An A-level in Caitlin Moran – hell yeah!

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By Ruth Greenall.

The OCR (Oxford Cambridge & RSA) exam board have recently introduced a shiny new A-level course which includes the study of texts from popular culture alongside traditional writers.

This places the likes of actor and comedian Russell Brand and popular culture and feminist writer Caitlin Moran alongside Samuel Pepys and Emily Dickinson in a course which English subject leaders describe as ‘interesting and varied’ and the DfE describes as ‘rubbish’.

No one seems to have asked the sixth formers what they think, but Hoodywink is guessing that they may be intrigued, and it will surely do none of them any harm to be familiarised with Caitlin Moran.

For the purpose of the course the focus is on Moran’s Twitter feed, but The Times journalist is a prolific feminist writer and commentator who speaks with rare candour and humour. She has attracted a legion of fans and a fair few critics, has flown into one or two Twitter storms and is at her most helpful when giving advice on how to cope with being female in the 21st Century.

Moran’s Feminist stance has been criticised by some as overlooking the experiences of women outside of white Western culture, but it is hard to see how her book ‘How To Be A Woman’ (Edbury Press, 2011) could be anything but useful to young women of any culture or ethnicity. At the very least it provides a frame of reference and something for comparison as Moran blithely discusses all the aspects of womanhood, sexuality and fertility which are rarely discussed so openly and from such a personal perspective.

Her commentary is brave and funny, and encouraging young women to feel comfortable in their own skin is in itself a decent contribution to the feminist cause.

A-level students could learn a lot from a woman who raises belly laughs in 140 characters on a daily basis and should she become the next student pin-up, they can find an attractive Pop Art image of Caitlin Moran on Red Bubble, and yes, you can get it on a hoody.

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