“A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life-raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination. On a cold rainy island, they are the only sheltered public spaces where you are not a consumer, but a citizen instead.”—Caitlin Moran (via une-etoile-etincelant)
In a world beset by worries and woes – the floods! The droughts! The banks! The bees! – a new concern has just rocketed straight to the top of all “fret lists”. In a refreshingly frank piece for Grazia, the author Tony Parsons confessed to a problem. Discussing comments from the actress Chloë Sevigny – who claims that men are “intimidated” by her earning more than them – Parsons admitted that he, too, dislikes women earning more than him.
“Does it rock the family boat if the woman earns more?” he asked. “No – it drives the boat into an iceberg. Because the man will feel as if his penis is dropping off.”
Well, this is an alarming state of affairs for Parsons to be confessing to on behalf of all men. I can’t help but feel, in the next few months, he might find parties quite difficult. Every time a woman who earns more than him engages him in conversation, everyone within a 15-foot radius will be listening out for the gentle thudding sound as his out-earned nethers hit the floor. Hosts will have to suddenly abandon other guests and run across the room, screaming, “DON’T TALK TO TONY PARSONS, KARREN BRADY – WE’VE ONLY JUST GLUED IT BACK ON FROM LAST TIME!”
We must all remember, of course, that none of this is Parsons’ fault. It’s not as if this is an intellectual stance he’s consciously taking – some thoughts about a personal insecurity he harbours, which have, over time, solidified into a blanket thesis which all men adhere to. No. It’s deeper than that.
“There is no law that says… a high-flying female banker can’t earn the big dough while her man stays at home, writing slim volumes of poetry. No law against it. Only the law of Nature,” he writes, sadly. And in this he is, of course, correct. For if there is one thing that photosynthesis has proved time and time again, it is that Tony Parsons’ wife must earn less than him. It is an observable fact, noted in all the great studies of biology.
As Darwin’s On the Origins of Species makes very clear, the imperative of a happy marriage is simple: a “good” wife will always earn less than her husband, meaning that, logically, the “best possible” wife would be… a slave. Or, alternatively (if no slaves are available), a woman with massive debts – too big to clear in a lifetime, and which have left her penniless. Under these happy circumstances, a man’s penis should thrive – remaining firmly attached to him, even during bumpy car journeys or after being attacked by a lion.
Of course, with the latest forecast from the Office for National Statistics showing that women in Britain are expected to out-earn men by 2020, this will lead, presumably, to the almost immediate breeding failure of “natural” men, whose penises fall off in the presence of their wife’s payslip. Humanity’s future will, therefore, lie in the hands of the odd, puzzling mutant-man who – through a combination of ignorance and sheer insanity – doesn’t, to use the technical term, “give a toss” who puts the money into the joint bank account, just so long as the family doesn’t end up homeless in a cardboard box next to an A-road.
As a logical extension of this, one must presume that the man who will get the most sex from 2020 onwards will be some manner of super-mutant who actively fancies a woman who does well at her career. This new breed will be able to swing from fruity businesswoman to lubricious entrepreneur – much in the way Tarzan swung from vine to vine – with barely a pause between tumbles between 600 thread-count sheets. The “M” in “MILF” will come to mean “millionairess”, not “mum”.
The only thing we must ignore in all of this is that the man who likes women to earn more money than him must have, logically, as his ultimate role model Prince Philip, which is obviously unfortunate. But no! I’ve just thought of Richard Burton! And Arthur Miller! And, er, David Cameron! It’s all right again!
Perhaps the most notable facet of Parsons’ statement is that he never once mentions his wife’s views on whether or not she should earn less than him. Obviously, those views would ultimately be worthless – you can’t argue with the laws of Nature, Mrs Parsons! But a few crazy dreamers – scientists, perhaps; or socialists, into their “equality” hoo-ha – might wonder how she felt.
Aware of this imbalance, I asked my husband how he felt about our situation.
“What?” he said, blinking vaguely.
“How do you feel about me earning more than you?” I asked.
