01/07/2013 07:37 BST

Is It Wrong For A Woman To Value Her Role As A Wife And Mother Above Her Profession?

Beyoncé: Celebrating all the married ladies
Beyoncé: Celebrating all the married ladies

When Hilary Clinton described herself as a "wife and mom" ahead of "US Senator" on her Twitter profile, there was a flurry of speculation on social networks, gossip blogs and even in the news. Surely this couldn't be a genuine reflection of her priorities - it must surely be a PR-constructed persona. Given the woman's fiercely ambitious reputation, this was hardly a surprising reaction.

But what if this had been an accurate representation of Clinton's values? Would it be wrong for a powerful and successful woman to define herself as a wife and mother first and foremost? Would that constitute a blow against feminism? Do such values negate a woman's right to be respected as an individual?

When Tori MP Louise Mensch resigned from her position of political power to give her family the attention she felt they deserved, a similar ripple of confusion ensued. Likewise, when Beyoncé announced she would be touring under her married name, Mrs Carter, the implication was that she had somehow 'sold out'.

Can't a woman be an empowered individual but still feel proud to be a loving wife or a devoted mother? It's the contribution we made within our relationships that most people wish to be remembered by when they've gone - not their CV. Otherwise cemeteries would be filled with headstones that read like this: 'In Loving Memory Of A. Smith, Web Editor, B-Tec In Jewellery Design (Photoshop Proficient) And Loving Wife And Mother').

The following women have strived to achieve great success in their chosen careers, but claim family will always come first...