The headline reads:
Britain’s Iron Lady, Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Dies: During her 11 years in office, she remade Britain and became an iconic figure for conservatives in her homeland and abroad. But Thatcher, who was 87, was also a divisive leader.
The last two words captured my attention; divisive leader. I cannot imagine why it didn’t say Margaret Thatcher aspired to create change in spite of divisive detractors. Strong women who don’t fall in line have detractors by the millions; male and female alike. Divisive men, who otherwise subscribe to at least some of the same ideas as a female leader, instead choose controversy over collaboration. Divisive women, who fear that their value will be diminished for using their skills to create an exceptional home life for their families, choose suspicion over support. What a shame it is when educated, well-informed, capable people allow base instincts to control their behavior. How much closer to achieving worthy goals would society be without divisive detractors?
Iron Lady, what a fitting way to describe what a woman must be made of in order to garner the respect she deserves. Iron, forged in flames fanned by preposterous beliefs and refined by imposed propriety. Iron merely due to her lack of appendage. Iron only for the sake of being born female. Women ready to speak up for themselves whether they choose to build bridges or manage their homes to build future generations are made of such iron. Women who face each day at the hand of an invisible oppressor are cast in the shadow of those same fires that forge their iron will to live.
It isn’t women leaders who are divisive. It is the detractors who would demoralize women through fear tactics masquerading as grand gestures of morality. It is the label makers and the impostors who promote them whose aim it is to create divisions among us. Black, white, mixed-race, gay, straight, liberal, conservative, soccer mom, cougar, bitch, warrior princess, working mother, and single mother. These labels do not define who we are!
Glass ceilings and glass slippers, all fun and games ‘til someone looses an eye. Where is the other eye? Who is keeping an eye out for complacency and apathy? Who makes sure the sacrifices of women who came before us were not in vain?