“Er, really glad we can buy food, and stuff?” he replied, looking confused.
“It doesn’t make your penis drop off?”
“No, that’s leprosy,” he said. “You’re confusing ‘your wages’ with leprosy. Leprosy is the only thing that makes a man’s penis fall off.”
“There is no law that says… a high-flying female banker can’t earn the big dough while her man stays at home, writing slim volumes of poetry. No law against it. Only the law of Nature,” he writes, sadly. And in this he is, of course, correct. For if there is one thing that photosynthesis has proved time and time again, it is that Tony Parsons’ wife must earn less than him. It is an observable fact, noted in all the great studies of biology.”—Caitlin Moran (via praiseisdefiance)
“When people suggest that what, all along, has been holding women back is other women, bitching about each other, I think they’re severely overestimating the power of a catty zinger during a fag break. We have to remember that snidely saying ‘Her hair’s a bit limp on top’ isn’t what’s keeping womankind from closing the 30 per cent pay gap and a place on the board of directors. I think that’s
more likely to be down to tens of thousands of years of ingrained social, political and economic misogyny and the patriarchy, tbh.”—How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran (via coldandwrathful)
But if you had some manner of Psychic Helmet that you could
put on, in order to read the women’s thoughts, any man donning it
would be instantly terrified by the previously concealed levels of
female insanity it revealed.
Look at that woman in the corner – a perfectly normal, nonpsychotic
section manager, with a pleasant and easy demeanour
towards everyone she works with. As far as anyone is aware, she
doesn’t really fancy anyone in the office. She appears to be writing a
long, important email. But do you know what she’s really doing?
She thinking about that bloke five desks away that she’s only talked
to about ten times.
‘If we went away for a mini-break together, we couldn’t go to
Paris – he went there with his ex-girlfriend,’ she’s thinking. ‘I know.
He mentioned it once. I remember. I’m not going to go tromping
around the Louvre if he’s comparing me, in my spring mac, to her,
in her spring mac. Not that we’d be going in spring, anyway – given
where we are in our relationship now, if he made the first move
TODAY, the earliest we’d be going on mini-breaks would be –’
counts up on fingers ‘– November, and it would be really rainy, and
my hair would go all flat. I’d need an umbrella.’
‘But,’ she continues, typing angrily, ‘if I had an umbrella, then
we wouldn’t be able to hold hands because I’d have the brolly in
one hand and my handbag in the other. So that would be shit.
UNLESS! UNLESS I could fit everything I needed in my pockets!
Then I wouldn’t have to take a handbag to the Louvre. But I’d be
without spare tights if I got splashed, and I’d have to go barelegged,
and it would be so cold that my legs would look all purple,
and I’d be tense when we went back to the hotel to fuck, and I’d be
trying to hide them with a towel, and he’d think I was prick-teasing
him, and go off me. OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE. WHY IS HE TAKING US
TO PARIS IN NOVEMBER? I HATE HIM.’
She doesn’t even fancy this bloke. She’s barely even spoken
to him. If he asked her out for a drink, she’d probably say no. She
has no desire to have an actual relationship with him. And yet, next
time he talks to her, she’ll be a trifle curt with him and he – in his
wildest, most opium-fuelled imaginings – would never come close
to guessing why that might be. Maybe he would shruggingly
presume she was premenstrual, or just having a bad day.
He would never alight upon the simple truth: that they went on
a very bad imaginary mini-break to Paris together, and broke up
over some tights.
“Because the purpose of feminism isn’t to make a particular type of woman. The idea that there are inherently wrong and inherently right “types” of women is what’s screwed feminism for so long - this belief that “we” wouldn’t accept slaggy birds, dim birds, birds that bitch, birds that hire cleaners, birds that stay at home with their kids, birds that have pink Mini Metros with “Powered by Fairy Dust” bumper stickers, birds in burkas, or birds that like to pretend, in their heads, that they’re married to Zach Braff from Scrubs, and that you sometimes have sex in an ambulance while the rest of the cast watch and, latterly, clap. You know what? Feminism will have all of you.
