Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Am I smarter than a 13 year old? Answering Tricky Questions

Fashion Girl dragged herself away from the rubbish television she watches and caught a bit of the news on Monday. Usually she shows little interest in current affairs preferring shows like 'Don't Tell the Bride' and 'Come Dine with Me' or, even worse, Jeremy Kyle if I don't catch her and turn it off.  I prefer it when she sticks to kids' shows like the quiz show 'Are you Smarter than a 10 year old?' which are vaguely educational. On Monday she asked me what a prefix was when watching this programme.  Surely she knows: the last time she accused me of being 'unsensitive', one of my many failings according to her, I responded by advising her of the correct prefix.  Anyway I digress... 

The news on Monday was of course entirely dominated by the death of Mrs Thatcher. Fashion Girl, as a feminist in training, wondered why I wasn't so keen on her.  After all she was a woman who ran the country which surely was a good thing.  And so she asked a very simple question: 'Why was she bad?' It proved more tricky to answer than I'd thought. Explained how she didn't care much for the poor - FG accepted that. that but she didn't really see why selling off national companies was a problem.  Why shouldn't Richard Branson run the train service to London if he makes a good job of it?   Love having a teenager to talk to: it makes me question and reconsider my own convictions.  Then tried explaining how Mrs T encouraged people to pursue individual wealth and success.  Again FG saw no problem with this until I explained that I felt she encouraged people to be selfish and not care about the rest of society.  Not sure I explained it very well but I had a go.

What she found most shocking was that Margaret Thatcher was the first female Prime Minister and that there hasn't been another one since.   Ok so I didn't like Mrs Thatcher, but I do admire her achievement as a woman.  Let's hope the women of the FG's generation have more success in getting to the top in politics than we have.

 Margaret Thatcher newspapers


  1. A thoughtful post. It is difficult explain recent history to teenagers. We all know it so intimately that it can be hard to capture the complexities and emotions of the time.
    I your use of the front pages to illustrate how she divided opinion.
    Have you seen 'The Iron Lady'. Watched it a few weeks ago - very interesting and showed the human side of the public figure.

  2. Haven't seen it but would like to. Always seem to miss these things. Thanks for commenting

  3. yes and she was pm for 11 and half years! which was most of my childhood and teens. Infact I only really knew a women as prime-minister, plus we had a queen! I think this does have an effect. I remember saying to my mum that I could imagine there not being a women prime-minister, I think she was quite pleased! shame there hasn't been since. Heather x