There are some really fantastic women up for awards, especially in the Most Inspirational, Most Aspirational (huh? what's the difference?) and Inspirational Fundraiser categories, but the emphasis on models, singers and 'celebs' sits a bit uneasily with me. Why are there not more nominations for business women who have businesses outside the beauty/fashion industry? Academics? Politicians?
I went on the site to vote for Helen Bamber in the Most Aspirational category, as she is someone who I find truly aspirational/inspirational as both a person and a woman.
oh don't get me wrong, charity work is good and many of those women (the charity ones, not the nail bar entrepreneurs) are truly inspirational. But it does rather hark back to Victorian days when the most acceptable thing for women to do in the public sphere was Good Works.
It gets worse. I just tried to vote, but decided to leave out the categories with which I am not happy. It turns out this is not possible.
I have just emailed firstname.lastname@example.org with this message. Anyone else fancy making a complaint about this?
Dear Inspiration Awards
I write to register my disappointment at the voting options available.
Many of the women who have been nominated for awards this year have achieved amazing things, and truly deserve to be held up as an inspiration to women and girls, and I would be proud to aspire to match their contributions to the world.
However, I consider that teaching young girls to aspire to match expectations of "Style & Elegance" is not healthy, and does a disservice to women generally. I strongly disagree that women should be given awards for their appearance, and I feel that it does a real disservice to women such as Helen Bamber and Nawal El Saadawi to hold their achievements at the same level as (for example) Pippa Middleton's accident of birth and wardrobe choices.
I therefore decided that I would place my vote only for women who I feel are truly inspirational, and not to place a vote in the categories of "Style & Elegance" and "I.A.S" [sic], but this is not possible! According to the way your website is set up, I must place a vote in each category, so in order to show my support for women who have made significant contributions to our society, I have to choose who I think is the prettiest amongst another selection.
I would be interested to hear your response to this, and to know whether it is possible for my votes to be registered for the categories I do wish to support. Accordingly, I would like to place the following votes:
Most Inspirational Celebrity - Karen Brady Most Inspirational - Nawal El Saadawi Most Aspirational Celebrity - Jessica Ennis Most Aspirational - Helen Bamaber Inspirational International - Gabrielle Giffords Inspirational Fundraiser - Lucy Rivers Bulkeley
Thank you for your attention to this message. I look forward to hearing from you.