Caitlin Moran at Cheltenham Literary Festival

Caitlin Moran can talk the hind legs off a donkey. In fact, I take that back, this woman with her razor-sharp wit and break-neck speed babble of brilliance could talk for all of Britain and probably most of Europe.

I can tell you now that it was even more impressive and crazy to see in person. To kick off her slot in the Cheltenham Literary Festival this year, Caitlin (pronounced Cat-lin for any of you non-groupies) set the bar just as she meant to go: with a glass of wine in hand as she recounted tales of her rather fruity tweets to Benedict Cumberbatch with choice phrases such as 'Benedict Cumberbatch, I would do you until security pulled me off and then wank at you from behind a door,' or my absolute favourite: 'You could make my face look like a painter and decorator’s radio.' Now this is a woman who knows how to tweet.

But on the topic of Twitter, Caitlin had a few more serious words to say on the matter. With a following of more than half a million on the social media site, Caitlin stated how Twitter has moved from being 'a brilliant playground' to a 'one-upmanship game of nastiness and snarkiness' and I have to say I think I agree with her. Discussing the massive crisis of two years ago when Twitter remained silent as celebrities’ privacy and lives were horrifically displayed for the world to see, Caitlin described it as 'one of the worst (PR exercises) I’ve seen in the last 10 years,' making it’s once loved transparency and openness seem frightening and abusive. And she is right. Twitter has become a toxic place for women, people of colour, transgender and anyone who is marginalised. She continued to describe how being on the Internet lowered people’s inhibitions, 'It’s like the whole internet has had two pints, and basically everyone is pissed and wants a fight.'

 

 

As the evening drew to a close it was time for a little bit of audience interaction. No sooner had the first question been posed and she was off – expletives at every turn, striding out in the upbeat, confident, self-assured manner of a writer who has won an array of awards but still has that twang of her Wolverhampton roots in her voice. Although there were witty and wonderful rants about her absolute love for wanking and its need to be talked about all the time (I’m with you there Caitlin), she also managed to mention Charlotte Proudman (the lawyer on LinkedIn).

Speaking out on the issue surrounding Proudman’s anger at the sexist remarks made in a professional environment where she was consequently labelled a ‘feminazi’ by the Daily Mail, Caitlin quite perfectly explained, 'women are scared of [men], not all of you but most of you, we are tired of people touching us, evaluating us and owning us. So yes, yes I do understand why human rights lawyer, Charlotte Proudman 'perv-shamed' an older, senior lawyer. We’re scared and we’re tired. So very, very tired.