So by now, if you're alive, you know that Margaret Thatcher passed away yesterday morning here in London. Every news outlet, pundit, and commentator – professional or otherwise – has offered his and her assessment of her work and legacy, so I won't offer anything more here. You can find them yourselves, if you haven't already, across the internet. But what I wanted to point out here on my patch of the internet is what's been missing from the commentary.
I watched 4 hours of coverage about Margaret Thatcher last night across the BBC, read countless articles and had several conversations about her yesterday. Not one of them focused on Margaret Thatcher as a woman beyond her being the first female Prime Minister of the UK. I've been fascinated and impressed that the coverage of her life and death has been shaped by her policies and achievements (and failures) rather than her gender.
Regardless of whether you think her actions shaped modern Britain successfully or detrimentally, or whether you're conservative or liberal, or whether you think she was a feminist or not (she absolutely didn't think so), Margaret Thatcher should be celebrated for her achievements in breaking into the old boys school of politics in the UK. In a world where still the US cares more about whether Hillary Clinton wears makeup or not and who a woman is married to, you have to hand it to a woman who achieved a position of political power and accomplishment over 30 years ago. At that point, women were still fighting for a seat at the table in the US rather than commanding leadership at the head.
Debate will continue rage for the foreseeable future, as all of these headlines attest, as to whether Thatcherite policies built or broke the UK. I can't claim to know the truth, and my opinion is clouded by the here and now rather than the experience of living through some of her more dramatic decisions and policies. But I will always respect The Iron Lady who said