Fuck Yeah Caitlin Moran
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)

sigiriya:

Rather humanely, you suggest that the patriarchy must be knackered by now, and we’d be doing it a favour to give it a rest. For you, humour seems to be the best way forward…

“… if women just turned around and were honest and said I don’t give a shit, I’m not playing - I don’t care what…

bibliofeminista:

OK, the back of your book says you’ve rewritten The Female Eunuch from a bar Well, I’d always described myself as a feminist, but it seemed increasingly that my idea of what a feminist is was completely at odds with what professional feminists out there were doing and saying. It came to a head when I went to a meeting and there was a massive row about pornography, and all the old-school feminists just seemed to think it was totally unacceptable. There are problems in the world but pornography’s not a terrible thing. Pornography will never go away. The pornography industry’s sexist, and bad stuff’s being made, but the idea that all pornography must be bad is really wrong. It just got to the point where I thought I need to get out there and sort it out myself.

Rather humanely, you suggest that the patriarchy must be knackered by now, and we’d be doing it a favour to give it a rest. For you, humour seems to be the best way forward…

It’s the most human way. But also if women just turned around and were honest and said I don’t give a shit, I’m not playing – I don’t care what Angelina Jolie was wearing this week, I haven’t got time to pamper myself, I don’t care if I’ve got blackheads, I don’t care if my arse is a bit spongy, I have not got time for you, you ridiculous capitalist construct, then the whole game would be fucked overnight.

Where did it all go wrong then?

I said this jokingly but I think it’s true: that it was the Spice Girls who messed it all up. I was a teenage girl during Britpop, and you watch the footage of early Blur concerts, and they’re all in Doc Martens and jeans and no make-up, and there’s this brilliant, puppyish, I’m-just-being-a-human-being kind of vibe. Then the Spice Girls come along and it’s like Adam and Eve eating the apple of knowledge in the Garden of Eden. And obviously, the appropriating of the phrase “girl power”, which at that point overrode any notion of feminism, and which was a phrase that meant absolutely nothing apart from being friends with your girlfriends. Is that it? You’re literally going to tell me as a woman that the two things that are good for me are 1) to make me feel I should go back to wearing a very short skirt, and 2) be friends with my girlfriends. And in exchange for that you’re basically going to wipe out feminism for a decade? Thanks!

You write very candidly in the book about having an abortion. Why was it so important to you to include that?

It felt like a privilege and honour to write about something that’s so common but that for whatever reason women haven’t felt like they can talk about. It’s ridiculous that women feel they have to be silent. If these experiences are so common but no one’s talking about them, then that’s a form of societal mental illness. I don’t think there should be anything that women are embarrassed to talk about in the 21st century, because for the last 100,000 years men have said everything that’s on their minds and described everything they have done.

petitefeministe:

Laurie Penny on Caitlin Moran’s How To Be a Woman:

Being a feminist this summer is pretty exciting. It’s like we’ve all been at some dull charity drinks reception and someone has hit the lights, jacked some power ballads into the speaker system and said: ladies – let’s get messy.

First, there were the SlutWalks, when all at once, as if from nowhere, brave, angry women all over the world were standing in their scanties in the street, screaming about sex and class and patriarchy.

Now there’s How to Be a Woman.

Caitlin Moran’s new tome isn’t your classic feminist handbook. It’s as much about taking ecstasy and being a gobby teenage music journalist in the 1990s as it is a total rundown of the existential dilemmas of western womanhood. It’s the gutsy, smutty autobiography of a rockstar feminist, exquisitely well-written, stained with fag ash and memories.

Really, this book would have been better titled How to Be Caitlin Moran. It’s not the story of everywoman, but of one smart, successful middle-class British woman who grew up poor and overweight and now gets paid a great deal of money to be knicker-wettingly funny about a lot of important things. And that’s precisely what makes it so brilliant. It’s a powerful and, one suspects, deliberate riposte to the ghastly ghostwritten memoirs of “role models” such as Katie Price, who Moran describes as “Vichy France with tits”, at which point I punched the air, alone with the book in my bedroom.

This book is funny. Like all the best feminist writing, it laughs in the face of power. Even better, it’s dirty. Sex oozes out between the pages. I’m talking about real sex: not the boring, sterile porn producer’s vision of female sexuality that Moran critiques, nor the staid Carrie Bradshaw model whereby one is only allowed to fuck in $500 Manolos, but real sex, all smut and silliness and horny teenage wanking sessions with one eye on an unlockable bathroom door. It’s like My Secret Garden as written by Lady Gaga in a skip in Wolverhampton, with knob gags.

The filthy glee with which Moran describes her mattress-cracking desire for her own husband, the shuddering frustration with which she declares that she just wants to see, somewhere on the internet, a video of an actual woman having an actual orgasm, is compelling precisely because it is so rare. This is what feminism needs right now. Not another boring list of timid complaints, nor a pinkly patronising explanation of why you don’t have to stop shaving your legs just because you believe in equal pay – but a bit of filth, a bit of hope, and a lusty bucketful of courage. This book is not a revolution, or a call to arms. It’s a paperback. But it’s a damn good start.

Still trying to work out how to fit this onto my already enormous list of summer reading… I will find a way!

If women just turned around and were honest and said I don’t give a shit, I’m not playing – I don’t care what Angelina Jolie was wearing this week, I haven’t got time to pamper myself, I don’t care if I’ve got blackheads, I don’t care if my arse is a bit spongy, I have not got time for you, you ridiculous capitalist construct, then the whole game would be fucked overnight.