Monday, 8 April 2013

Seven of the best, most inspirational role models for women

Today the world heard the sad news that Margaret Thatcher has passed away. Despite being too young to have actually experienced life under Baroness Thatcher's leadership, I have a lot of admiration and respect for her, so her passing has really got me thinking. No, not about the German historical linguistics essay which should be taking up my brain-space, but about other women I really admire. Inspirational women, past and present, who I look up to and consider to be good role models.

So I've thought up a little list of women I admire, and I'm going to share it with you all. As it's just the result of a few hours of pondering, the chances are I've missed off some greats, so please do let me know if I've missed off anyone who inspires you!

1. Margaret Thatcher

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Not only was she the UK's first female Prime Minister but she was also our longest-serving. Surely that says something about women, doesn't it? To quote Baroness Thatcher herself: "If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman." It just begs the question, why have we not had a female PM since The Iron Lady? Although her policies were somewhat divisive, it's undeniable that Margaret Thatcher made a huge impact on women's fight for equality. Today, my thoughts are with her family.

2. The Queen

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She is so awesome. I cannot believe how much the Queen does, especially at her age (86!) and having done it all for so long (61 years!) You'd think most people would tire of any job after that long, but not Her Majesty. Always gracious, composed and on form, the Queen never lets us down and represents Great Britain to the rest of the world brilliantly. It seems the Queen is now more popular than ever, and I hope we benefit from her reassuring presence for years to come.

3. The Duchess of Cambridge

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Catherine Middleton is a huge role model for me, and a fantastic one for girls everywhere. I think it's often a good idea to ask yourself "What would Kate do?" Plenty of naysayers may respond "Oh, all she's done is marry a Prince, what's she achieved?" But it's not about that, it's how she acts as far as I'm concerned. Kate is always elegant, composed, friendly, smiley, well-dressed and classy. I also think it's fantastic how she's championed British designers. In a world where young girls are bombarded with all sorts of scantily-clad, raunchily-dressed female celebrities, I think the Duchess of Cambridge is a super antidote.

4. Angela Merkel

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Much like Thatcher was in the UK, Angela Merkel is Germany's first female Chancellor and has been since 2005. Oh, and shall we consider how Germany's been doing since then? Exactly. Bloody splendidly. Under Merkel's leadership, Germany has become the strongest nation in Europe, which just reinforces my point that girls are awesome and need to hold more top positions.

5. Millicent Fawcett

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As head of the Suffragists, Millicent Fawcett led a peaceful campaign for Votes for Women in Britain. But it wasn't just the vote that Fawcett was campaigning for, oh no. She was also a huge force in the fight for women to have an equal right to education as men, and helped found Newnham College at Cambridge University. I just can't even begin to comprehend the fact that there was a time when we girls didn't have the same access to education as boys, so we owe a lot to Fawcett and the Suffragists back in the early 20th Century.

6. Audrey Hepburn

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You may be thinking Audrey Hepburn was merely a beautiful lady who appeared in the odd film here and there, but you'd be wrong. Yes, she was all that (I myself am a bit of a cliché in that I have the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany's poster on my bedroom wall), but also much more. As well as becoming a style and beauty icon, Hepburn did a lot of work with Oxfam in the 1950s and later devoted herself to working with starving children. That's a real superstar.

7. Pocahontas

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OK, so I may have only seen the Disney film and I may not know that much about the actual woman, but I still think she's an inspiration. Consider the Disney film initially: unlike many a Disney princess whose aim is to get the prince, Pocahontas stays with her tribe at the end of the film instead of going back to London with John Smith. Pocahontas played a major part in creating peace between the settlers and her native American people. You go, girl!

So, there you have it. Which women do you admire?


  1. 'The Feminists hate me, don't they? And I don't blame them. For I hate feminism. It is poison.' - MT to her adviser Paul Johnson

    Would be careful in whacking her up as your no. 1.. She cut social welfare for women hugely and managed to buy into a male hegemony and perpetuate it. You wonder why we haven't had a female PM since? Because Maggie Thatcher did shit all to help women get where she got, in fact she made it harder.

    Inspirational? I think not.

    1. Sorry you don't agree with me but thanks for commenting and reading my blog :)

  2. I was hoping you'd justify your choice really... ? I'd also love to hear the rationale behind the Queen and Kate Middleton as no. 2 and no. 3...

  3. Me too, I completely agree with the Thatcher comment. She did nothing to help other women get on in politics or any other area of life.
    Kate Middleton is not an inspiration for women everywhere, she is the antithesis of a feminist icon. All the focus is on her clothes and her marriage to William. She doesn't champion women's rights or even speak really! She is famous because of her husband, that's not a great shout for women's equality. In a world where women are bombarded with the pressure to look good, Kate Middleton is the opposite of an antidote, considering all she seems to be about is clothes.
    You say most people would tire of a job after 61 years, but not the queen. Well most people have jobs where they actually have to work hard, rather than just standing around at functions, and most peoples' jobs don't come with several palaces, millions of pounds of free money, etc. Comparing the two is ridiculous.
    If you had bothered to research the real story of Pocahontas, rather than relying on the Disney version, you would know that she did in fact marry an Englishman named John Rolfe and went with him back to Britain. So your 'You go girl' is a little misplaced.
    I agree with the choice of Millicent Fawcett and Angela Merkel, but the idea of the rest of your choices being good role models is crazy, unless you think women should just be ornamental figures.

  4. I'm sorry you disagree but I don't wish to argue about it. That's not what my blog is about. These are merely my personal choices and are all women who inspire me. Thanks for reading though!


  6. Sheeeeesh people. It's just a light-hearted blog post. Chill those beans!

    1. Thank you and yes... Wasn't meant to be taken in the utmost seriosity. (Yes I realise that isn't actually a word.)


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