Caitlin Moran’s “Manifesto of W’evs”

Caitlin Moran In Conversation At The National Concert Hall


Photo by David Mannion. More here:

Last Thursday, Caitlin Moran appeared to a sold out crowd at The National Concert Hall as part of the Dublin Writers Festival. Since publishing her second book, How To Be A Woman in 2011, Moran has ascended to household-name status and is lauded as the hilarious, gregarious big-haired feminist who made not-giving-a-shit a basic feminist principle. More significantly, she’s revered for making feminism cool again, and for liberating the subject from stodgy textbooks and ITV period dramas.

Last week, when Moran finally appeared on stage, the excitement was palpable and the audience, which seemed to absorb every age category imaginable, cheered and clapped as she waved at her 1200-strong fans. This was feminism’s Beatlemania moment and Moran was determined to get a photo of it.

‘Stand up,’ she beckoned. Duly, the audience took to their feet and Moran whipped out her phone, declaring, ‘I’ve got to tweet this!’

Photo taken and audience still standing, she shouted, ‘Now, I want all the women in the audience to say ‘AY OH.’ ‘

AYYYY-OOOOH, chorused back the female-strong audience.

‘Now the men; say AY OH.’

‘AY OH’, chimed the significantly smaller (but equally enthusiastic) patches of men dispersed throughout the hall. Everyone laughed at this and sat back down.

Immediately the show was underway with Sinead Gleeson attempting to field questions and Moran firing into non-stop chitchat and anecdote, which nearly always ended with some kind of eloquent, hilarious zinger.

From the moment Moran appeared on stage and increasingly throughout the night there was a funny sense of camaraderie about the event as though this were a town hall meeting and Moran was the town’s representative. When the questions were turned to the audience, women asked and spoke about everything from comedy and classism to ‘what should I do if someone makes fun of my vagina?’ (Answer: resolve this like a twelve year old and sit on their face.)

There were also hysterical pokes directed at Moran’s second generation Irish father who discarded a Guinness Moran had specially brought back from Dublin Airport (“The old country”) to Wolverhampton, wrapped in Cellophane; “it’s flat,” he pronounced. She also described her experience on The Late, Late Show last year (‘if I laugh telling this very sad story, it’s only because I’m nervous’) and how The Duchess of York became her feminist icon (or at least was until she chose to name her first child Beatrix.)

‘Did you know much about feminism growing up?’ Asked Sinead Gleeson. ‘Kind of. Whenever my mother got cross, my father would say ‘Alright Germaine Greer, keep your hair on.’ So I knew who Germaine Greer was but I thought she was a baddy.’

Overall, it was an incredible, hilarious and dare I say it, inspiring evening. After the questions, Moran duly signed books till 11, meeting and greeting everyone in her queue and taking photos and answering questions.

As Marian Keyes wrote on twitter after the event, ‘Come back! We miss you badly!’Let’s hope Caitlin Moran will be back soon to inspire more people and tell more swear-y tales about her family, the royal family and the nun who was knitting a scarf the last time she appeared on The Late, Late Show.