I Cannot Die Washing a Teacup

The Iron Lady I wanted to see this since it came out, but I finally got round to watching The Iron Lady on the plane to Australia. At first I thought I was going to hate it, because it starts with Maggie really old, and clearly losing her grip on reality somewhat. Actually I spent almost the entire time I was watching it feeling quite close to tears.

But, however you feel about her politics, it’s a pretty great movie. Meryl Streep is – as ever – phenomenal. I wasn’t really old enough to experience the Thatcher years, but in the movie, as in real life (I think) she was a strong woman, doing an impossible job. The media training bit is particularly fascinating – after she’s criticized for being “shrill” and deliberately works to change her voice. The proposal is my favorite bit – refusing to change, to give up her ambition. This is who you will be marrying. Be OK with that.

My friend and I are talking about the price you pay, as a woman, for success. The men who – in theory – support women being awesome, but in practice want their partner to be a little less awesome than they are. She tells me, she’s deliberately hiding how much she makes from her boyfriend, because she doesn’t want to deal with the fallout from that.

This movie is about that price. And towards the end of her time as PM, when she’s pushing too hard, going too far, I wonder – if you always have to be so strong because the people are so quick to doubt, to judge, that you end up losing your ability to differentiate between when you’re being strong because you need to be strong, and when you’re being stubborn out of habit.

Anyway, highly recommend.

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