On Wednesday last week I made my first visit to the Hackney Empire to watch Caitlin Moran on her, ‘How to Build a Girl Tour’ …and I loved it!
Caitlin Moran is a woman you’re either familiar with or you’re not… but if you consider yourself a 21st century feminist, then you need to get this woman on your radar if she isn’t already! She’s fabulous, funny… and talks about wanking and periods (aka. monthly ghastliness)… a lot!
I first got acquainted with Caitlin a few years ago when I read her first book, ‘How to be a Woman’ and I instantly -and dare I say finally- found a kind of feminism that matched my own very similar thoughts and attitude. I have spoken about my opinions on here lots and I would hope that you would agree that while I am a feminist, I am liberal minded. One of the best posts I have done on here that explains my ideas almost completely, can be found when I discussed page 3 (here). Essentially, while I might not love women taking their clothes off for the camera, modern feminism allows it and also allows these women to also be considered feminists. For me, I strangely kind of admire these women, they have a kind of confidence that I don’t and ultimately, one of Caitlin’s messages is to love yourself and consider yourself beautiful which so few women do, myself included.
Anyway, back to the tour (imagine it’s Wednesday evening).
The venue is packed, like sold out packed (1300 people) with a ratio of 99% women to 1% men! While others arrive in big groups and with friends, I am on my own having booked the last single seat a couple of weeks ago. Caitlin arrives on stage to the Sugarbabes, Freak like me in a pair of denim shorts, tights, Doc Martens and a shirt. I miss what she did next as the people in front chose that very moment to come back from the bar despite the 5 minute warning, doing exactly the same after the interval later on! Twats.
The show is split into two halves -the first half focussed on (basically), how fucked up the world is highlighting inequality as one of the root causes. The second half of the evening (following a short interval), is about Caitlin herself.
“Within my overies, I contain the power of the Universe” -this is what Caitlin made us ladies shout within the first 5 mintues, while the men had to say, “the clutch is going on that car!” We also later all had to stand up and shout “I am a feminist” before Caitlin read us the associated chapter from, ‘How to be a Woman’.
Throughout the show she created a brilliant engaging interaction between her and us -the audience- which was great, talking us through a number of things relating to feminism; her top three list of menstrual distasters was a particular highlight and had us all in tears… Benedict Cumberbatch’s castle anyone?!
Without giving the whole tour away -you will have to see it for yourself if she does anymore, as a feminist, her efforts are to get out there the things that happen (that are normal), but are never mentioned, highlighting how women do not see themselves reflected in society or in the media (accurately), anywhere. Having done a degree in Media Communications where much of my three years was spent analysing gender in the media, I am only too aware of this. But Caitlin takes it that step further. For example, asides from the Always adverts, where are periods mentioned?! They are this thing that happens to every single woman every month and yet it is perceived to be a problem and menstual blood too distgusting for viewing. However, violent blood is not only wrong, it’s seen and glorified across the media constantly in front of everyone. Go figure.
Caitlin Moran is a refreshing voice, cutting through the mainstream shite and putting into conversation the things that are ‘normal’ to more than half of the population; for all it’s faults, the internet has been a blessing to activism. If you ever get a chance to see Caitlin live or read her books, do! You can also view her fantastic comedy, Raised by Wolves currently airing on Channel 4, which for me is quite possibly one of the best things I’ve seen on TV in a long while!
Until next time x