London, June 11 : When Margaret Thatcher became the leader of the Tory Party, many of her old fashioned male colleagues believed she would never last - because of the belief that women were "inclined to bouts of hysteria".
Baroness Shirley Williams, the Lib Dem peer and former Labour cabinet minister, says on 'Dinner With Portillo' that a lot of the reasons men in those days believed that women could not be good leaders had to so with the Freudian fallacy, reports the Daily Express.
"I remember when she first got elected as the leader of the party, people used to talk to me about all kinds of reasons why she couldn't be Prime Minister - and they were mostly related to biology," she says.
"Remarks like 'They're inclined to hysteria', 'They can't keep their cool if there's a real crisis' and 'If they're passing through the change of life they're going to be incapable of handling anything'.
"There was a great deal of this kind of stuff from Tory MPs I knew when I was in the House of Commons, which has now completely gone by the board. Nobody talks like that any more."