Women and power

womenandpowerWe live in a society in which men still dominate the political scene. Relax, this isn’t the prelude to a rant about how unfair that is – quite the opposite. Politics takes the sort of dedication which the gender which does obsession with stuff well has in spades. From my limited experience, men quite like power and they don’t, on the whole, regret (much) the loss of family time which it necessitates. Men seem happy to put the time and the effort in, so I see no reason why they shouldn’t reap the rewards.

When Mr Blair became Prime Minister he came to office with a lot of new female MPs, and we were told that a new era had opened. Well, nearly twenty years on, little has changed. Few of those women have got on in politics, and they have not inspired a new generation of women to try their hand.  It does not seem how hard feminists try, women don’t want to play that game. Sure, you’ll get some women who want to do it, but the idea that most women want to do it seems, by the evidence, to be wrong.

Maybe that’s why there is an unpleasant tine of misogyny in some of the leftist criticisms of Mrs Thatcher. Would anyone be calling a dead Tony Blair a ‘warlock’, and what, pray, is the male equivalent of ‘the bitch’. It is hard not to see in some of this a sense by men (and some women) that there was something fundamentally wrong in Mrs T even being in power.

A difficult one for the Left of course. They are supposed to be in favour of equal opportunity and female empowerment – and there was Mrs Thatcher, who was very powerful and owed nothing to equal opps.  She took on the men at their own game and she was better at it. That may lead a woman like Glenda Jackson (whose idea of empowerment was to run round in the nude in a Ken Russell film) to say she wasn’t her idea of what a woman should be, but that is more evidence, were any more needed, of the inability of leftist women to actually understand the majority of their own sex. Most of us don’t want to be men. We like men, we think they are wonderful, and we know that properly handled, they are God’s greatest gift. But there’s a whole art in that :)

Mrs Thatcher never pretended to be like men. She used her femininity as a powerful weapon. She knew that most men like a good-looking woman, and that being strong, efficient and capable are no bars to being attractive. By all accounts, she was perfectly capable of flirting with Mr Reagan, and even the socialist Mitterrand was struck by her combination of the mouth of Marilyn Monroe with the eyes of Caligula. She made her husband a cooked breakfast every morning, and she fussed over her staff like a mother hen.

The plain fact is that in our society there is no template for what being a woman in power is supposed to be like. No one makes anyone go into politics, and if you don’t want people to comment on your looks, don’t go into politics. If you do, don’t complain that you don’t get treated like a man – do what Mrs T did and take advantage of that.

About JessicaHof
Anglo-Catholic Christian, facilitator, reader of books, multi-tasker

17 Responses to Women and power

  1. NEO says:

    Ah yes, the misogynist left. Actually that’s a bit of a misnomer, what the left actually is aghast at, is success on ones own, not to mention being exceptional. If your not an average piece of ticky-tacky ready to do as your master orders, the left will revile you. Which of course is why they are repulsive..

    • JessicaHof says:

      Absolutely right :) x

      • NEO says:

        :-) x and good afternoon.

        • JessicaHof says:

          And to you, dearest friend. Rebecca should have emailed you about reblogging my piece today :) x

        • NEO says:

          She has, and I have answered in the enthusiastic affirmative. Two of my favorite women, conspiring behind my back, sounds normal to me :-) xx

        • JessicaHof says:

          :) xx That will mean both your pieces today have been reblogged – YAY :) x

        • NEO says:

          :-) xx It does indeed, this is a super piece in my opinion, be interesting to see what happens over there. YAY :-) x

        • JessicaHof says:

          Thank you for the hospitality of your lovely blog :) x

        • NEO says:

          It make me very happy to have you here. :-) x

        • JessicaHof says:

          Thank you – for all your encouragement :) x

        • NEO says:

          You are welcome, and in truth I get a very large return on a small investment in you. Not to mention a wonderful friend. :-) x

        • JessicaHof says:

          :) xx

        • NEO says:

          :-) xx

        • NEO says:

          You are welcome, and in truth I get a very large return on a small investment in you. Not to mention a wonderful friend. :-) x

  2. giliar says:

    Jessica – you pinpointed the problem that many women have in leadership roles: they try to be “one of the boys.” In reality, using one’s female advantages (and there are many) will take women leaders much farther than if they try to behave like men.

    • JessicaHof says:

      Yes, and Mrs Thatcher understood that – which is one reason leftist feminists don’t like her – she showed another way to the top. :)

  3. Pingback: Dame Margaret Thatcher: Women, Power and Politics

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