Thursday, October 13, 2005

Margaret Thatcher: Feminist of the Day?

Margaret Thatcher
First female Prime Minister of Britain
"If you want anything said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman."


When I first started wondering round feminist blogs I saw the “feminist of the day” feature and I thought it was really nifty. I thought that one day I might get myself a blog and have a feminist of the day down the side, people could read my blog, learn about feminism, and all would be good. So I visited the feminist of the day website to see who they considered a feminist – and Margaret Thatcher was on the list.

Now I’m not particularly fussy about who is a feminist and who isn’t, I don’t have a programme – I don’t have a password or an initation ceremony. But Margaret Thatcher? Not a feminist. So it occurred to me that rather than having a straight 'feminist of the day' feature I'd discuss each feminist of the day, and use it as a way of yabbering on endlessly about what I think about feminism. Sounds fun huh?

Since today it is Margaret Thatcher’s turn to be feminist of the day it seemed a good day to begin my blog, and its feminist of the day analysis.

I'm one of those 'feminism is a broad church' people - I don't have a problem sharing an ideology with people who are annoying, wet, batshit crazy or some combination of the above. But I have standards (well only two standards really):

1. You don't get to call yourself a feminist if you have power and use it to shit on other women.

2. You don't get to call yourself a feminist if you organise to limit other people's choices.

VAT, union busting, the nuclear arms race, the Pit closures, privatisation, cutting welfare, the poll tax and bombing Iraq (first time around) weren’t exactly great steps forward in advancing women’s rights. Any measure that increases inequality and poverty effects more women than men and entrenches sexism.

I don’t think Margaret Thatcher even self-identified as feminist, she certainly didn’t feel any solidarity with other women, even of her own class, (she never promoted another woman to cabinet.

Conclusion: Margaret Thatcher, Milk Snatcher, probably did more to harm women in Britain in the 1980s than anyone else – she ain’t no feminist. Try these women, or these women instead.

2 comments:

  1. I like those two rules...

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  2. I'm a man, but I just want to say I've noticed Thatcher getting lots of praise recently, and it worries me because if you look back, she seems to have been an amazing influence on the world, but if you were on a low income or the dole in the 1980s, you'd know what a real piece of shit she was, whether you're a man or a woman. It was her who started the institutional enshrinement of the "winner takes all" attitude which has made would - be fascist scum out of so many potentially good people. Pip pip.

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