What is feminism? Simply the belief that women should be as free as men, however nuts, dim, deluded, badly dressed, fat, receding, lazy and smug they might be.
Are you a feminist? Hahaha. Of course you are.”—Caitlin Moran - How To Be A Woman (via thistlesandweeeds)
“And if a woman should say she doesn’t want to have children at all, the world is apt to go decidedly peculiar: ‘Ooooh, don’t speak too soon,’ it will say - as if knowing whether or not you’re the kind of person who desires to make a whole other human being in your guts, out of sex and food, then have the rest of your life revolve around its welfare, is a breezy, ‘Hey - whevs’ decision. Like electing to have a picnic on an unexpectedly sunny day or changing the background picture on your desktop. ‘When you meet the right man, you’ll change your mind, dear,’ the world will say, with an odd, aggressive smugness.”— Caitlin Moran, “How to Be a Woman” (via Buffy Plays With Demons)
“Imagine if pornography was not this bizarre, mechanised, factory-farmed fucking: bloodless, naked aerobics, concerned solely with high-speed penetration and ostentatious ejaculation. Imagine if it were about desire.
Because one thing I couldn’t find, as I glided around the internet, was desire. People who actually wanted to fuck each other. Had to fuck each other. Imagine watching two people screwing at that early, white-hot stage of attraction when your pupils dilate just looking at each other, and you want to melt each other’s bones so bad you’re practically eating each other’s clothes off the minute the door closes. I can’t be the only one who’s occasionally had a fuck so spectacular, all-encompassing, cinematic intense that at the end of it, I’ve lain back - ears still ringing - and thought, CNN wanna get hold of that. Now that really needed a ticker tape running underneath it.
In a world where you can get a spare kidney, a black-market Picasso or a ticket ride into space, why can’t I see some actual sex? Some actual fucking from people who want to fuck each other? Some chick in an outfit I halfway respect, having the time of her life? I have MONEY. I’m willing to PAY for this. I AM NOW A 35-YEAR-OLD WOMAN, AND I JUST WANT A MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR INTERNATIONAL PORN INDUSTRY WHERE I CAN SEE A WOMAN COME.
I just want to see a good time.”—Caitlin Moran, How to be a Woman (via philproctor)
You’re so sleepy. You will go to sleep now. All humans fall asleep by midnight. All of them. If you go to sleep now, I will pay for you through university. If you keep crying, I will actually die. Daddy can do this better than Mummy. Isn’t it lovely to see Granny! I know you can understand what I am saying! Mummy will make everything better now.
Mummy and Daddy will never die. You will never die. The cats will never die. No one has ever died - it’s just a thing they made up to make The Lion King more dramatic. Inoculations don’t hurt. We’re going to Woolworth’s - they have a sweet in the pic’n’mix that will stop your inoculations hurting. Mummy always has to try one of your pic’n’mix, to check they’re not poisoned. I’m not smoking - this is Uncle Nathan’s cigarette. I’m not smoking - this is Uncle Martin’s cigarette. This isn’t a cigarette - it’s Sooty’s wand. I’m about to do a magic trick! See! I’ve made the lighter disappear, too! The ice-cream van plays that music when they’ve run out of ice cream. Spiders enjoy dying. Lambs LOVE being eaten. Zoos are like amazing luxury hotels for lions. A four-year old girl cannot eat six sausages. You can use dock leaves OR Penguin wrappers on nettle stings. The next day, he builds a snowman that’s EVEN BETTER. Mummy will make everything better now.
Humans cannot metabolise pudding at 11am. Daddy was just giving Mummy a special horsey ride. If you work hard and never give up, you will always succeed. No one has ever broken into a house and killed a child in their bed. Things always get better. It’s what you’re like on the inside that counts. If you tell the truth, everything will be fine. Your father knows what he’s doing. The teachers just want to help you. When I was your age. I would have killed for a cagoule as snazzy as that. There’s no such thing as “shoes so ugly they’ll ruin your life”. Or “having the wrong kind of face”. Or “being the kind of person who just can’t make friends”. You can’t die of a broken heart. Mummy will make everything better now.
