Rhian Jones is always great, doubly so when it gets to feminism and culture and politics:
[Thatcher’s image on
The Iron Lady
adverts is] like being repeatedly sideswiped by the 1980s, which is something the last UK election had already made me thoroughly sick of.
Thatcher, according to an article Jones links, “
had what it takes to become a modern icon: big hair, high foreheads and a face that would allow you to project your own fears and desires on to it
And while the image of Thatcher as
Liberty Leading the People
makes my skin crawl, I can’t disagree with this:
the images of both women are used in a cultural tradition in which the female figure in particular becomes a canvas for the expression of abstract ideas (think justice, liberty, victory). The abstract embodiment of multiple meanings, and the strategic performance of traditional ideas of femininity, constitute sources of power which Thatcher and her political and media allies exploited to the hilt in their harnessing of support for the policies she promoted.