Another "Worst" Thread: 20th-Century Woman?

In this thread, some of us put forth the case of the Blessed (or “Bloody”) Mother Teresa being the 20th century’s most harmful woman. Others whom acquaintances have put forward as possibilities:

Jiang Qing (Mrs. Mao, a co-instigator of his Cultural Revolution)

Eva Peron

Margaret Thatcher (suggested by a British friend who hates her)

Arguments for or against? Were there any women high up enough in the Nazi regime to really have any influence? Mind you, we’re talking women who, for whatever reason, caused the most harm: women who kill their kids, for instance, may be bad, but on a small scale.

Leni Riefenstahl must at least be considered, in my opinion. She did a lot of propaganda for the Nazi regime and helped both spread its message and present it in the most attractive light possible.

I second Jiang Qing, and also nominate for consideration Elena Ceaucescu, a woman every bit as brutal as her husband, and the power behind the throne in Romania from the early 1970’s until the fall.

[Eve looks forward to the Swimsuit Competition, in which Eva Peron will trounce Mother Teresa]

Margaret Thatcher for her brutal ‘there is no society’ ideological war on the poor and the working classes which left the UK with its very own underclass and a mound of other social and infrastructure problems that will take decades to fix.

Evil, black-hearted bitch. I hope she isn’t buried at sea.

I humbly suggest that, whatever Mrs. Thatcher’s faults, she’s nowhere in the league of Jiang Qing or Elena Ceaucescu when it comes to brutality or political repression.

We might want to keep our perspective clear, and knock her out in the first round of voting.

And might I humbly suggest it depends on your perspective and whether one considers the Cultural Revolution the single-handed responsibility of Madame Mao, which she was not. And who says brutality and repression are the sole criteria? Destroying the social fabric of a once decent nation also counts.

My vote is still for Mrs T who shoulders sole responsibility for the impact she had on the UK.

Which ‘it’ was not. Fool. :smack:

Rachel Carson. Her book ‘Silent Spring’ was instrumental in the banning of DDT - which caused tens of millions of deaths that could have been prevented.

I have to ask something - Thatcher aside, are you claiming that the UK never had an underclass?

Wow. I guess Dickens was making all that shit up.

Regarding Rachel Carson, please read this cite.

Certainly it depends on your perspective. I won’t deny that. But that once decent nation you’re referring to was facing immense crises before Thatcher’s time, and a lot of that decency had disappeared already, IMHO. Care to recall the time of Callaghan and the Winter of Discontent?

I notice that the Blair incarnation of the Labour Party hasn’t seen fit to revisit the policies that caused these problems, much like Clinton-era Democrats were smart enough to avoid many Carter era mistakes. This showed that Reagan and Thatcher weren’t entirely wrong, huh?

Well…the jury may still be out on this one but based on that I’ll nominate Ann Coulter. Her actual impact on society can be argued and only history may tell but she gets a lot of points for trying her level best to throw a wrench in the works.

That said it is hard to put her in the same list as Jiang Qing or Elena Ceaucescu.

Good grief.

Then Paris Hilton should be placed into nomination.

This is absurd.

I’m no fan of Blair either but the unions were responsible for the winter of Discontent, which in itself was a symptom of a need for a change in the social contract. Change - not wholesale destruction of communities and the seeding of massive social problems. I’m biased because i’m British and had to suffer through her Terror but there are ways and means of changing societies and economies other than brutal slash and burn while lining the pockets of your friends. If Reagan was a woman I’d vote for him. There is hardly one redeeming feature of either of their reigns, not compared to the callously uncaring misery they caused.

Susan Sontag. She was a much overpraised mediocrity utterly out of contact with life as ordinary people live it, utterly without concern for the truth of the ideas she played with, and utterly indifferent to the practical consequences of those ideas. Her hatred for America and the American people was postively indecent. She was the living embodiment of all the worst aspects of the Western intelligentsia. In short, she was the kind of ivory tower radical intellectual who made Ayn Rand seem intelligent and insightful when she satirized them in her novels.

I’m a bit surprised nobody’s nominated Ayn Rand and Madalyn Murray yet.

Most of the other women nominated so far were either bit-players or side-kicks to men who were either worse, or just as bad.

Thatcher did it all herself, with the help of a few male toadies. Laws got passed because she wanted them.

Wholesale destruction of communities, huh? Well, the chaos that engulfed the industrial north of England was probably matched by the social disruption in steel towns in the Mon Valley, just south of Pittsburgh, where I grew up.

Towns lost half of their population and their entire industrial base inside of a generation. Property values collapsed, and with them the tax base. The business areas of these towns were depopulated too, and were given over to vagrancy, idleness, and crime.

So I have a bit of an idea of what went down, trust me.

Still, most of these economic dislocations weren’t the fault of either Thatcher or Reagan, painful as that might be to consider when we need to pin blame on people. Also, I’ve been to Romania, and have seen the impact of the decisions made by a pair of crackpot dictators who held centralized and unaccountable power that Reagan and Thatcher simply did not have.

There is simply no basis for comparison between Elena Ceaucescu and Thatcher.

You do know what century Dicken was writing in, right? He’d be writing the same kind of stuff now.

And no - the UK did not have a permanent underclass before Thatcher. It had poverty but it had community. It did not have USA style homeless beggars lining the streets of our cities, it did not have drug ravaged inner cities inhabited by second generation unemployables. It did not have swathes of the country ravaged by the decay of any community like the former pit and industrial towns and inner cities are now, with heroin everywhere and ordinary decent people terrorised by out of control yobs.

I lived through it as an adult and I cannot forgive her for the destruction and misery she caused or the seemingly irreperable damage it caused.

I do give her credit for making the Tories unelectable for a generation though, just to be fair and balanced.