Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Iron Lady

I watched The Iron Lady on a flight last year, and didn't like it one bit. Yeah, yeah, Meryl Streep is a great actress, what else is new? The woman could play a kitchen sink and everyone would be in tears. She should be given a lifetime achievement award of some sort already and then we could all move on. The movie itself was a drag.

Well I might have been a bit biased when watching the movie because I already established a strong dislike towards Margaret Thatcher since I read about her a couple of years back. I don't really remember what good things she did while she was in power, but she used to be a supporter of the Apartheid in South Africa. To me, that one detail about her eclipses any good thing she ever did, if any.

And I don't really get how people say she paved the way for female leaders everywhere. If anyone should get that accolade, it should be Hatshepsut, the first and longest reigning female pharaoh, and that was over 3500 years ago. And she did a damn good job governing Ancient Egypt. There has been a lot of great female figures ever since, so why are we fixating on this one woman as though she changed the face of the Earth?

I'm not trying to be disrespectful, because a life is a life and her death (or anyone else's for that matter) shouldn't be celebrated. But I've been seeing a lot of Tweets and Facebook statuses praising this woman in the wake of her passing. Just because she was the longest-serving British Prime Minister and a woman doesn't make her the greatest one. Well, to be honest, I don't really understand British politics that much and I really couldn't care less about the debates on Tory or whatever the hell the Brits always yap about. One thing I do know is that Britain is one of the most powerful countries in the world but as of late, their Prime Ministers have all been unremarkable on the world stage. It's safe to say that 10 Downing Street has merely turned into a cross-atlantic extension of the White House.

Well maybe I read the wrong book about her where she was portrayed in a bad light, and I let myself be influenced by the author's own inclination. But for a person as influential as a British Prime Minister, it's one thing not to step up to combat a policy as hideous as the Apartheid, it's another thing to fully support it. To be fair, she did a complete turnaround and opposed the Apartheid towards the end, but only after extreme pressure from all around the world. That's like apologizing for something only because you got caught: it doesn't count.

So there is my opinion about the late Margaret Thatcher. I might be oversimplifying things and I certainly overlooked a lot of great stuff she did. After all, you cannot maintain power in a democratic country for 11  years without doing something right. But I'm pretty sure she doesn't deserve all the credit she's been getting.

For what it's worth, rest in peace Madam Thatcher.

ps: Apparently I've written about her before, also in a relatively bitter tone. Yea, I might need a Thatcher chill pill.

1 comment:

Abenawe MacNeil said...

saw her ceremonial state funeral live on tv that day..

the moment her casket were carried out of st. paul's cathedral, the crowds cheered & clapped their hands..