Sir Denis ensured she was never alone in a lonely job. 'What a man. What a husband. What a friend,' she writes. A man with 'very definite ideas', he was a fund of shrewd advice and penetrating comment, which he sensibly saved for his wife rather than the outside world.
A number of the men who crossed her path in politics exhibited the reverse - 'precisely those characteristics which they attribute to women: vanity and an inability to make tough decisions'.
In the eyes of the 'wets' she was not just a woman but 'that woman'. Of a different sex and a different class, she offended on many counts.
There are 'certain kinds of men', moreover, who cannot abide working with a woman, she adds. They were prepared to make every allowance for the weaker sex, but if a woman sought no special privileges and to be judged solely on what she did, it was found 'gravely and unforgivably' disorienting.
'My experience is that a group of men sitting around a table like little better than their own voices and that nothing is more distasteful than the possibility that a conclusion can be reached without all of them having the chance to read from their briefs,' she writes.
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