The 10 Most Powerful Women in Britain

Feminist ideology and the effect it has had upon society
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The 10 Most Powerful Women in Britain

Postby Nathan » 09 Apr 2014, 18:57

... according to BBC's Women's Hour.

Journalist Emma Barnett, who chaired the judging panel, said: 'It was no easy feat to come up with just 10 women who have 'changed the game', but there is no room in that list for our head of state for the past 60+ years, or our Home Secretary, or the author of the best-selling children's book series of all time. The luminaries below are much more worthy!

1. Baroness Doreen Lawrence OBE, campaigner
2. Julie Bailey CBE, campaigner / activist (never heard of her)
3. Professor Nazneen Rahman, cancer specialist (seems like a genuine high-flier in her field, but I've still never heard of her)
4. Carmel McConnell, anti-child poverty campaigner (never heard of her)
5. Julie Bentley, head of Girlguiding UK and responsible for eradicating all traces of substance and our heritage from it in the name of "inclusivity"
6. Nimco Ali and Leyla Hussein, anti-FGM activists (never heard of them, but I've heard of a few politicians who if only we'd listened to we wouldn't be needing anti-FGM activists in the first place, so where's their recognition?)
7. Dido Harding, campaigner for online child safety (never heard of her)
8. Francesca Martinez - comedian, actress and disability campaigner (never heard of her)
9. Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project (never heard of her)
10. Caitlin Moran, journalist and author (I have heard of her name at least, but never read any of her work)

Right on! ... -Hour.html
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Re: The 10 Most Powerful Women in Britain

Postby Gavin » 09 Apr 2014, 19:17

Haha! Good one. I'd never heard of most of them either, and I don't think what they were doing was very important. Is that really the best list they can produce?! Very embarrassing.
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Re: The 10 Most Powerful Women in Britain

Postby Nathan » 09 Apr 2014, 20:05

If they were making that list in the 1980s they would still find a way to overlook Mrs T, you just know it!

If I were a women I would probably find it so patronising that it focused so much on campaigners and activists (another one of our weasel words!). I mentioned Theresa May and J K Rowling, but if you're going to pick people who nobody has ever heard of anyway, would it not at least set a more positive example to young women to suggest that a wider range of opportunities in life might be available to them than professional moaners? Surely there must be some high-achieving female surgeons or inventors or entrepreneurs or philosophers out there.

I'm surprised Carol Vorderman isn't on that list with the BBC-amenable political stance I've always imagined her to have - even she would be more suitable than some of these people.
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Re: The 10 Most Powerful Women in Britain

Postby Paul » 09 Apr 2014, 23:01

The thread title is somewhat at odds with the list presented and contrary, or at least different, to the presenter's mention of 'changed the game'.

No doubt powerful people can 'change the game', though not necessarily always. Neither would they necessarily do so if able. There have been maybe a handful, or less, women who have 'changed the game' in recent British history and who could thus be said to have power. Some had overt power in the first place and then 'changed the game' (Thatcher) while others maybe changed the game and so gained power. Mrs Lawrence seems to be in this latter category.

Nine of those women mentioned (I hadn't heard of those nine either) would not seem to me to be very 'powerful' at all, nor to have changed anything. The other one seems very powerful indeed, going by the amount of activity she's generated and her meteoric rise.

But surely the Queen is technically the most powerful woman in Britain and literally far more powerful than any of those on the list, by virtue of wealth and assets alone? Ms May, the Home Secretary, is surely far more powerful too? And any other female MP.

If it's a case of influence then the Queen is likely still number one. Mrs Lawrence may not, inexplicably, be too far behind, but the other nine are again unlikely candidates. In the public eye, candidates would surely be celebrities of some kind.

But celebrities don't have any real 'power' (well maybe a few do via influence on behaviour), other than their wealth and it's debatable how much they change the game. How much did (or does) Madonna change the game in Britain, despite the fact she is undoubtably very wealthy and so powerful that way? J K Rowling probably changed even less (or not really anything) but is similarly very wealthy. They are admittedly two very successful women. Madonna isn't British I know.

'Changed the game' sounds more like influence, maybe socio-political change and possibly cultural impact. It also denotes a past tense, unlike 'powerful women in Britain', which would seem obvious. A lot of game-changers would likely only be seen in retrospect, historically, if only in recent history. The question then would be - how far back does one go to admit candidates to the list? The post-war period? The reign of the current monarch (can't see them liking that one)? Since the 1960s (for no good reason)? Since last week or thereabouts, to match the goldfish-like attention span of the people who presented the 'survey'?

Margaret Thatcher is a definite candidate for the top spot. She 'changed the game' for sure. Princess Diana had quite a following and for a considerable time. Celebrities we've covered. I can't think of any other women who changed too much at all, bar one.

And so, to our old favourite - Germaine Greer. How did they leave her out? Surely she changed a lot of games and ended up somewhat powerful, in her own way, as a result? Or was it the other way round? I know she isn't British but she has for long operated from these shores.

Mainly, it goes to show that the whole thing is inane. That's the survey, the programme and everything about it. But still, if that's what these people want to do....? What else would they be good for?
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Re: The 10 Most Powerful Women in Britain

Postby Andrea » 10 Apr 2014, 10:15

Hold on...Caitlin Moran?? She's one of the most foul-mouthed people in the media, a disgrace to womankind, and she's a "powerful woman"? What?!
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