“God bless them all, but newborn babies are not really beautiful. They look like a nightmare teddy bear made of sausage. Or an otter that’s been smacked about a bit. Or - and let’s be brutally honest here - the rabbits from Watership Down when they’ve just come down with myxomatosis.”—Caitlin Moran, The Times, 19/05/12
“It all adds to a dreary sense that something terribly wrong is going on, but that it is against the rules of the game to ever mention it. Frequently, I think about all the women through history who’ve had to deal with this ferocious bullshit with just rags and cold water.”—Caitlin Moran, How To Be a Woman (via combatrrrock)
“As I rapidly discovered, you are a monkey inside a rocket; an element in a bomb-timer. There isn’t an exit plan. You can’t call the whole thing off - however often you may wish you could. This shit is going to happen, whether you like it or not.”—Caitlin Moran - On becoming a woman - in How To Be A Woman (via justalittlebitof-pixiedust)
“The next step on from the cheese lollipop was to take a chunk of cheese and put onto that a slice of cheese- an innovation we called ‘cheese on cheese’. And every time we made it we had to sing it’s own little theme tune, which was “cheese on cheese.. cheese on cheese..” to the tune of ‘girls on film’”—Caitlin Moran (via mathletical)
“Tom Jones appeared at the back of the stage, and gave out a primal bellow — in the manner of Godzilla when he sights Tokyo for the first time and begins the stomping. It was a noise that appeared to have started before the beginning of time and would go on to outlive everything there is to come — including background radiation, and Duran Duran. For when Jones sings, it is not, technically, singing at all, but a primal energy ray from deep within his gonads, expressing his wish to have sex with every woman on the Earth. It is a sound meant to make all other men on this planet hide in cupboards — their testicles withdrawn inside them, from fear — while their womenfolk take off their clothes and run towards Jones, shouting, “I’m ready!”—Caitlin on the Voice.
Is there any chance you could upload it to a different site? Crocko's a dick and keeps telling me I'm already downloading something every time I try (I AM NOT!). No worries if you can't, thanks anyway.
I’ve added some mirrors to the original post. I hope these work!
Please note: they will still be deleted tomorrow. ENJOY.
I don't understand : what is the paywall thing ? What happened ? (CAITLIN FOREVER)
Normally, the content on The Times’ website is restricted unless you pay a subscription to access it (or you buy the paper itself). But every so often, there’s a fault with the website and anyone can access it, the same as The Guardian, The Telegraph or the Fail.
Whenever it goes down I grab very single CaitMo article I can and then often forget to actually read them…
Some .PDFs in a zip folder. A random recent selection of columns wot I got when the paywall was down.
Dear The Times
If this is a very bad thing to do please let me know and I’ll delete the file, just don’t ask that the whole Tumblr be shut down because we are otherwise very legal, nice and not creepy. Thank you very much.
File deleted. Please send FYCM a message to be sent it directly.
ARGH! I just missed it :/ It's back up now - curse you capitalism! :)
I just saw someone on Twitter say they think the occasional drops of the paywall look suspiciously like a strategy to gain readers, and I have to agree. It makes the content seem even more desirable!
So, I opened what I believe is technically called a ‘shit-load’ of tabs but I’m not sure of the legality of sharing them. I will certainly be posting quotes like normal. Let me know if you want the whole ‘shit-load’, I guess?
Want to see Tim record a BBC Radio 4 programme? Well it’s your lucky day as he’ll be recording Chain Reaction on the 15th May at the Shaw Theatre in London.
The show is tag-team interviewing with the previous week’s interviewee becomes that week’s interviewer instead. Tim was interviewed by Derren Brown in January so it’s now his turn to do the interviewing, with his guest being journalist and author Caitlin Moran!
You can apply for free tickets to the recording here, but do remember that having a ticket doesn’t always mean you’ll get in, so turn up early if you’re successful.
For those unable to make it due to not being near London, the shows will be broadcast over the summer and we’ll keep you updated when air dates are confirmed.