When BBC Radio4's Woman's Hour announced their 2016 Power List this week, Twitter went into overdrive over two of the entries – Margaret Thatcher who stirred up a lot of bad feeling for the less than inspiring moments in her career, and Bridget Jones, no doubt a light-hearted nomination by the Woman's Hour team, but… bloody stupid. Good lord, think of all the women who make an impact, inspire others, and deserve praise or posthumous recognition, can't they get a look in? Commend Helen Fielding for her writing if needs be, but to make a fictional character one of the women of the year is as cringey as when the U.N made Wonder Woman an ambassador.
I like the Bridget Jones books, the first film was okay, I think she's a character women can empathise with and relate to, which has made her popular. That and the brilliant way in which the books were written. But there are many, many relatable and endearing fictional women who can (and have) inspired others, it's silly to pick one. Especially one who is, let's face it – lacking in ambition somewhat, and relying on men to make her happy. Katie Glass sums up the anti-feminist, fat-shaming message behind Bridget more hilariously than I ever could, and points out that the reader/audience are not laughing with Bridget, but at her expense. And yes – powerful women don't necessarily have to be bastions of feminism, they can be flawed (as with Thatcher), but come on, let's not call dithering, ditzy Bridget a powerful woman, and let's keep all fictional characters off of popular lists that could bring the attention of real inspiring women to others.
To finish, I'd like to include this amusing tweet I received this week, don't get any ideas for next year, Woman's Hour.