When America was deep in the midst of its second wave of feminism, Margaret Thatcher was climbing the political ladder in the U.K. She was years ahead of most American women.
Thatcher was a political powerhouse within Parliament and was elected Prime Minister in 1979 when she moved into Down House. Never one to shy of controversy, Thatcher was strong as English tea.
Thatcher was a strong conservative and imposed her values on the British public. She took over during a time of economic stress and tried to pull the country ahead via capitalistic governance. She was closely aligned with then U.S. President Ronald Reagan and they shared similar views.
Thatcher was key in the fall of the Cold War and had a strong relationship with then Russian President Gorbachev. We always hear the American version and that Reagan ended the Cold War but Thatcher was a significant leader during this process.
Tough, strong, and unbending were often among the nicer words used to describe her. She was typical of females in the time period – working hard to prove that she could do the job well. She was so tough that she was often accused of having no feelings, especially toward the economically challenged in the U.K. Thatcher was not known for her “soft side”.
Still, she served as Prime Minister of Britain for 11 1/2 years. She was strong, tough and unwavering in her beliefs about what was best for her country. And though she was not known for pulling up other women, her mere presence informed a generation that they could be anything they believed if they worked hard enough.
Like her, dislike her or otherwise, she is worthy of noting as one of the most powerful women of the 20th Century.
RIP Margaret Thatcher.