She is iron, and she is water

The movie The Iron Lady (trailer) was adopted from the autobiography of Margret Thatcher, the only female Prime Minister that Britain has ever had. She is a disputable figure, with her radical measures of cutting deficits and adopting poll taxes. She displayed a nonnegotiable position in diplomatic affairs and shared the opposition to communism with the then American president, Ronald Reagan.

The story wouldn’t have been so touching had it not displayed the internal struggle of Mrs. Thatcher. “One’s life must matter,” she said when she got married. She had ambition, which was based on her ideals as well as her desire for power and influence. The committment she had towards her beliefs was truly inspiring for females. She is the iron lady in that she had the ability to lead a country and she seized the opportunity to do it.

But her career as the Prime Minister wouldn’t have been possible had she not been supported by her family. In the Chinese classic novel The Red Chamber, it says “Women are made of water while men are made of mud.” Water has to be held together by mud, while water nourishes the mud. Mrs. Thatcher had traits of water. As a woman, she was genetically programmed to shoulder the responsibility of bearing children which required her to be caring and selfless to some extent. As a politician, however, she had to stick firmly to her own beliefs and be “selfish” in some way. The two forces worked in opposition and conflicts manifested in Thatcher’s life. Her devotion to politics meant less time and energy spent on her family. Moreover, being a politician meant an extremely lonely life where she could not share her thoughts with many people. She might have created an air of authority too heavy for her children to bear.

Devotion means changes. There was a scene of an expert teaching Mrs. Thatcher to deliberately lower her voice in order to show more authority and “leadership”. In achieving her ambitions, she had to give up some of her nature and cover it with the characters and personalities that she needed for the job. Water can cross more obstacles than mud, as long as it has a direction.

She is iron, and she is water. Women can be incredibly powerful if their power is fully released.


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