GROWING up in the 1970s, I used to religiously watch The Two Ronnies every Saturday night.
My favourite sketch was The Worm That Turned – a parody in which the world is run by women.
It has taken more than 40 years, but I feel there is finally an emergence of female strength and sensibility, which is beginning to permeate British culture in a way that is slowly and progressively forcing change.
We still have a long way to go, but with Elle magazine’s campaign on whether feminism needs a rebrand and the Daily Telegraph launching the Wonder Women columns, women’s voices are ringing louder and louder.
I do feel perpetually challenged by the hypocrisy of female magazines that write long heart-wrenching articles about sustainability and eating disorders, while paradoxically parading materialism and heroin chic baby dolls in designer clothes.
But, of course, I understand that the advertising revenues from these mega brands create the pages on which to these issues are highlighted. It’s a bittersweet circle.
This week I was in Birmingham training small businesses at a PR bootcamp run by female entrepreneur Rachael Taplin, from a company called BlueBoo.
My job was to interview three women who run small businesses, help them find their stories and then create a press release for them.
The first was Lisa MacLaughlin, a Londonbased artist and illustrator, who lived her life in the shadow of the wants and needs of others, until she was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. Her journey has been to battle this self-esteem destroying condition and create an empathetic illustration business.
The second was a part-time air traffic controller called Emily Thorpe, who had become disillusioned by the challenge of parenting and working. She has written a step-by-step guide on how to be a happy working mum.
The third was Claire Brammell, who was launching a business for successful but single highflying executives.
She calls herself a ‘relationist’ – a dating strategist who can shortcut the matchmaking process and help the busy, ambitious individual find his or her soul mate.
I was very impressed by these empowered women.
Each of them had forged their own paths in the face of adversity and doubt.
Each of them had created their own business models, ideally suited to support their own wants and needs. It gives me hope for women of the future and for feminism.
l Writer and journalist Clare Macnaughton’s latest book is available on Amazon.
A Modern Military Mother – Tales from the Domestic Frontline is an honest account of a decade of being married to an RAF officer serving in the British military.
Follow Clare on twitter: @amodmilitarymum Blog: amodernmilitary mother.com