The Iron Lady is out. Well not out of the closet as a raving homosexual. But out in the cinemas. And it is apparently (I have yet to see it), hailing Margaret Thatcher as a feminist icon through its focus on gender and class.
There are many women who do and will agree with this sentiment, especially due to her Hollywood make-over, because she normalised female success and broke through barriers to get into the heart of an establishment that still does not represent females in the way that it should. In essence, no woman has come close to her achievements.
However, she rose to the top of the Conservative Party and then the Government at the height of the women's movement and was the first (and only) female prime minister the UK has ever seen - that should in some respect be commended. Yet she could not have been more removed from the aims, passions and identity of women's solidarity.
Thatcher did not fight for policies on equal pay for work of equal value, free abortion on demand or take back night marches. She actually depended on the traditional life: a wealthy husband and two children.
In fact, Thatcher's time at the top of Government was a compete contradiction for feminism. She did nothing for sexual equality. After all, if she had bothered to the male/female divide in Parliament would probably not exist now, if she had pulled her finger out.
She only appointed people in her cabinet on merit - which is of course right. Yet, she only appointed one female, and I have no doubt many more would have done an admirable job.
Thatcher likes what sexist, patriarchal men have always liked: power. She loved men. Always speaking about her father, showing her admiration and love for her son, flirting with her favourite men to get what she wanted. So that makes her a feminist icon?
A feminist is someone that fights for equality, does not except entrenched inequality, identifies with women, creates a feeling of sisterhood and fights misogyny. A feminist does not allow domestic violence, rape, discrimination, and sexual inequality to continue without a good old fight. Thatcher did nothing. You still think she was a sister of yours, a friend and a feminist? Do me a favour.
Of course her statement handbags and patent court shoes have been lapped up by the fashion industry. But why would you want to look like someone who does nothing for you and rates you on your looks, not your brain? I highly doubt Thatcher would want to be remembered for her looks as that would only objectify her. So why should the rest of us accept it?
Just because a woman is appointed as a prime minister does not make her a feminist by virtue. Would you say that America is no longer racist because it appointed Obama as its first black pPresident?
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