Yesterday Margaret Thatcher died. She was the first, and only female Prime Minister of Britain. She was not a feminist, indeed is quoted as saying ‘Feminism is poison’. She did not make it easier for other women to achieve big things in the world of ‘work’. I remember being a member of a womens group at university in the 80′s who wrote to her in government asking about plans to improve the availability/affordability of childcare to women working outside the home. She replied that the government believed that the best people to raise children were the parents Not what she herself had done.
I’m not sure that it was part of her job-description to help other women, but nevertheless disapointing. She polarised opinions, but in selling off so many council houses, too many in fact, enabled many people to become home-owners who may never have otherwise. Like most governments, there were good and bad legacies, and I do not intend to debate them here.
However strongly people feel about the ‘bad’ policies/legacies, it does not justify gathering in a large group to celebrate her death. There is something horribly reminiscent of crowds gathering by the gallows to jeer. It has no place in a so-called civilised society. One group, forming part of the larger group, was the anti-bedroom tax group. Margaret Thatcher has been out of government since 1990, so this was clearly just ‘bandwagon jumping’ and faintly ridiculous.
Would this have happened if she had done exactly the same things politically as a man, not a woman?
It saddens and appalls me to think that it would not.