Beginning Remarks: Last Post Follow-Up
Margaret Thatcher: Bio. and Political Journey
But how did this daughter of a working class family rise to be the political leader of Britain?
She received her college education from Oxford University and earned a degree in Chemistry. At the time, it was remarkable for a women to major in a field of science and she was, thus, a pioneer for women at Oxford studying in the field of sciences. While in college, she served as the president of the Conservative Association and began her adult career in political activism. Following graduation, she began her work as a chemist and in her free time she taught herself law and passed the bar soon after.
Her political career began with a failed attempt to enter Parliament in the 1950s. She then successfully earned a seat in the House of Commons in 1959 after passing the bar, getting married, and having two children (twins). In 1961 she became a member of the Shadow Cabinet and in 1970 her political party came into power and made her the Secretary of State for Education and Science.
She struggled with the inability to get the prime minister to hear and consider her ideas. Consequently she was ironically quoted as stating, "I don't think there will be a woman prime minister in my lifetime." - Margaret Thatcher (1973).
However, her frustrations and disheartened attitude did not inhibit her to continue her political pursuits and she became leader of the Conservative Party in 1975. Thus she was the first oppositional leader in the House of Commons to be a female in all of British history.
When the Conservative Party came into power in 1979, she became the first female British Prime Minister. She served from 1979- 1990 and left office by resigning due to inter party debate and controversy over her policy stances.
She carried Britain through a recession and the Cold War. She, undoubtedly, lead Britain through one of the most challenging political periods in modern history...
Throughout her political career, Thatcher taken a strong stance against communism in all of its forms. She began by criticizing the British state's interference in industry and individual's lives.
Her beliefs then transcended into her political stances during the Cold War as Prime Minister. The Soviet Union, thus, dubbed her the "Iron Lady" for her strong stance against communism and accusation against the Soviet Union and their motives to spread communism throughout the globe. She emerged as a triumphant figure of British strength.
However, can we take a moment to recap? Margaret Thatcher passed the bar by self- teaching herself the law while juggling working as a chemist? This child of two grocers, and mother of two is later recognized by the Soviet Union as a threat and has become the Prime Minister of Britain? The strength that is required to rise in social class is, in itself, often an insurmountable feat. However, Thatcher not only rose above the status and situation of her parents, but rose above the social norms and success threshold that had been set for women throughout British history. She broke all of those stigmas and social barriers while being a mother of two and defying the bias against the image and acceptance of "strong" women. Okay, continuing...
Upon resigning from Parliament she entered the House of Lords and wrote a book of her political experiences and acquired wisdom. Years later she delivered a eulogy at Ronal Reagan's funeral and then battled a series of small strokes. She died at the age of 87, and remains an inspiration for women in politics to this day.
Conclusion and Closing Remarks: Carly Fiorina and Margaret Thatcher
Carly Fiorina has publicly referred to Thatcher and made it clear that she admires Thatcher's political accomplishments and pioneering work for women in the political field. Regarding the quote that she referenced in the last Republican debate, I have conducted extensive research regarding the context in which the quote was originally stated by Margaret Thatcher and have found no information beyond the fact that the quote actually begins with the conditional phrase "In politics" and was delivered in a speech made to the National Union of Townswomen's Guilds Conference on May 20, 1965.
Despite the debate of whether or not Carly Fiorina's use of the quotation was appropriate in the circumstances and context of the debate, I must state that Margaret Thatcher remains one of the most inspirational historical figures to young women, such as myself, who are preparing to take their place in the political arena. Carly Fiorina also remains an important figurehead of female social, professional and political progression within America's various structures enforced by historical and modern stigmas and biases. Thus, both of these women remain key influential figures to young women and are inspirational despite any of my personal conflicting views regarding a variety specific political views, policy stances, and public statements.