Margaret Thatcher and the Anarchists (Part I)

I owe nothing to women’s lib Margaret Thatcher once said. I have to agree with Thatcher. She didn’t consider herself a feminist and was unapologetic about it. Betty Friedan certainly would not have chosen her as a spokeswoman on behalf of liberated women. But does this sentiment make her a trader to the cause of women’s liberation?  It depends on your definition. Women’s liberation as it is commonly understood primary has to do with second wave feminism. It was the catchall phrase describing the bourgeoisie assertion to redefined women’s roles within American/European societies. Traditionally women of this era, post World War II, were cast as mothers, wives and daughters and inevitably their identities were tied to men. Consider at the time women incorporated not only their husband’s last names but also their first (i.e. Mrs. John W. Smith or Mrs. David James). A husbands or another alpha male defined a woman’s overall image. All vicarious hopes and aspirations for a better life rested on a man succeeding in this role. Ostensibly a well-groomed lawn and equally important furnishings to accommodate the ranch style home in the suburbs was the prize for a well-established life. Some women started to feel trapped in this role as primary caregiver and questioned the idea of gender outside the mainstream. This questioning posed “the problem that has no name” in the classic book The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. The book is considered a catalyst for initiating women’s liberation into the average American’s mindset in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The Mystique spoke to many women and helped define the frustration of living primarily to serve others needs before theirs. Furthermore it helped shape the dialogue of equality in a time that was not only questioning and eliminating status quos but also redefining what it was to be an American. The 1960’s and 1970’s were a time of war, civil unrest and general dismantling of American society as defined at the time. But the dismantling of society, of questioning status quo’s, is nothing new to the American ideal of freedom.  During a speech before the English Parliament Edmund Burke stated  “Anarchy is found tolerable” in the American colonies. Indeed it is…Part II