Queen of the Day

Margaret Thatcher: The Iron Lady

As the first (and so far only) female Prime Minister of the UK, Baroness Margaret Hilda Thatcher was loved by some, disliked by others and immortalized on the big screen with an Oscar-winning performance by Meryl Streep. Nicknamed the “Iron Lady” for her tenacity in both personal and political actions, Thatcher overcame even her own initial uncertainties after telling a reporter before her election that she didn’t think she’d live to see a female Prime Minister take office. Richard Carr, a political scientist at Anglia Ruskin University, had this to say of Thatcher, who passed away today at the age of 87:

“To supporters, she changed Britain from a nation in long-term industrial decline to an energetic, dynamic economy. To opponents, she entrenched inequalities between the regions and classes, and placed the free market above all other concerns. Our politics, and many of our politicians, have been forged in her legacy.”

Despite her controversial reception, President Obama pointed out today that because of Thatcher’s honorable achievements, she taught “our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered.” So in honor of Baroness Thatcher and all of the other women out there plowing through uncertainties, get out there and break some (figurative) glass!

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=603433057 Alison Harding

    Oh I feel so torn. I love love hello giggles but I strongly have to disagree- Margaret thatcher taught the people of Britain one thing: that only rich, upper middle class people matter. Her policies and beliefs are still a scar on this nation. So whilst I would never be happy somebody is dead, I don’t think she deserves the female empowerment praise- that belongs to true pioneers like the suffragettes, or any strong woman we see around us.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662424155 Lols ORourke

    I agree with Alison. Margaret Thatcher is not the type of woman that we should aspire to be. That she was a woman is largely irrelevant as she consciously defeminised herself and sought to be as masculine as possible. The UK still has not recovered from her policies and large divides still exist. She is not someone to be celebrated. She allowed the death of hunger strikers in Northern Ireland and she was head of a government that covered up the facts surrounding the deaths of 96 people in the Hillsborough disaster.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004947552843 Rachel Alice

    What I dislike the most is that I’m expected to adore Margaret Thatcher BECAUSE I’m feminist. No. I can criticise Thatcher and I do, quite merrily, because my criticism is nothing to do with her being a woman and everything to do with her being a vile PM. So while I won’t celebrate her passing the way some have (there’s something very chilling about seeing people gleeful in another person’s death) I won’t be celebrating her life and ‘achievements’ either. She put a massive chip in the Westminster glass ceiling, but hopefully the next female PM will smash the heck out of it.

    With our current govt’s policies, it’s pretty clear Thatcherism is alive and well anyhow.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=532312326 Lisa Weston

    I totally agree with every comment here, although I am too young to have really been affected by her decisions while in power, many of my family members are not and have explained how her actions and decisions negatively affected a huge amount of people. She, like many other conservatives in Britain, advocated the idea of making the rich richer and the poor poorer.
    Also, anyone referring to her as a feminist icon clearly hasn’t done their research, as this quote from the Huffington Post proves:
    “Every time I hear Margaret Thatcher called a feminist, a little bit of feminism inside of me dies. Margaret Thatcher detested feminism. I know this because she told us, “The feminists hate me, don’t they? And I don’t blame them. For I hate feminism. It is poison.” How can you possibly be credited as being a part of and moreover a role model for something that you so publicly hate? You aren’t a feminist by default; it’s a mindset, a way of thinking. Thatcher was incredibly successful in what is still a predominantly male world but just because she is a woman and achieved great things in her career does not make her a feminist. During her 11 years in office Margaret Thatcher had just ONE woman in her cabinet, Baroness Young. She ignored the plight of women in politics and society as a whole. Of course according to Thatcher, “There is no such thing as society.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=551712972 Dimitra Mexis

    I love Hellogiggles however I have to say that I think they have made a mistake in allowing this article to be posted.. I couldn’t have said why better than the people who have already posted below.. I understand freedom of opinion but this post only scratches the surface on an enormously controversial topic and only people well versed in the subject should really be allowed to comment on it, especially on such a popular forum..

