Always meet your heroes

There were two holes in my tights, right on my thighs. They were those big holes, you know, the ones were the strings of fabric run across the tights gaping abyss.  They felt punk. It was perfect. Paired with my trusty Doc Martens, reflective gold skirt, black aviator jacket, red lipstick and a beret, I felt right, I felt authentic. Really though, I felt cool.

Inwardly, I knew I was trying to make a statement because I was set to meet my idol, Caitlin Moran.

If you’ve never heard of Caitlin Moran, then shame on you. But I am a big believer that it is never too late to learn.  So, go away and become enthralled in her writing style, her social commentary and her fearless defence of all that is sane. And, then pop on here for – well – some old fashioned fangirling.

All of Caitlin Moran’s overarching characteristics were bought to light in the first Thread Up talk on Thursday 10 October 2019. The talk I was going to inhale. Thread Up is a series of free talks, which seek to discuss Twitter and the conversations that communities are having on this social media platform. Thursday’s event was hosted by British DJ Alex Zane and held in the new Samsung KX Space at the Coal Drops Yard in Kings Cross.

The stage has been set

As I entered the waiting area, a chic wooden floored area adorned with geometric rugs, plants and cosy arm chairs, there was a buzz in the air. I plonked myself down on the closest armchair and attempted to read the Nora Ephron essay collection that was stuffed into my bag. But, I couldn’t focus, my eyes kept darting around the room fixated on other loiterers and wondering what they loved about the beloved journalist.

The art of social media

At present, Caitlin Moran has over 800,000 followers on Twitter and is well placed to talk about how one platform has generated numerous conversations and discussions.

Caitlin’s monologue began with a sound statement regarding her feminism. Simply, she is one. And, she believes that one of the next waves of feminism will help to enrich the lives of men. This viewpoint was displayed outwardly in a viral Twitter discussion, which she started one year ago:

‘Men. Men of Twitter. What are the downsides of being a man?’

She then divided her findings into several sub themes. Some of which were amusing, while others were heartfelt and emotional.

Caitlin confronted gender inequalities

The amusing consisted of men longing for the soft scents of the woman’s bathroom. Some men believed it to be a hygienic utopia of perfumes, softening hand creams and piss-free floors. Others longed for a male version of the sacred sisterhood that is the ladies’ room of a night club. And, I have to agree, it’s where we women meet friends for life, brazenly compliment each other’s outfits, hair and makeup, where, if you’re crying, you’ll always be uplifted. I’m told that the same conditions don’t apply in the men’s room. Unfortunately.

While I laughed as this was all unpacked, other sub themes that emerged were much more harrowing. Just last night, I was able to meet my friends at a pub and off-load my feelings after a terrible week. Men, it seems, don’t have this outlet. Many men Tweeted Caitlin to say that their feelings get glossed over and they aren’t able to divulge to a friend if they are feeling low or blue. It is a well-known fact that Men are statistically more likely to commit suicide and maybe this is part of the reason.

Caitlin’s monologue ended to triumphant applause and then she launched straight into a discussion with Alex Zane. Questions regarding some of Caitlin’s most prolific Twitter moments as well as those of others. The most retweeted Tweet of all time? A billionaire in the East offering to give money to 10 people who retweeted his post. The quantity? A mere million. It’s popularity was therefore no mystery. The 60-minute talk only just scratched the service of this social media platform, but with more talks planned then maybe audiences will be able to delve further.

The meet-and-greet

After the talk, there was an opportunity to speak to Caitlin Moran and naturally, shaking, I joined the queue. It was the moment I had been waiting for and I was inexplicably nervous. I was the second person to meet her, this I found is a perk of going to events by yourself the ability to nip in quickly to the meet and greet queues.

She opened with a hug. It was warm and friendly just like her demeanour. I thanked her wholeheartedly for inspiring me to pursue a career in journalism. Growing up, journalism seemed achievable because Caitlin Moran made it accessible. She was flattered, I think. And encouraging. And it’s that encouragement that sometimes a fledgling journalist needs and a kiss on the cheek from their idol.

Disclaimer: This ticket was gifted to me by London Skint Mag.

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