remember thinking it was funny when I was about 7 and read some kids' book - only published in the late '70s - which refered to the prime minister as "he". To me, the idea that the British prime minister was a man seemed kind of oddly archaic.

But despite this, I'm not convinced, and I have always pointed out the fact that Thatcher was not a feminist and her policies actively took things away from many women, as Williams points out:

It is difficult to say what Thatcher meant by "the things women know". If she meant some kind of feminine intuition, that's laughable. If she meant the ancient, practical things that only women know, she must have been talking about childbirth (or periods?) and, again, it's difficult to divine any effect on policy. About the only thing Thatcher did for mothers was freeze child benefit, while at the same time castigating them for leaving their children in the "chaos of workplace creches".

Williams also, however, makes the point that Thatcher's smashing of the unions opened up many workplaces to women. Which is true, even if it makes one's lefty soul shudder.
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