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  1. Politics
  2. Feminism
8 April 2013updated 26 Sep 2015 2:17pm

Margaret Thatcher: feminist icon?

"I hate feminism. It is poison," she reportedly told her adviser Paul Johnson.

By Helen Lewis

There will be much discussion about Margaret Thatcher’s role as Britain’s first female prime minister in the coming days, and whether she can be considered a “feminist icon”. It’s probably worth remembering the Iron Lady’s own thoughts on the subject:

‘The feminists hate me, don’t they? And I don’t blame them. For I hate feminism. It is poison.’                        

– as said to her adviser (and one-time New Statesman editor) Paul Johnson, according to a 2011 piece he wrote for The Spectator.

 

 

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Update: Sky’s political correspondent, Sophy Ridge, has written a blog about Thatcher’s legacy for women, adding two more pertinent quotes:

She sits uneasily as a feminist trailblazer, famously saying “the battle for women’s rights has largely been won” and “I owe nothing to women’s lib”.

The latter quote comes from a 1982 lecture. In full, it runs:

“The battle for women’s rights has largely been won. The days when they were demanded and discussed in strident tones should be gone forever. I hate those strident tones we hear from some Women’s Libbers.”

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