Early morning bagel run. Turns out the supermarket has only one cashier on duty between seven and eight Saturday mornings because, today’s one cashier told me when I finally got to the register, it’s usually very slow at this time. Hardly any traffic, she said. Today was not usual. So I had a lot of time to read the covers of the tabloids and gossip magazines. Did you know Brad is a secret bisexual? And Scott’s slept with Kim’s sisters? And Tom isn’t Suri’s real father? That last one’s Hollywood’s biggest scandal ever.
Wasn’t all gossip and scandal though. This month’s issue of LIFE is devoted to “100 Women Who Changed the World”. The photos on the cover weren’t of all one hundred but included Princess Diana, Oprah, Malala Yousafzai , Eleanor Roosevelt, Mo’ne Davis, Gloria Steinham, Anne Frank, Mother Teresa, Margaret Thatcher, Babe Didrikson, and Mary. Yes, that Mary.
One of those women is not like the others.
Leaving aside the strange case of Mother Teresa, on whom the jury is still out, all but that one made or has made or is making the world a better, nicer, more hopeful and more humane place to live.
Margaret Thatcher did her best to make it a nastier place.
Along with Ronald Reagan, Thatcher helped convince a generation of young men that the measure of toughness and strong leadership is how cruel you can be to the weak and powerless.
That generation is now in charge in Great Britain and the United States.