WOW 2015: Caitlin Moran Talks Comedy and Feminism

Wow Festival: Caitlin Moran talks comedy and feminism

A Saturday night in the company of Caitlin Moran, Bridget Christie and Shazia Mirza – what could be more fun? The talk with the three fabulously opinionated women was a hot ticket at the Woman of the World festival at the Southbank Centre. Billed as the ‘three titans of comedy and thinking’ ­- and greeted by a whooping crowd – writer Caitlin has made a name for herself by making feminism fresh and relevant for young women today; while stand-ups Bridget and Shazia are renowned for their forthright humour.

Here are the highlights of their discussion with Jude Kelly, artistic director of the Southbank Centre, on life, laughter – and how to change the world…

Caitlin Moran on… realising women don’t get a good enough deal.

‘I spent so long thinking I wanted to write but I thought I had no stories. Then suddenly I had a turn-around that I didn’t have to have a story that had been told before. One of the things that holds women back time and time again is saying, ‘We don’t do that’. You just have to add one word: ‘yet’. We don’t do that yet. When you start writing a list of things you don’t see, it’s endless.’

Shazia Mirza on… being continually asked to comment on Muslim culture across the world.

‘The BBC’s ex head of religion asked me to write a piece on hope, which I did, bringing in no particular religion. He emailed me back saying, ‘Can you Muslim it up a bit?’ I said, ‘ Well, I can wail it from the top of a minaret if you like’.”

Bridget Christie on… dealing with online abuse.

‘You have to get through it yourself, and you will. The psychology of trolls is interesting – they have no power in themselves so they need to have power online. The best response is no response at all because if you respond then they have fuel.’

Caitlin Moran on… progressing the feminist cause.

‘Feminism is a patchwork quilt, a communal effort. We need to stop waiting for one woman to come along who is perfect and can solve everything.’

Bridget Christie on… being labeled a feminist comedian.

‘It’s not, ‘Are you a feminist?’ It’s, ‘Are you a decent human being?’ It’s what we all should be as a default setting.’

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