Feminism Friday: Women of the Year 2012

981387_4680096535123_2051879664_oLast year I posted my own Rarely Wears Lipstick Women of The Year list, in response to The Guardian’s own one. This year, it looks like that newspaper hasn’t done a list at all – although, if it does, I suspect Jessica Ennis and Ellie Simmonds will be on it. Still, I wanted to carry on the tradition and come up with another selection of 10 wonderful women who have inspired me in some way this year. I would have included a nod to the Olympics – for example the super-knowledgeable Clare Balding – but, once again, I’ve stuck to amazing women I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in real life. There were so many contenders that it was tricky to narrow it down, but here’s the final list. Meet the Rarely Wears Lipstick Women of the Year 2012!

  • Ruby Kiddell – The brains behind Eroticon, the UK’s first conference for erotica writers and sex bloggers. The 2012 event was inspiring to all who attended and Eroticon 2013 promises to be even more impressive as Ruby has a two day extravaganza planned for London this time.
  • Catherine Clavering – Catherine runs Kiss Me Deadly, and she designs lingerie that makes me go “ooh” despite admitting that she isn’t a designer. She makes her customers feel valued and listened to, but anyone who is a fan of the KMD Facebook page will know the real reason why I had to put Catherine on the list. Her scathing wit is almost as legendary as the brand’s big pants!
  • Amanda Jones – My favourite super-busy social entrepreneur makes it back onto my list because, surprise, she’s been busy! Amanda founded the fantastic Irreverent Dance this year. Providing body-positive dance classes to assorted London misfits and reprobates since the summer, ID is now fundraising and recruiting for January’s courses.
  • Sam Sparrow & Lea Rice – You get two for one here! Lovely Sam and Lea have a fab podcast called The High Tea Cast which they interviewed me for back in February. Since then, they’ve expanded their site to include a blog with updates from a team of writers, got their own show on Hoxton Radio, and they’ve even organised a charity event called Sex, Mugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll.
  • Juliet Jacques – A familiar name from the pages of The Guardian, New Statesman and Time Out, Juliet is a fascinating writer. She’s had a very busy year in 2012, as anyone who has her Guardian series A Transgender Journey will know. Deciding to go public with such private moments can only serve to help and educate many others and so, for this, I salute her.
  • Zoe Margolis – As well as winning an Erotic Award in 2012, Zoe started the year by hosting a comedy event at the Bloomsbury Theatre in aid of sexual health charity Brook. It was a great success so she’s doing it again! Sex Appeal II: Come Again has a fantastic line up and is taking place on Friday 18th January 2013.
  • Maz Spencer – In her role at What Katie Did, Maz represents the gold standard that everyone working in PR should aspire to. I’ve met her a few times in person and she always treats me like a close friend. Maz makes the list because she is an utter delight to deal with. Seriously, there are not enough cheerful people like her in the world.
  • Siân To – Another super-organised type who can bring people together, Siân created Cybher, a conference for women who blog. The schedule was fantastically varied and I’m sure next summer’s follow up event will provide more of the same.
  • Anna Swiczeniuk – As well as being a rather excellent photographer, Anna is one half of theatrical DJ duo The Roustabouts, and this year I won a competition on their Facebook page where the prize was a photoshoot with her. Not only is she an extremely talented and creative woman, Anna’s feminist rants also give me hope for the future.
  • Jo Breeze – Women don’t need to have done All The Things to make it onto this list, they just need to be awesome and Jo is most certainly that. Despite a year of ups and downs, twists and turns, Jo still remains a wonderful friend to all who know her. She’s a bloody marvelous human being and that deserves celebrating.