Wednesday 13 June 2012


Margaret Thatcher - The Musical, it’s only a matter of time. Not actually what I wanted to scribble but a random thought on the “is she or isn’t she (a feminist icon)” maelstrom that was. The film however was an age ago; the arguments, stale, packed away awaiting their final outing. I’ll not wait; on this subject I need to scratch an itch, though it’s hardly original. The answer to the question is “yes”. Those who answer “no” seem to fall into a number of groups:
  1. Those who miss the question. A person needn’t be a feminist to be a feminist icon; in the same way one needn’t be gay to be a gay icon.
  2. Those with the dogma, the syllogistic fallacies common to student-level politics; socialists are feminists therefore feminists have to be socialists. Oh dear.
  3. Those lacking a sense of history. Some might find the misogyny of today’s “lads mags” and the “girl power” message of not so long ago phony and dispiriting; I know I do, but it’s a breeze compared to the 1970’s.
The answer to the question is “yes”, albeit in a historical context and understanding the meaning behind a core creed of gender equality. This isn’t, as popularly stated, a belief that women are every bit as good as men, but that women are every bit as capable. ‘Good’ to my mind encourages unhelpful boxing of positive attributes to one’s own political beliefs. Equality demands impartiality, ‘capable’ allows neutrality. Whether for good or bad, irrespective of policy or her own conviction, the UK’s first - and to date, only - female Prime Minister, symbolised the possibility that a woman could reach the pinnacle of her chosen career, and at a time when “a woman’s place” could be spoken of without any sense of irony. If that doesn’t make her a feminist icon, I don’t know what does.


  1. I know what an icon is. I own two.

    You have to be dead to be an icon. I am not a fan of Margaret Thatcher, but I do not wish her dead. She was not highly evolved, but she was sincere in her beliefs and did what was Right in her own eyes, and deserves, therefore, to live out her days in tranquillity. All that being said, she is not dead.

    You ought to be male. Or a Virgin Mother to be an icon. Very few icons are otherwise female. Speaking of gender preferences, I don't like what men did to Margaret. That braying band of sycophants who did her over for the unprincipled reason that with her the next election could not be won, are not of her stature. Nevertheless, as a woman, she is an unlikely icon.

    You have to be a saint to be an icon. Mrs T only made, 'Blessed'.

    Most pertinently Phil, an icon has to be venerated by those who nail them above the prie-dieu. I think I have you there.

    1. Ah, I concede you have a point. So the statement is "she should be a feminist icon!"