19 thoughts on “Margaret Thatcher whitewashed on film

  1. On “The Iron Lady: What were they thinking?”

    I agree “The Iron Lady” is a badly made film and I will go so far as to add that it is a dishonest film. The use of Thatcher’s dementia as a framing device humanises the woman but also dehumanises the victims of her policies and renders them invisible. That’s almost as bad as denying genocide when it occurs.

    The film is feted in the media as presenting a woman who was a feminist role model in her time. Thatcher was no such creature. From what I have read about her, she relished being sole queen bee and rarely if ever promoted women to her Cabinet. I have no problem with women who happen to have a masculine way of thinking and behaving and who might not encourage others of their own gender (I’m more of a thinker than a feeling person myself so I know how Thatcher “feels”!) but then to uphold such women as feminist icons shows a lack of understanding of feminism and the values it’s supposed to support.

    The film does not show how Dennis Thatcher’s wealth supported his wife’s ambitions and helped lay the foundation for her political career. In that sense Margaret Thatcher is not that much of a role model for women, if her aspirations ultimately depended on her husband’s wealth. Also whitewashed out of the movie is the son Mark Thatcher’s dubious car rally career in the 1980s and shady financial dealings in the 1990s.

    Most deceitful of all is the moment when Margaret Thatcher declares during the Falklands War episode that she does not do deals with “fascist thugs”! Excuse me, but didn’t Chile under the Pinochet government supply the British with information on Argentine military movements during the war? And Thatcher became friendly enough with Pinochet such that when Pinochet visited the UK for medical treatment in the late 1990s and Spain requested his extradition, Thatcher publicly opposed any moves by the British government to arrest and hand over the retired general.

    Even without these glaring defects, the rest of the film is problematic: we don’t know what spurs the young Margaret Roberts to want a career in politics or what prompts the older Margaret to challenge for the Tory Party leadership and change her image. Where and how did she adopt the economic philosophy of less regulation and more privatisation of the economy? For the amount of money I hand over for a movie ticket, this is the one thing I really want to know!

    Thanks for an objective review of the film otherwise.

    Jennifer H
    10 January 2012



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