I love Caitlin Moran, she is hilarious. However I do  have one teeny little  niggle when it comes to discussing her strong, feminist principles: she got married at 23.
I’m not for one minute saying that a feminist can’t be married but I am just pointing out that she has had someone to lean on, when she has found herself in times of trouble.
Having the support and stability of a long-term relationship, should never  be overlooked. Like the verse from the song used in this title “behind every great man, there had to be a great women”; today I feel the reverse is also true:  behind every great woman, there is usually a great man.

When you look for women often deemed to be successful or “making it in a man’s world”, we are usually told to look at the  female CEO’s of the FTSE 100 companies.
There are just two females at the helm of FTSE 100 companies right now. Step forward Carolyn Mccall of Easy Jet and Alison Cooper of Imperial Tobacco. The former I had the pleasure of hearing speak, when we both got paid by the same employer; the wonderful Guardian newspaper. 
As with anyone capable of fulfilling such a high pressured job role, she was inspiring and full of charisma.  Before last year Carolyn and Alison were joined by another lady : Angela Ahrendts of Burbs (Burberry) ….. before she defected to Apple to take the less high level  job, as her critics have said, as just their Head of Retail. Grrrr.

Now I am no statistician and nor have I ever worked for the Office of  National Statistics, so I understand that with an insignificant sample of 3 people here, I cannot make sweeping generalizations. However, for the purposes of today, let’s just forget that minor detail!  
Is it just  pure coincidence  that all 3 of these ‘power’ ladies met their now husbands, when they were young aka: under the age of 25? Like I said, behind every great women, there  is often a great man.
Maybe it’s stability and the confidence that goes with being loved and supported constantly, that allowed these women to be so high powered?

Every so often, I want to dedicate an article to a woman that I think has achieved great things, without the constant support of a partner or betrothed. I think it’s important that we recognize that  a single woman’s achievements are in some ways bigger than those who have continuous support.

First up is the highly creative and wonderfully controversial, Tracey Emin.
Despite many a debate in the 90’s over her artistic interpretation, she has managed to find her way into our British psyche for being an honest, wonderful and slightly bonkers artist.

David Bowie adored her work and touched on her unusal creativity, joking she was like 
“William Blake as a women, written by Mike Leigh”. 
Anyone that gets praise and comment from David Bowie is a God: End of Story.
However, for the purposes of this post, I’ll should elaborate on her a little more….

Regardless of whether you love or loathe her art, she is a woman who has  “made it in a man’s world” yet has never been afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve. For that alone, I get out of my seat and applaud her, possibly with some “Wooohoooooooooo” type of noise too.

Whether you  can  appreciate the sentiment of her most famous pieces, the bed and the tent for example
(Please do look into the meaning of the tent because I think it’s a pretty genius metaphor ), you can’t knock the now 50 year old artist for her commitment to:
1.  Modern art  on both sides of the Atlantic: therefore raising awareness of British art and therefore British tourism as a by-product.

2. Charitable causes: so many but to give you a feel;
NSPCC, Terence Higgins, Elton John Aids Foundation, various animal charities (of course) and my favourite: the Tracey Emin Library, which she helped to set up and build in Uganda.

3. Being one of the first women to be professor at the Royal Academy of Art, which has been going since 1768. A whopping 245 years without female perspective people!

4. Bringing  a working class dimension to the attention of a previously largely upper class, art world.
Many of the artists in the Young British Artists movement that Tracey was a part of in the 90’s also created some great and inspiring work.
Yet non made the same Tracey shaped dent and noise, in the face of that stuffy art world.
That stuffy art world didn’t want to know about some working class girl from Margate who got raped at the age of 13.
They didn’t want to see a woman representing the British art scene, being drunk and smoking on television.
Like their aristocratic outlook, a Britain actually representative of those who inhabited it, probably wasn’t to their champagne and caviar tastes.
I completely get why her most famous pissed interview isn’t something I should cheer, I know being drunk is not big nor clever.
That said, it is hilarious!  If you have ever drank 4 too many glasses of Pinot Grigio on a night out, you can empathize with how she will have undoubtedly felt the next morning,  with the worst hangover ‘fear’ ever:”I didn’t do that on live TV did I????……….. Oh Shhhhhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiit”!!!!!!
Go forth and check it out on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKNr2LOkXYE

On top of her admirable honesty and creative storytelling, that woman has a cracking ass.
I know some people believe that talking about a women’s body is perhaps anti feminist.
I actually and wholeheartedly disagree.
She is 53 and in very fine fettle.
To celebrate the body of someone who can be bothered to get up on a cold and wet morning and pound the streets with a run or join one of those god awful spinning classes at 6.45 AM, well, they just seem wonderful and worthy of great respect  as far as I am concerned.

Emin also can be credited with this ‘selfies’ malarkey.
She has been taking selfie’s for donkey’s years, Margate donkey’s no doubt.
She has been taking passport style photo’s of herself, since the 1980’s. Her style, expression and haircut, give the observer an insight to what was happening at that particular time in her life and that era more generally.
As with anything Emin ever creates, it’s from the heart and ever so affecting. Anything affecting is art, in my humble opinion.

As Tracey  has grown older, the obsession with creating art that incorporates negative gestures towards men & sex have passed. She has said that with the menopause, she is less concerned about sex and therefore does not feel desperate for love in the ‘conventional’ way. Also she had to accept she would never be a Mother.

“When people have children, they have a sense of purpose. When you don’t have children, you have to make your own reasons for being here”. The art of not procreating, never sounded so meaningful.

So like or loathe her art, you have to hand it to her. Not only should she be commended for finding her purpose in life and standing on her own TWO FEET but she has also managed to do a whole lot else:  
put British art on the map, Margate on the map, support numerous charities, stimulate tourism and pave the way for strong women everywhere to stop having to act male to get somewhere in life.

Pretty strong contribution to the world, me thinks.
To top it off, she collected her CBE from Princess Anne wearing a hat that looked like a carpet sample, thus demonstrating humour and balls.

Tracey, for ALWAYS being yourself…. for never being afraid to wear your  heart on your sleeve…. for  being so creative and thought provoking ….. for never being ashamed to talk about issues that affect all manner of women, posh and less so: Cheers and thank you for paving the way.