John O’Sullivan is an editor-at-large of National Review and a contributor to CANZUK Uniting
Britain’s new Conservative prime minister has been shrouded in calculated mystery. Even if Hillary Clinton makes it to the White House, as currently seems likely, just how “historic” will her achievement be? America’s first female president would take office long after women have become the leaders of government or heads of state in such countries as Israel, Sri Lanka, Germany, Denmark, India, Sweden, and, of course, the United Kingdom, where the second female prime minister was chosen a month ago largely unnoticed by Americans preoccupied with the primaries and Donald Trump.
Not only was Mrs. Theresa May the second woman to be chosen as the U.K.’s prime minister, but she is also the second Conservative woman to hold that position. Her defeated opponent, moreover, was also a Conservative woman, Mrs. Andrea Leadsom, who withdrew from the race after a minor gaffe when it became clear that the Tories wanted an early result to calm any post-Brexit instability. So it’s plain that the glass ceiling for Britain’s political women was shattered for good by Margaret Thatcher in the “historic” 1975 election when she replaced Ted Heath as Tory leader.