2womenThere are two columnists I’m always fascinated to read:  Caitlin Moran and Liz Jones.  Moran is a relentlessly positive, kick-ass feminist, with a filthy sense of humour, an army of friends and an infectious passion for life.  Jones is a self-confessed misanthrope, lonely, anorexic and obsessed with comparisons. Moran grew up in Wolverhampton and writes for The Times.  Jones (who was editor of Vogue), grew up in Rettenden and writes for The Daily Mail.

They talk about similar issues: identity, culture, sexuality, life.  Both are funny and bright. But as you’ve probably gathered – they’re very different. Moran is evangelical about accepting all your wobbly bits, (inside and out). She hasn’t an ounce of self-pity, though she writes movingly about her past. Jones, who has been anorexic since age 11, had her breasts surgically removed before she was 20 and has made a career out of self-hatred. She is even marketed as the ‘anti-Moran’.

Moran wrote a book called ‘How to be a Woman’. She’s the older sister who shows us the ropes. Jones wrote ‘Girl Least Likely To’ (sample: ‘nothing I have done in life has ever worked out’) and is regularly pilloried in the national press.

Everyone loves Moran. No-one admits to liking Jones. Both are read by millions.

What does this tell us?

4 thoughts on “Girl-Talk

  1. Oh How I love you, dear Emma xxx You make it okay to be me, and, indeed any of us to be who we are, (and that would include you, too ;-) ) Your witty yet moving observations, your thoughtful honesty and kind and gentle challenges and pointing back to God and to Hope, even amidst the darkest depths. You are Such a heroine, even, and, I think, in the midst of so much you have lived through and seen. You, to me, feel like a bright light on a stand – Just Beaming and Sounding out the Father’s heart and reality in the tough stuff. Yes, even when we are weak, His strength shines through and your courage and gentle, beautiful heart you so tenderly share, even when you are hurting touches me deep within- and, too, inspires yet more courage and heart to rise up within me! You Are a card, and so many appreciate you so very much indeed – just as much, whatever and whenever that may be. It is always a joy to read what You (and yes, I would second that motion, Claire!) and I just want to Thank you for daring to be so real, open and honest and to still be willing to share about a God who Loves in the heart of the mess and who is still there even when everything inside cries out. We love you Emma. xxx

  2. p.s. And don’t worry, I’m not putting you on a pedestal. In recognising the ways you encourage me, and remembering your mention of things we have in common, I find myself reminded of how I, too, encourage! xx

  3. Let me be permitted. I am not a girl you see..! We can all be lonely, isolated at times, and/or, without an ontology of what it is to be human, so that with these writers etc, we think we can ‘find ourselves’. When there is a gulf (gap inside ourselves), nearly anything can fill it! On an emotional level too we are prone to the addiction of reading which can alter mood settings and lets face it, if life ‘sucks’ at times, this is a vicarious way out. Reading is a willed romance, a capitulation to someone else. We love to lay ourselves open to it (the ‘text’) so that our serotonin levels (presumably) are affected. Afterall there is a piece of text which resonates with whatever emotional state we are in – we only have to keep looking and someone will say/write something which we want to read/hear. This is presumbly the joy and apparent sofistication of being social. Only it can pall after a bit – this trait by which we can become social creatures . The only trouble is it is difficult to convey in words the idea and experience of solitude when one has had enough and withdraws. One needs, in this society, to be of strong assurance or identity to be released from societal comparision/anxiety, to be true to one’s ‘calling’ in order to be oneself. THere is a certain artfulness to reading columnists as i discovered for example, with the droll humour of one jeffrey bernard late of the Spectator, and he certainly did not send me to the desert of prayer or take me back to my deep origins in the here and beyond. But first class entertainment, yes. I smiled, i laughed, i even thought thank goodness i am not in that terminal state of illness, or least i hope i am not.

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