How crazy has the past couple of days been for me. Amongst those whose radar I am on, I am kind of known as staunch feminist. I also thought it was accepted that I am bit of a leftie given my deep commitment to social justice and my line of work. Well so I thought, however crazily enough I have had heaps of phones calls from my mates asking me how I am feeling about Margaret Thatcher dying, suggesting I must feel a great sense of loss....??? What the?! She was a Tory for God's sake!
Now, ok I get that it was a pretty impressive achievement to become a female Prime Minister AND in a conservative party all those years ago and I must confess I don't know much about English politics, but my understanding is that she was a heartless leader that really didn't give a toss about the working classes or the poor... I heard English politician Glenda Jackson tonight on TV state she was a really awful, heartless person completely without compassion and in fact that is my recollection of her too. To be honest I never heard her ever encourage women in any form of feminist spirit ..Maybe she did and I just don't know about it and to be fair I am over here in Oz, why would I hear about it? But the long and the short of it is the Iron Lady, just never inspired any respect from me, I am sure her family will miss her greatly, but her passing really doesn't have any bearing on me at all.
However, that being said there is one Margaret that passed away this year that I feel VERY sad about. That is the wonderful, formidable and inspiring Margaret Whitlam, a former Prime Minister's wife, an educated and outspoken woman who really DID care about the future of Australian women. When I was younger I even had a portrait photograph framed of her on my mantle piece -I remember once being asked if that was my grandmother - oh I wished! Mrs Whitlam, RIP and thank you, thank you, thank you for inspiring me and every other Australian daughter. I promise to encourage young women like you inspired me.