Caitlin Moran Talks Twitter Spats, Clown Porn And Ageing Feminists
Caitlin Moran is really difficult to interview. Her mind is racing. She wants to talk about everything. One minute it's Radiohead, then it's lace leggings, then we're back on the question, then we're off again. It's this giddy excitement that permeates her book on feminism - 'How to be a Woman'. In the past few weeks she has found the time to discuss clown porn with Jeremy Paxman, get into a Twitter feud with a News of the World employee and attend Mr Gay England, all while writing her three weekly columns for The Times. We tackle it all in fifteen minutes on a sunny afternoon in Cornwall.
Before the hacking, were you comfortable with the NOTW as another News International publication?
I hate that tabloid idea of anybody who is famous having to forfeit their privacy. It's awful that if some boy wants to be in a band, or be an actor, he is just basically treated like sh*t by a publication. I don't see the logic of that. Steve Coogan wants to write a really brilliant sitcom and he gets treated like sh*t, why should that happen? Because apart from getting VIP access and above average Virgin broadband customer care, there isn't that much to recommend being famous. We just chase them around, being horrible to them.
Do you regret your Twitter spat?
Oh God, with Dan Wooton? He started it! I think I diffused it quite quickly by pointing out that he was behaving like every dick who has ever been on the internet since the beginning of time. He's just a knob really.
You haven't had any other backlash from any other NOTW people?
No, no. Well they don't have access to computers now, do they? There were a couple of people who don't really understand, who were asking why I didn't resign from The Times if I dislike NOTW so much, but we're all very separate newspapers. Lots of people in the industry were very supportive, sending me salacious gossip about Dan Wooton. I, like a gentlelady, did not tweet that, even though he was ungentlemanly enough to tweet my salary. I refrained from publishing any of the gossip I was told....
Do you think feminism was becoming a bit old fashioned by the time you wrote 'How to be a Woman'?
Yes, the problem is - where do you learn about being a woman? You read about it in women's magazines, newspapers like the Daily Mail, from Sex and the City and Bridget Jones, but they don't really capture what it's like. I never see the word 'feminist' in magazines. They're all about telling you that you've got problems and then selling you the solutions. They tell you to get your face peeled, wear these shoes right now. The whole conversation about being a woman just lost its place. I think Twitter has really helped that. I know people go on about Twitter, but it is amazing. It's whatever you want it to be and all the women got in there before the boys.
When you went on to Newsnight to discuss feminism, how much did you enjoy telling Jeremy Paxman about clown porn?
It was definitely one of the highlights of my life. I never really thought that I was a bad person, or in any way an anarchist - I'm a mother of two. But I was sitting there and I realised that it was going to be another debate about feminism. I decided 'I just want to be as silly as possible, so- I'm going to compare Paris Hilton's hairless vagina to a chihuahua, and possibly I could get the conversation onto clown porn' because it was the weirdest thing I could think of. I don't even know what it is. As soon as I got back after Newsnight, I checked on Twitter and there are 300 clown-based perverts sending me the most gnarly, f**ked up sh*t you can possibly imagine. I'm seeing clowns having sex in circus rings, surrounded by seals clapping and honking on their horns as they go. It is something no human being should ever see.