£15,000 bottles of vintage champagne; hot-air balloons flying over wildebeest migrations; sharkskin shoes with a diamond on the sole; Paris; these are all, ultimately, consolation prizes for those who don’t have access to a small, ideally slightly grubby child that they can mess around with, poke and squash a little - high on ridiculous love.
It’s the silliness - the profligacy, and the silliness - that’s so dizzying; a seven-year-old will run downstairs, kiss you hard, and then run back upstairs again; all in less than 30 seconds. It’s as urgent an item on their daily agenda as eating, or singing. It’s like being mugged by Cupid.
You, in turn, observe yourself from a distance, simply astonished byt he quantities of love you manufacture. It is endless. Your adoration may grow weary but it will never end: it becomes the fuel of your head, your body and your heart. It powers you through the pouring rain, delivering forgotten raincoats for lunch-time play; works overtime, paying for shoes and puppets; keeps you up all night, easing cough, fever and pain - like lust used to, but much, much stronger.
”—Caitlin Moran, How to Be a Woman. Everyone is raving about how funny this book is; I agree, but the pieces on childrearing, why you shouldn’t have children (if that first bit I’m quoting at all sounds like she thinks everyone should have kids, she absolutely doesn’t, and I loved that she went where so few parents seem willing to go in admitting that you can love your kids like crazy yet know it’s not for everyone) and abortion were, to me, the standouts. They stunned me, and each were vividly about the power of becoming a mother, as well as the pressure to become one. I wish all anti-abortion people could read her abortion essay because it is so clearly about coming from a place of parenting two children, and knowing what that means, intimately, and choosing not to do it again. I highly recommend the book. It’s funny that I’ve had it sitting around since last year’s visit to England and now am amazed I didn’t read it early. I’ve read plenty about those topics but she managed to say it in a new way. I guess, at the end of the day, I will always fall harder for heartfelt than funny. (via rkb)
“…I can’t believe that girls saying ‘Actually, I’m paying my university fees by stripping’ is seen as some kind of righteous, empowered, end-of-argument statement on the ultimate morality of these places. If women are having to strip to get an education - in a way that male teenage students are really notably not - then that’s a gigantic political issue, not a reason to keep strip clubs going.”—Caitlin Moran (via keatonhensons)
“Along with underwear, love is a woman’s work. Women are to be fallen in love with. When we discuss the great tragedies that can possibly befall a woman, once we have discounted war and injurty, it is the idea of being unloved, and therefore unwanted, that we wince over the most.”—Caitlin Moran, How to Be a Woman (via rkb)
“Let’s face it, most women will continue to have babies, the planet isn’t going to run out of new people, so it’s of no real use to the world for you to have a child. Quite the opposite, in fact. That shouldn’t stop you having one if you want one, of course – a cheery cry of ‘Yes – but my baby might grow up to be JESUS. Or EINSTEIN! Or JESUS EINSTEIN!’ is all the justification you need, if you actually want one. But it’s also worth remembering it’s not of vital use to you as a woman, either. Yes, you could learn thousands of interesting things about love, strength, faith, fear, human relationships, genetic loyalty and the effect of apricots on an immature digestive system. But I don’t think there’s a single lesson that motherhood has to offer that couldn’t be learned elsewhere. If you want to know what’s in motherhood for you, as a woman, then – in truth – it’s nothing you couldn’t get from, say, reading the 100 greatest books in human history; learning a foreign language well enough to argue in it; climbing hills; loving recklessly; sitting quietly, alone, in the dawn; drinking whisky with revolutionaries; learning to do close-hand magic; swimming in a river in winter; growing foxgloves, peas and roses; calling your mum; singing while you walk; being polite; and always, always helping strangers. No one has ever claimed for a moment that childless men have missed out on a vital aspect of their existence, and were the poorer, and crippled by it. Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Newton, Faraday, Plato, Aquinas, Beethoven, Handel, Kant, Hume. Jesus. They all seem to have managed quite well. Every woman who chooses – joyfully, thoughtfully, calmly, of their own free will and desire – not to have a child does womankind a massive favour in the long term. We need more women who are allowed to prove their worth as people; rather than being assessed merely for their potential to create new people. After all, half those new people we go on to create are also women – presumably themselves to be judged, in their futures, for not making new people. And so it will go on, and on … Whilst motherhood is an incredible vocation, it has no more inherent worth than a childless woman simply being who she is, to the utmost of her capabilities. To think otherwise betrays a belief that being a thinking, creative, productive and fulfilled woman is, somehow, not enough. That no action will ever be the equal of giving birth. Let me tell you, however momentous being a mother has been for me, I’ve walked around exhibitions of Coco Chanel’s life-work, and it looked a lot more impressive, to be honest. I think it’s important to confess this. If you’re insanely talented and not at all broody, why not just go and have more fun? As I’m sure we’re all aware by now, there really are no prizes for drudgery. Jesus is not keeping a note of every tiny arse you’ve wiped in Jesus’s Big Jotter of Martyrdom. And if you’re a nerdy girl, you’ve read enough books and seen enough films to know that being on a mission, saving the world, trying to get the band back together, or just putting on a play, right here, in a barn, really is a life well lived. Batman doesn’t want a baby in order to feel he’s ‘done everything’. He’s just saved Gotham again! If this means that Batman must be a feminist role model above, say, Nicola Horlick, then so be it. Feminism needs Zero Tolerance over baby angst. In the 21st century, it can’t be about who we might make, and what they might do, any more. It has to be about who we are, and what we’re going to do.”—Caitlin Moran, ‘How To Be A Woman’ (via cordeliaistheone)
“Don’t you think women would be happier if Layla had a whole chorus about Eric Clapton watching Patti Boyd trying to climb over a park fence, pissed, in order to retrieve a shoe she threw in there, for a bet?”—How To Be A Woman, Caitlin Moran (via touchingfromalongdistance)
Based on my own, personal experiences, 100,000 years of male superiority has its origins in the simple basis that men don’t get cystitis. Why wasn’t it a woman who discovered the Americas, in 1492? Because in a pre-antibiotic era, what woman would dare risk getting halfway across the Atlantic then spend the rest of the voyage clamped to the toilet, crying, and occasionally shouting, ‘Can anyone see New York yet? Get me a hotdog,’ out of the porthole?
We are, physically, the weaker sex. We’re not as good at hefting stones, killing mammoths and rowing boats. In addition, sex often had the added complication of getting us pregnant, and leaving us feeling ‘too fat’ to lead an army into India. It’s not a coincidence that efforts towards female emancipation only got going under the twin exegeses of industrialisation and contraception – when machines made us the equal of men in the workplace, and The Pill made us the equal of men in expressing our desire. In more primitive times – what I would personally regard as any time before the release of Working Girl, in 1988 – the winners were always going to be anyone who was both physically strong enough to punch an antelope to the ground, and whose libido didn’t end up with them getting pregnant, then dying in childbirth.
So to the powerful came education, discussion, and the conception of ‘normality’. Being a man and men’s experiences were considered ‘normal’: everything else was other. And as ‘other’ – without cities, philosophers, empires, armies, politicians, explorers, scientists and engineers – women were the losers. I don’t think that women being seen as inferior is a prejudice based on male hatred of women. When you look at history, it’s a prejudice based on simple fact.
“In that instance [of my miscarriage], my body had decided that that baby was not to be and had ended it. This time, it is my mind that has decided that this baby was not meant to be. I don’t believe one’s decision is more valid than the other. They both know me. They are both equally capable of deciding what is right.”—Caitlin Moran in How To Be A Woman (via akmarik)
I feel like I'm taking crazy pills, please help me! I clearly remember reading 'How to Be a Woman' for the first time. I'm sure I read a part where Caitlin talks about how she likes to wear men's shoes because they're so much more comfortable, stylish, affordable and durable. I'm sure I remember her recommending a couple of brands of men's shoes. In fact, I remember googling them and thinking 'Huh, not bad'. But now I can't find the brand names in the book anywhere! Did I imagine it?
Ooh, golly. It’s been a while since I’ve read it and I haven’t got my copy available at the moment, but that doesn’t sound familiar.
“The Wombles” was a 1970s childrens’ [sic] TV show about a group of gentle, furry creatures—Wombles—who secretly lived on Wimbledon Common, London, recycling humans’ garbage. In one of the more unlikely developments in pop history, they went on to have five hit albums and a massive single, “Remember You’re a Womble.” The last was such an insidious ear-worm that a whole generation took to saying “Remember You’re a Womble” in order to conclude conversations, or sum up the ineffable moments of great emotion.
At least, that’s what I thought when I was a kid. Then I started leaving the house and socializing with people, and realized that, actually, in the whole world, it was only my dad who did that. Only my dad. Literally no one else but Dad.
