This weekend I watched the film the ‘Iron Lady’. Now regardless of your political standpoint I think you would be hard pushed to say this wasn’t a good film. A story of a woman who becomes the first female prime minister in the UK, her eventual downfall, and throughout it all her enduring relationship with her husband (Let’s forget the bit where she practically forgets about her children whilst she’s busy following her political ambitions, ignore the fact the film seems to gloss over much of the politics and the actual issues during her leadership, and not dwell on the fact she didn’t actually employ any other women in her cabinet, other than those who cleaned it) – the bit the film does include is pretty inspiring stuff!
This ‘story’ had a female lead character who women everywhere could be proud of. Right from the point that she gets engaged she is clear about what she wants. She isn’t interested in being someone who chooses to stay at home whilst expecting her husband to look after her. She’s going to look after herself and she wants to make a difference in the world not just in her own life. One of my favourite quotes was,
‘It used to be that people wanted to do something, now people want to be someone’
Completely true! The world is so self centred that very few of us do things purely for the sake of helping others or being proud of ourselves, its always about what you get out of it or how you look to other people. People spend more time worrying about what they look like, and what they can put on their status rather than taking any action about things. Another result of the facebook brainwash if you ask me!
If you picked up Margaret Thatcher and put her in a crime novel (again I hasten to add, go with me and ignore the politics!) she would be the kind of protagonist I would like. She wouldn’t wait around for a white knight on horseback to come and save her from the deranged serial killer, she’d have swung her handbag, glared at them and given them a lecture on how serial killers should pay the same poll tax as shop lifters.
That’s one of the things I like about Lisa Gardner books. In the one I am currently reading there are three main women involved, and all of them could to turn American ‘kick ass’. I’m always drawn to books by female writers in the hope they are going to have smart, clever, independent women, rather than poor defenceless victims. Give me a Chelsea Cain novel over a Mills and Boon anyday. To me a powerful female serial killer just seems much more exciting than a ‘lady of the house falls in love with the stable boy’ type of story.
However we all know that one women’s feminist icon can be another women’s serial murderer. It takes all sorts to make the world go round, and just as it would make life very dull if everyone had the same opinion over Margaret Thatcher and politics, it wouldn’t be much fun if we all read the same books!