lunes, 8 de abril de 2013

Margaret Thatcher, or how the way was paved.

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"If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.” Margaret Thatcher once said. In 1965. NINETEEN SIXTY FIVE. Today we like to talk about women’s rights and equality and what it’s taken to get here, a conversation that sometimes can get heated and often can turn virulent, and yet I’m not sure we ever pay enough attention to the real men and women who made this a discussion we can openly have. 

Today, we should. If, for nothing else, for Margaret Thatcher, who passed away this morning, at 87, and for the legacy she left behind. For the ideas she once defended. For what she wanted us to be, and have, and achieve. 

Now, Margaret Thatcher and I don’t agree on everything (okay, ANYTHING). Politics and ideals and the like are a funny thing, you can admire someone you have nothing in common with, and despise someone with the same values as you.  Values are not people, and the reverse also holds true. In some cases (most cases), the sensible course of action is to focus on the person, not on the ideals.  

The Iron Lady, as she is often called, was truly an example to us all. 

In a time where politics is filled with superficial men and women, with politicians too afraid to commit to anything that might hinder their rise, with ideals brandied about as a way to gain more votes, nothing more,  it’s hard to not sit down and admire a woman with the strength and determination to fight. And then fight again. And again.

Perhaps, without that example, a lot of women my age, and many who came before me, would still believe they’re not good enough, smart enough; would still  think that there are some positions that are reserved solely for men. Perhaps we wouldn’t know that we can be as good at politics, engineering, construction, and pretty much anything else we set our mind to.
Maybe, being a woman today would be much, much harder, without examples like Margaret Thatcher.

And, so, as John Steinbeck said, also a long time ago, proving that the idea of feminism as we like to use it was supported not only by women, “And finally, in our time a beard is the one thing that a woman cannot do better than a man, or if she can her success is assured only in a circus.”

Thank you, Iron Lady, for proving this point. Thank you for trying to prove all your points. Thank you, for trying. We’ll keep trying too.

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