Holding a Balloon

13 Responses

  1. Caitlin Moran, Caitlin Moran, Caitlin Moran… Hmmm… I’m in two minds about her to be honest. One side of me loves the occasional columnist (The Guardian, The Observer, New Statesman). She is witty and opinionated. Not as controversial as Julie Burchill but probably less acerbic than Suzanne Moore. Then, there’s this other side of me that is still unsure, especially when this side sees Caitlin on telly. I saw her in an interview she did at the Hay festival this year and she came across as a bad version of Lena Durham. With extra gesticulations. Also, I’m not sure about her brand of feminisn. The only other person I can compare her with is Russell Brand and his new-found revolutionary zeal. Caitlin can be glib sometimes, too glib. I have read excerpts from How to Be a Woman (my wife has the book) and I’m still not sure of what she is trying to say of her core message.

    To me feminism in the UK has been better defined by the likes of Suzanne Moore, Deborah Orr, Marina Hyde, Yasmin Alibhai Brown and Penny Red. I still see Caitlin Moran as feminist-lite.

    Sorry. I will still look forward to her columns, though. 🙂

    Greetings from London.

    • Jocelyn says:

      No need to be sorry; your assessment feels fair and rational. Feminism Lite = Jocelyn’s Brainy No Hurty.

      Moran’s voice appeals to me, and I get the Lena Dunham comparison. In fact, I laughed at “a bad version of Lena Dunham,” as I often think the real thing is a bad version. Just read an interview this week where Dunham talks to Moran–it’d make you batty!

  2. Meg says:

    I’ll have to check her out. I am fully feminist. Always have been – ever since Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs – and I’m interested in the perspective of other women on the topic. Now I have something new to read, just as I am finishing a rash of fantasy fiction. Yay!

    • Jocelyn says:

      I have to tell you, Meg, that one of the few reasons I ventured to read some fantasy fiction a few months back was because you recommended it. I figured, “If Meg reads this stuff, there’s got to be something to it!”

  3. Deborah says:

    I too thought that feminism had done what it was supposed to do, and on occasion, even criticized the movement for having gone too far, pendulum-style, in the direction of anti-maleness, for example. (I am really annoyed at having forgotten where it was that I read an excellent recent essay about feminism, all the more so because I can’t even bring any quotes from it to mind). But the goals haven’t all been achieved, and despite the intentions of many good people, that damning statistic about male authorship kind of says it all. The world is a better place for our daughters than it was for their grandmothers but, but, but…they must not be persuaded that the fight has been won.

    Randomly: You know what I like about you, Jocelyn? I like not only that you will admit to your failings (cynicism) but that you know why you’ve got them. And I admire your wit, quick and quirky that it is.

    I will get this book.

    • Jocelyn says:

      Yes! What you wrote. That was my feeling about feminism, too: that it was a movement that had achieved a great deal, and now we were reaping the benefits. HOWEVER, as we see, yes, things still aren’t equal, so it ain’t over. You articulated it better than I.

  4. Friko says:

    Jocelyn, I am cross with you. You and many other younger women who see the early feminists as cranky old bra burning crones whose day is long past and whose struggles are of no relevance now.


    If C.M. changed your mind I am glad. As you stand up to salute the old ladies, mind you don’t hit your head on that glass ceiling.

    I expect your daughter will see feminism as something outdated too, when her turn comes. Well, tell her from me, the good fight will never stop. Not until every girl has the right to an education, FGM is a thing of the past and the difference between boys and girls is purely for reproductive purposes.

  5. kmkat says:

    Feminism, like anti-racism, is a battle that is never won. Or, more accurately, will never be won in our lifetime or in the lifetimes of our daughters or granddaughters. Well, maybe our granddaughters will be fully equal and respected. Maybe. We can hope. But when I read about the online violence against women, particularly against smart and articulate women, I want to cry. Then I read about the actual violence against women on US college campuses and in Nigeria (219 girls! still missing) and India and I realize how very, very far we need to go.

    OTOH (besides the wart), we can be cheered that gay marriage took so much less time to be legal than interracial marriage did. Similarly, the legal situation of women in the US is pretty darned good, unlike in much of the developing world, but the social and cultural reality still has so far to go.

  6. ilyanna says:

    I will have to check our Ms. Moran when I have dug out from an overload of algebra.
    Feminism is alive and well in my little pocket of the world, where geeky girls stand together and decry rape culture and pay gaps and corporations which forget to include girls in any of their marketing, even though women make most purchasing decisions and play nearly half of all video games. It’s exhausting, though, to think that this battle has been going on for hundreds of years and we don’t seem to be getting far. _That’s_ Brainy Hurty.
    Love your essay and your review. Thank you!

  7. Maria says:

    I am a little embarrassed to admit that I have never heard of this person. But…she is now on my list. Because if you like her, there is a good chance that I will and when I read that first comment comparing her a little bit to Lena D…I KNEW I would probably like her. If I could be like anyone, I would choose Lena. And my cousin Tommy was (is?) a sleepwalker. He would occasionally spend the night at our house and used to scare the boy howdy out of me. I remember walking up one night to find him pissing in our laundry basket. I asked him what he thought he was doing. He looked at me with narrow lidded,mean eyes. “Whatsa matta?” he asked. “You chicken?”

  8. chlost says:

    I love the balloon and birthday cake analogy.
    My profession has seen an influx of women in the years since I started out. Yet, yet….there is still a pay gap, a partnership gap, and a “slum” for women practitioners. The women entering the profession now take all that has come before them for granted (which is good, I suppose, that they can’t imagine the past being different) but, at least in my neck of the woods, they seem to be fully embracing the media’s vision of women in the profession. I blame Ally McBeal.
    I haven’t heard of either of these books or this author, but I am intrigued. My daughter is a stronger feminist than I am, she is of the nerdy, intellectual variety noted in the comment above. Perhaps these women will finally make things right with this world for women. I can hope!

  9. Kate says:

    Interesting! I will need to read this book! I’m as intrigued by the comments of your readers as I am seduced by the beautiful review you wrote.

  10. Green Girl in Wisconsin says:

    I’ve read mixed reviews about this book, but now I am more intrigued…

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