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  1. ITV Report

To call Margaret Thatcher a feminist is an insult

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher applauded by cabinet colleagues as she was given a standing ovation at the end of her speech. Photo: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Since her death, Margaret Thatcher's legacy and impact on Britain has been widely debated.

The journalist and writer Julie Bindel argues why it is wrong to claim that the former prime minister was a campaigner for feminism or women's rights.

Margaret Thatcher was in no way whatsoever a feminist.

To suggest so is an insult to the many women who sacrificed their lives to make things better for women, when she was responsible for making things much worse.

She despised women, she despised feminism, or any concept of equality for anyone who experienced oppression.

Her legacy to feminism is disastrous, she left the Left in disarray, though she inspired many to join political movements for social change.

She refused to accept that the majority of women do not have the privilege she had, in other words a rich partner, and lots of childcare provision.

She decided that it was far better for women to stay in the home and raise children rather than fulfil any ambitions external to the home.

Interestingly, she was against working with women as political colleagues.

She had a number of men in her cabinet, who were mediocre at best and yet she constantly said there were no women up to the job at the time.

There were plenty of talented women she could have mentored and tutored, but the simple fact was she didn't like women.

She was hostile to feminism and therefore did much to denigrate the women's movement at one of its liveliest moments; the time she was appointed Prime Minister.

The coverage of her death has been a mixture of sycophancy and hagiography.

It is interesting that on the far right wings there are constant accusations of a Left-wing bias in the press, yet the coverage of her death is to endow a women who destroyed entire communities with saintly qualities totally at odds to the leader she was.

The glowing newspaper and television coverage of her death has been tedious and odious.

The coverage of her death on social media is seeped with nasty misogyny.

Many men on the left have used the occasion as a free-for-all to use offensive, gender specific terms that would never be applied to a man.

Ultimately she reaped the benefits fought for by feminists and became Britain's most senior politician. That she derided the idea of the very feminism that afforded her that opportunity is nothing short of a disgrace.

Julie Bindel is a journalist and writer. Her views do not necessarily reflect those of ITV News.

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