”—Caitlin Moran, How to Be a Woman (the American version)
“In the 20th century- an age in thrall to the new- women turn out to be the newest thing of all; still packed up in cellophane, still folded up in the box, having played dead for the length of history. But now we are the new species! The new craze! We are the tulip- America- the Hula Hoop- the moon shot- cocaine! Everything we do is going to be, implicitly, amazing.”—Caitlin Moran in How To Be A Woman (via akmarik)
“And— just as with winning the lottery, or becoming famous— there is no manual for becoming a woman, even though the stakes are so high. God knows, when I was 13, I tried to find one. You can read about other people’s experiences on the matter— by way of trying to cram, in advance, for an exam— but I found that this is, in itself, problematic. For throughout history, you can read the stories of women who— against all odds— got being a woman right, but ended up being compromised, unhappy, hobbled, or ruined, because all around them society was still wrong. Show a girl a pioneering hero— Sylvia Plath, Dorothy Parker, Frida Kahlo, Cleopatra, Boudiccia, Joan of Arc— and you also, more often than not, show a girl a woman who was eventually crushed. Your hard-won triumphs can be wholly negated if you live in a climate where your victories are seen as threatening, incorrect, distasteful, or— most crucially of all, for a teenage girl— simply uncool. Few girls would choose to be right— right, down into their clever, brilliant bones— but lonely.”— Caitlin Moran, How To Be a Woman (via victoriafication)
If so, send us a photo of your best party trick (or photo reply to this post) and, in true Olympic spirit, we’ll award a gold medal to the best - and post it on our Tumblr.
Pictured is Times columnist Caitlin Moran, who was posing for The New York Times. For some reason, this particular pic didn’t make the NYT Magazine (see here for more out-takes and here for the main piece). Still, pretty impressive, eh?
You said you're working on a movie based on the book?
"The people at Film Four over here bought the rights. I’m writing it with my sister, we’ll be casting by Christmas, and it will come out in the autumn of 2014. We intend to make the first feminist rom-com. All the films with women in them now annoy me; the female characters dream of eating or making cupcakes and sit around and talk about their problems, and there’s this nice bloke, it takes them the film to realize they want to go out with the good guy and not the bastard. We did a list of everything we hate in films. In ours, she’s going out with a bastard, the worst boyfriend ever, and she dumps the asshole and is on her own. She hangs out with her sister and smokes dope; they have a little dog called Mr. Jenkins that they love. She grows her pubic hair back and gains two stone and gets really, really happy. For women it’s the equivalent of men watching the Death Star explode."
“I’m writing the film and the sitcom with my sister, and every so often if we’re stuck for inspiration we both look at a picture of Tina Fey for about five minutes. On one occasion where we were really badly stuck, we tore a picture of Tina Fey in half reverently and ate it in order to try to absorb her powers. And sure enough, about five minutes later, we cracked the gag. So even her picture, when eaten, Tina Fey is very powerful.”—
“There’s a realization that I came to writing the book: that often so much of being a woman is about keeping secrets. True things about being a woman—bleeding, masturbating, being pregnant, giving birth, the way that we get obsessed with relationships, bad boyfriends, having sexism happen to us—they’re all things that we try to keep secret. You’re supposed to cover all that stuff up and sort of deal with it quietly on your own. Not let anyone smell your smells or see your stains or know the bad things happening in your heart or the things that confuse you. And you’re kind of led to believe that if you’re ever truthful about all these bad things, you’d be kind of socially ostracized, and people would point at you and you would be punched in the street. The thing that I’ve realized and I think Lena Dunham has realized is if you actually do say these things nothing bad happens. People don’t have a go at you and you aren’t socially ostracized and what actually happens is all these women go, “Oh, that’s really fucking funny and that happened to me.” And that’s the only thing that happens. The secret is it doesn’t need to be a secret. You can be socially accepted and tell the truth about what it is to be a woman.”—Caitlin Moran
“It’s great being a spokeswoman for a generation, because previously when people just looked at you and went, “That’s a bit of a weird thing to say,” now they go, “Oh, wow, she’s being iconoclastic!” So I’m getting away with saying all kinds of weird things.”—
Fresh off the back of her 2011 ‘Galaxy Book of the Year’ award, acclaimed columnist, author and Twitter superstar Caitlin Moran joins Time Out Live and Foyles for an exclusive event around her new book, ‘Moranthology’. In this, the first ever collection of her writing, Moran discusses everything from hitting the sex clubs with Lady Gaga to running late for a Downing Street meeting with Gordon Brown.
Grab this rare opportunity to see the self-described ‘shit Dickens or Orwell, with tits’ at this special event at the Bloomsbury Theatre, complete with readings and Q&A.
‘Moranthology’ will be published by Ebury Press on September 13, 2012.