Caitlin Moran has a new series on Channel 4, Raised by Wolves. You've probably seen the adverts for it (I refuse to use the word "trail" because that's for TV schedulers and not real life. I'm already sad VT has caught on in such a big way) or you might watched the first episode in which the reimagined teenage Caitlin, Geraldine, gets her hand stuck in the letterbox of the boy she fancies.
I squealed in Morrisons when the confirmation came through for an interview on my radio show and have been in a state of excitement and utter terror about the whole thing for a week.
I have been a fan since first reading Celebrity Watch in The Times. In fact she was the reason I signed up briefly for The Times Membership, where I enjoyed articles such as Why I Love Wind Turbines, How to Cope with Someone on The 5:2 Diet and more recently Why Don't My Kids Like Jam? I did start to read How to Be a Woman but I only got as far as her first period and then got distracted by watching Four in a Bed. Shamed by this, I have promised to read the rest of How to Be a Woman, along with Gone Girl and Tess of the D'urbervilles before summer.
When you love someone but don't actually know them, there's a mix of huge inspiration and terror. They're so wonderful you want to conquer earth but also go and live in a cave because you'll never be that good. There's also the fear that you'll meet them and they won't like you. I have tweeted Caitlin Moran twice but never heard back, probably because she gets the Twitter equivalent of the Blue Peter post bag every day. That night I had a dream about us both being in school together, her the cool sixth former and me the small idiot sneaking behind the PE hall where she was smoking hoping I'd be asked to join in but instead her telling me to "DO ONE Piggy Powell"
I'm a 31 year old woman and I consider myself to be a feminist. I believe in equal pay because I don't understand why it's not a thing and I don't want to get my tits out to get the job done. But I'm confused. I have questions. I know we've come a long way and feminism isn't about hating men and not wearing a bra but there are things I'm unclear about.
Is it ok to say Emma Willis is well fit? Why is it ok for Rihanna to pose washing her fanny in a fashion mag but glamour models aspiring to Page 3 is wrong? I want to be thin, does that make me a bad feminist? I once paid a non sexual compliment to a male boss so he might like me more, does this mean I can't be a feminist?
I know there are countless blogs, articles and essays which could help me find the answers but between Instagramming my brownie and watching Gogglebox I just can't find the time. So I sit worrying whether I should be doing something more for women's rights. There was only one thing to do: shout all my questions at Caitlin like a madwoman and hope that she would save me. Save me and like me.
The morning of the interview I'm a panicked frenzy of activity. For some reason I've decided what I wear will be vital so I've worn boots with a heel instead of trainers. I've ironed for the first time this year. In a final pathetic attempt to have her love me I pick out my faux fur leopard print coat. I leave the house only to realise it's the first full day of spring and I'm boiling hot. I go back and change.
I also get into a terrible fight with my printer and am reminded of a incident Caitlin had rowing with her own printer before interviewing the prime minister. I take this to be an excellent omen. Convinced I'm going to call her Caitlin rather than Cat-lin, I practice saying her name over and over on the way there like someone on day release.
I arrive half an hour early but everything is running late so I have the opportunity to linger outside looking at her through the strip of window in the studio door. As I come in, she is hugging the lady who did the previous interview, giving me a sudden burst of envy and my brain shouts "she must love me more!!" I think I'm putting far too much pressure on this.
So here we are and she's lovely. She grins and shakes my hand with both of hers and says something about the whole room starting to smell like her. The eyeliner, hair and dungarees are all present and she's off, thinking talking and putting her entire fist in her mouth as an act of excitement.
She talks about name checking Kirstie Allsopp, how an impulsive tweet to Ed Sheeran means she might never be best friends with Taylor Swift and about asking permission from Duran Duran to use Girls On Film replacing the words with "Cheese on Cheese." (Simon Le Bon said yes and he loves the new lyrics.) Normally you can't shut me up in interviews but I sit listening my mouth slightly open like David Platt in Coronation Street, in awe of what's happening.
I move on to The Feminism suggesting we do An Idiot's Guide (me being the idiot) to have some of my most troubling questions answered. As I thought, you don't have to hate men to be a feminist, "how could you?" she replies "they're 49% of the universe. Men and women live quite close so we need to get on with each other."
The reason Page 3 is bad is because it's out of context, "why would you have some tits in the middle of some news?! It's really weird. There's a time and a place for bosoms. If you put some bosoms on a railway track, wrong place. Bosoms in a microwave, wrong place. If you put some bosoms in a newspaper it will cause problems, which it does. There's a time and a place for bosoms and it is not in a newspaper."
Also, it is okay for a guy to say a girl has a nice bum in the privacy of a conversation but shouting it at her out of a car window is not. You can still wear a push up bra and be a feminist and a good precedent for everything is "if it's ok for David Bowie, it's ok for a woman."
Finally, here are three rules which are on tea towels for sale on her tour (all proceeds going to Refuge)
1. Men are equal to women
2. Don't be a dick
3. That's it
I sit agog learning and feeling my brain being better with every line. Unfortunately this level of concentration means I find myself saying things like "great" and "yes of course" and nothing brilliant that would make her want to go on a boozy lunch with me straight after the interview. And then I'm being wrapped up and it's over. We have photos pulling faces and we're done.
I get outside and curse myself for being a moron but I realise in just a 10 minute chat I have a much better sense of female equality. I've got answers and now I don't want Page 3 anymore either. I tweet her to apologise for being a bumbling fool including a picture to remind her who the hell I am. She doesn't tweet back and I remind myself not to be a dick.
Raised by Wolves continues Mondays at 10PM on Channel 4.