Thursday, April 11, 2013

I'm sorry you have the wrong Margaret!



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.


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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.

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