First female British Prime Minister dies, aged 87

Though the inevitable roars of cheering sounded, a more sombre and positive response overwhelmed the whooping and retained a respectful tribute to Baroness Thatcher, who died on 8th April.

As with most breaking news, I found out on Facebook. Instantly, worry crept over me that there would be a sea of celebration over the horrible news of death. I was humbled to find, however, that the majority of those commenting actually fought for common decency, whether in favour of her politics or not. One particular update struck me as possibly the most important: “R.I.P first British female Prime Minister”. She wasn’t just rocking the boat with her dramatic changes to the British economy but also with her gender. Girl power, as it were.

The first female Prime Minister ruled for 11 years and 209 days. That’s really rather impressive, as firsts go. She didn’t even get pushed out: she resigned. As a representative for the fairer sex, though, we’re still divided. Her policies went against feminist ideology of the time and, predictably, she wasn’t much supported by the women she criticised. Opportunities for women weren’t thick and fast, following her election win. But why should they be?

Though Thatcher famously said, “In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman”, she wasn’t fighting for womankind but for the more appropriate aspiration of achievement itself. Feminists everywhere appear to be female-only crowds of anger and resentment but in fact the end-goal is for harmony between genders. Thatcher’s success in politics is a credit to her attitude towards hard work in correlation to a goal. To succeed, one must work twice as hard as one’s competitors, male or female. And she did.

Party prejudice aside, everyone can learn from Thatcher’s life. An icon for hard-workers and those who want to be spectacular rather than ordinary, the Iron Lady deserves a cart full of respect. Rest in peace, first female British Prime Minister.

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