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We are told that women think badly of themselves, and have no self-confidence. Women's identities, we are led to believe, are fragile and conflicted: at work they feel deprived, with fewer prospects for promotion and access to training. And at home they feel worthless.
Women are ambivalent over whether they want to be feminine or masculine, and ping-pong back and forth between the two roles. One day they are all gentle, caring, and frills, and the next day they are malevolent, power-hungry tigers.
Take Cheryl Cole, whose protracted saga just won't go away despite the news that she has decided to take an indefinite break from showbusiness in the wake of her sacking from the US X Factor.
I would've much preferred to have seen Cheryl not shun the spotlight and hide away like she's got something to be ashamed of. Instead, emerge stronger than ever before with her head held up high and with a look on her face that says: Do not underestimate me.
She's certainly let some of us women down by not tackling the media, or the men in suits who benefit from the female being portrayed as a roller coaster of emotion who cannot be relied upon at a time of adversity.
I say some women, as I am acutely aware that not all women are deliriously career-driven and independent. I however am, and make no apologies for it.
But isn't it funny, that even when you get a gush of powerful, career-driven women - from Lord Sugar's current Apprentice side-kick Karren Brady, to Home Secretary Theresa May, who have both risen to the top through their sheer hard work, determination and refusal to tame their penchant for power dressing out of the 1980s Dallas/Dynasty fashion era - that only one in eight directors of FTSE 100 companies are women and, based on progress to date, it would take 70 years to balance the sexes.
Here, a survey by The Herald found that Scotland's 30 largest listed companies shared just 29 female directors - and 10 firms had no women on their main boards.
Perhaps, though, the problem goes deeper than the way women are treated within the rather eccentric world of business and media.
In the real world, women do tend to care a little more about the way they appear than men. To enhance their figure with all the padding and clever tailoring that fashion can offer is part of daily life. It is self-deluding to deny that looks, whether it is general attractiveness or overt sexuality, tend to be an important part of a woman's self-image.
In the past, such things might have been a response to a cruel male world, but that argument died some time ago. The 2011 Rear of the Year recipient Carol Vorderman is nobody's victim, nor are Karren Brady or Theresa May. What matters is whether the low-level sexual display that is a bottom contest will undermine the seriousness with which female professionals should be regarded.
A UK government inquiry into male dominance of UK boardrooms has ruled out setting mandatory quotas to force companies to hire female executives, but said FTSE 100 companies should aim for a minimum of 25% female board representation by 2015.
In Scotland, at the recent Scottish Parliament elections, we as a nation we secured only 45 female MSPs and Annabel Goldie's departure will see Scotland without a single female political leader. So who's going to fight for women's representation across a spectrum of sectors? And who will act as role models and advocates for our generation of young women?
At the recent Scottish Youth Parliament board elections, there was not a single female candidate for the position of Chair. Clearly there were many female members that would have exceeded the criteria; however when I asked some of the girls why they had not put their name forward, the common answer was that "we've not been around long enough and thought it best to work our way to the top". Yet one girl I spoke to had been involved with the organisation since her early teens.
Their male counterparts, some who had been around for only a matter of weeks, threw their hats in the ring. Why? Because men do not have this time-served mentality, which unfortunately has held women back from progressing at the same rate as their male colleagues for centuries.
Good for them, but I think as a progressive society we should all be responsible for empowering our young women to show leadership. More than ever before, in these difficult times, we should be looking to all of our young people to lead the way and support them in doing so.