Margaret Thatcher: To Love Or Loath?

by
Sameera Ehteram
Speaking ill of the dead is generally frowned upon. But not always. People loved hating Margaret Thatcher while she was alive. Not much has changed with her death. There were101 reasons to hate her. All, most, or at least some of them may have been true. But the time for worldly judgment has passed.

Margaret Thatcher

Reuters

Speaking ill of the dead is generally frowned upon. But not always. People loved hating Margaret Thatcher while she was alive. Not much has changed with her death. There were101 reasons to hate her. All, most, or at least some of them may have been true. But the time for worldly judgment has passed.

But there is something about her that brings out this fury in people.  Some people genuinely suffered under her rule.

Feminists disowned her by insisting that though she was a woman, she was not a sister. People said she had no heart and cared little for human needs.

Margaret Thatcher

Reuters

But what she was, was a politician and a female one at that. She did what she thought needed to be done; some of her decisions were invariably bad, divisive and may be even unnecessary. Like every politician she was a complex character, who did a lot of things that made people hate her.

But probably, they expected different from a woman? More understanding, more compassion, perhaps more of an emotional intelligence?

But no one really walked a mile in her shoes. Not many people know what the grocer’s daughter had to   go through, compromise and sacrifice in order to get a foothold in a field dominated by men. Men who had so far not imagined a woman in their midst, even though their monarch was also one.

Not many men can stomach a woman who believes, "Defeat? I do not recognize the meaning of the word." 

She won and in the process brought her opponents down from lofty pedestals.
 

“A woman with opinions,”they say, “had better develop a thick skin and a loud voice.”

There are very few roles women are tolerated in with open hearts.  Merryl Streep, who played Margaret Thatcher addressed the same dilemma when she said, “No one has ever asked an actor, 'You're playing a strong-minded man…' We assume that men are strong-minded, or have opinions. But a strong-minded woman is a different animal.”

Margaret Thatcher

Reuters

Her critics would see her as the personification of the uncaring political philosophy that brought in the poll tax and isolated the working man.

Whether a supporter or critic there is no doubt that Margaret Thatcher was one of the most uncompromising and determined leader of British history.

Despite it all, even many of her political foes secretly admired her grit and single-mindedness.

She lived her political life not as a career but as a mission.

"I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end."

Margaret Thatcher

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