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1138523062 Emily Waldron

      I don’t like Maggie myself (understatement), but it is freedom of press. If they check the comments and actually look into some of the reasons why people don’t like her, than they have learned something that History books fail to mention.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1051026302 Ileana Kleinman

    She KILLED more than 300 argentinian BOYS that were NOT on the war zone. I think ¨controversial¨ is an euphemism. She gave the order, she was a killer

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=747648098 Alonso Martinez

    She really fought for the richest, she supported the racists (yes, she opposed to a Mandela statue in London and supported the apartheid regime) for the racists, she supported fascist dictatorships, but through all the almighty war machine against conscripts sent to die by brutal dictators. Internally she considered that all discontent and labour struggle had to be crushed and no fight for rights or better salaries should be allowed. I am surprised that in a self-defined feminist website you dont point out that she was a strong fighter against women´s rights, directly and indirectly with all what I said above.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=613260709 Beccy Sanderson

    I don’t really think I could add anything new to what has already been said here.
    Although I haven’t (knowingly) been affected by her policies of the time, the effects are certainly felt today: deregulation of the banks and the opening of free markets were responsible for the financial mess this country is now in, promoting a culture of greed and consumerism, and the selling-off of council houses has undoubtedly let to the housing crisis we face.
    Nothing is going to change now that she’s passed away, and it’s very bad taste to be celebrating her death, but she truly was an awful awful woman.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000611408575 Andrea Guinn

    I love Margaret Thatcher and I think it’s ridiculous that the one time hellogiggles mentions anything good about a conservative, liberal feminists go nuts and start criticizing this site like crazy. Margaret Thatcher was an excellent lady. She’s someone I aspire to be like- A strong, opinionated woman dedicated to the betterment of her people and who rose to success without relying on feminism to do so.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1138523062 Emily Waldron

      Could you please do your homework on the woman before you aspire to be like her? Essentially you want to kill and torture someone of a different religion than you are, and invade a country that never wanted you and demand that they give up their freedom to follow you? Bravo! Have you ever hear of Bobby Sands, Patsy O’Hara, Kieran Doherty? Look into the Irish history with Margaret Thatcher and see how wonderful she truly was.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000611408575 Andrea Guinn

        Could you please not talk down to me when you’ve never even met me? Please, lets be civil adults. She was a woman who worked her way up from the bottom despite constant trials and attacks, and she did it without playing the victim. She believed in prosperity for all people and that socialism and communism are evil and have no place in modern society. I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I know all about her life and policies. I’m not an expert on UK history. (I’m from ‘Murica) but the speeches I’ve seen her make, the way Ronald Reagan trusted her as a friend and ally as much as he did lets me know that she was not perfect, but was a true, powerful conservative lady nonetheless.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1051026302 Ileana Kleinman

          you should definitely know more abput her policies before you say you LOVE her. Grabb the history book!

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=615062519 Ciara Ní Mhurchú

          Educate yourself because you clearly havent a clue about Thatcher.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002007669296 James Callahan

    Love her or hate her she is a great role model for girls, because to embrace leadership you must except that a lot of people will not like you. Its easy to be liked when you don’t take a stand or stick with your crowed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1629588413 Marikka Hughes

    To be fair, “disliked” is a bit of a timid term for the animosity the name Margaret Thatcher can stir up. When there are “best of” lists for anti-Thatcher songs, what some people feel is far more than dislike. I dislike cauliflower, but I don’t write songs about that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=641280574 Francesca Turauskis

    I have already written my own blog post and got into several arguments about Ol’ Maggie in the last 24hrs. It seems to me that there is a clear divide between those who are English, British and well informed about what she actually was and has done, and those from around the world who assume she is a feminist icon by proxy of her achievements. Thatcher did not become PM to smash the glass ceiling and help women, families and the working people of society. She did it for purely selfish reasons to better her own situation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=615062519 Ciara Ní Mhurchú

    This woman was hated by people all over the world and not just in the Uk. She was responsible for a generation of people losing their jobs in the industries of England. She was vile. Good riddens to her.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=595054780 Kyle Brett

    A few points really ought to be made for clairtys sake
    #1 Feminism is an ‘ism’ …Margret Thatcher was her own ‘ism’ and thus feminism was surplus to requirement.
    #2 Murderer of 300 Argentine boys; “Inter Arma Enim Silent Legis” (For among [times of] arms, the laws fall mute) Argentina invaded without warning or provocation a free self governing protectorate of the United Kingdom by casting a communications blackout and storming the islands Falklands/Malvinas (your preference) with conscripted Argentine prisoners to form an army of thugs. The ARA General Belgrano was strategically positioned just south of the Burwood Bank (a body of shallow water) where it could easily evade submarine detection Admiral Sir John Forster Woodward gave the order to sink ARA General Belgrano as it was deemed to be engaging in a pincer maneuver with ARA Veinticinco de Mayo.
    #3 The loss of your job. The mines closed under Margaret Thatchers premeirship were all being held open at ever increasing cost to the tax payer and produced year-on-year net losses. They should have been closed under the previous government however the previous government feared that the mining, steel and rail unions would work together to bring the UK’s economy crashing down around themselfs out of spite for having to find new, profitable jobs as opposed to carrying on as they were both working exceedingly hard and simultaneously leeching from net tax contributors.

    I may be waiting some time for truely witty and or ironic post-mortem reposts from Thatchers detractors. {sigh}

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