In WHAT THE SHITTING HELL IS THIS SHIT ON MY SCREEN of the day, may I introduce you to a turd squeezed out by the lax editorial standards of Comment is Free? Here’s some choice quotes which are entirely representative of the piece, which I would thoroughly recommend not reading.
In years to come, feminist chronology will be separated into BC and AC – Before Caitlin and After Caitlin.
Caitlin Moran’s bestseller How to be a Woman has begun to make it okay again for a generation of women to be feminist.
She’s funny, she’s smart and she explains why it’s important to identify that way without preaching, hating men or using words like “phallocentric”.
Before I start with the fury, can I just say that judging by this article, I fully expect Caitlin Moran to join the Guardian staff within the next few months? Just thought I’d get that little bet in there on time.
Now, let’s talk about Moran. Regular readers will no doubt be aware that I am not Moran’s biggest fan, given she represents the interests only of a very small chunk of privileged women. I find it is no surprise for a puff piece for Moran appearing in a column in the mainstream media which is, after all, entirely dominated by these same privileged people who don’t take kindly to having their interests challenged.
I’m going to be kind to the author, though, and point out that she does have a point in her dire “Before Caitlin” and “After Caitlin” taxonomy. Caitlin Moran has proved to be the flashpoint in a discussion that feminism has needed to have for decades and divided feminists.
On one side we have those who challenge the lack of interest Moran has in broader social justice issues and intersectionality, and her occasional active contributions to oppression. On this side, we see that feminists must actively challenge our own privilege, and make sure we do all we can to avoid contributing to the intersecting layers of oppression. We make it our business to fight for broader struggles.
On the other side, there’s those who are rather comfortable with the way things are, thank you very much.
No prizes for guessing which side I’m on, but unfortunately, many of those with the privilege and the large platform afforded by the mainstream media are on the other. They don’t want to rock the boat too much. They don’t want to challenge their own oppressive behaviour (I note that a rather barbed comment about “frumpy lesbians” is made in the CiF piece).
For some reason, Moran has emerged as emblematic of the problem, despite the fact that feminism is riddled with such one-dimensional thinkers.
I am hoping, of course, that this is merely a transitional stage, and those who don’t care about liberation of those who need liberating will eventually fuck off or start giving a shit. That we will then see our eras as feminism not as AnteMoran and PostMoran, but as “that point where we actually started being able to achieve some shit, and the oppressors started to fear us”. We are actively challenging a system, a dominant ideology. It will send those who like this system on the defensive.
Here’s the thing: we shouldn’t have to make ourselves palatable to our oppressors. Why can’t they make themselves more palatable to us?