Theresa May is a role model for women particularly if you are childless

By Nina Steele 

Theresa May

Theresa May

For some time now, I have been an admirer of Theresa May, who, if all the predictions are correct, is set to become the UK’s next Prime Minister. She has always come across as someone who can be trusted and with the leadership contest for the Conservative party in full swing, the more I know about her, the more my admiration for her grows.

Politics, as we all know, can be a pretty dirty game, and the turmoil we in the UK are currently experiencing, proves my point. In a male dominated field, misogyny is a price many women have to put up with. It is not just their colleagues they have to deal with, but increasingly a public, which is highly critical of politicians, with women particularly being seen as fair game.

Not only that, in a society obsessed with the ideal of the nuclear family, successful female politicians without children, often have to put up with some extremely unpleasant attacks from colleagues, who believe that reminding the public of their childlessness, can somehow play against them.

Thankfully, as the rise of Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon has shown, people don’t really care much about politicians’ private lives, so long as they are decent, competent, and have nothing unpleasant going on.

Theresa May has never been keen to open up about her private life. However, now that she is applying for the highest office in the land, and in an age where image matters, she is (reluctantly, I suspect), telling us more about herself. And overwhelmingly, the image that is forming, is that of a woman blessed with a strong marriage.

In many ways, she and I have a lot in common. Like me, she is childless by circumstance and she too seems to be happily married (she has been married for 36 years) and getting on with her life. What I find most striking however, is that she is a firm believer that one should make the most of whatever hand one was dealt, as opposed to wishing for a different path.

In a recent article, she says about not being able to have children: “Of course, we were both affected by it. You see friends who now have grown-up children, but you accept the hand that life deals you. Sometimes things you wish had happened don’t or there are things you wish you’d been able to do, but can’t. There are other couples in a similar position.” Further on she says: “I’m a great believer that you just get on with things. There are lots of problems people have. We are all different, we all have different circumstances and you have to cope with whatever it is, try not to dwell on things.’’

I hope she makes it into number 10. With a proven track record and a no nonsense approach to life, I think it is fair to say that we in the UK would be lucky to have her as our Prime Minister.

Theresa May

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