Caitlin Moran blocked me on Twitter and I’m kinda devastated.

It’s true. She blocked me.

She was one of my ‘go to’ people when anything interesting happened, because she always writes so succinctly and is piercingly honest. Initially, I thought she was taking a Twitter break as I couldn’t see her tweets on Tweetdeck. Then to my horror, I realized she had actually blocked me. She had actually taken a nano-second out of her day to press the button that said ‘block user’.

I’m devastated that she imagines me to be some kind of troll who is sending her abusive messages (which as a kick ass feminist I imagine she gets a lot off). I’m heart broken that she thinks I’m one of them. And I’d like to apologize to her, as the last thing I wanted to do was cause offense.
It’s the first time social media has managed to dent my self-esteem. I assume it’s because she either read this, or saw one of my tweets, that I tweeted at her, imploring her to read this. I’m not a great writer and Moran does this for a living, but I tried really hard to balance how much I admired and respected her, with an attempt to initiate a conversation about how much binge drinking is normalized, and laughed about in our culture. I was suggesting she maybe mentioned this a bit too much, and could perhaps have a think about the impact of what she was saying. Obviously I came off as smug, patronizing and judgmental, and trust me, my 16 year old self is looking on in horror. How did I become this kind of grown up?

Because that isn’t what I set out to do. In truth, it is not binge drinking that I actually have a problem with. Adults need to make their own decisions, and many of us choose to do stuff that we know is bad for us, regardless. My issue has always been the rhetoric around binge drinking. The normalization of abnormal drinking. The jokey, jokey, references to hangovers and laughing about drinking quantities of alcohol that would kill a normal person.

It’s the subtext that says ‘alcohol is the solution to whatever problem you have.’

Stressed? I’ve got a bottle of gin here – that’ll sought it.
Bored housewife? Then it must be wine-o-clock, ‘wink, wink.’
Had a tough day? Nothing like a drink or two or three to sort that right out.
This is the language I’d like to challenge and I was hoping Ms. Moran would hear me on that.
But clearly I failed.

And I’m still not clear on how to address this. I do not want to be the fun police, I do not want to judge other people’s drinking, it’s really none of my business. I do not want to be a party pooper, or abstinence promoter (don’t believe in it).
What I do want to do is challenge how it’s represented in my culture. Because I believe our cultural representations of alcohol use are grossly incorrect, dangerous and actually camouflage’s our massive denial about the impact alcohol has. And it’s this collective denial that’s stopping people getting help.
We still culturally represent alcohol abuse as a bit of harmless fun. And it’s not harmless. It causes massive harm, to many people.
I’m not denying that drinking can be fun and can help with some unforgettable moments with friends. I’m also fully supportive of appropriate alcohol use. And even though I do have a problem with alcohol, not all my nights drinking were terrible, some were awesome.

If you have any suggestions how we can begin to change the conversation around drinking in a non-smug, non judgmental, non-twitter-blocking-by-celebrities-we-really-admire method. I would be very grateful to hear it. And if you happen to know Caitlin Moran, please tell her I’m sorry.

7 thoughts on “Caitlin Moran blocked me on Twitter and I’m kinda devastated.

  1. mythreesons

    I have had the same thoughts. I just saw a mommy blog about how to get more wine time and it shows a photo of a young women drinking a glass of wine by herself while she is sitting on top of the washing machine. How in anyway is that healthy? I wanted to comment but I knew I would just be a buzzkill!

  2. Emmie

    I unfollowed (and I think have also now muted for good effect) Caitlin Moran a few years ago. I’d outgrown her brand of LOUD and was craving quieter, less CERTAIN, not always so sure about everything voices instead. I think I’d still feel the sting of a block though. It’s like being kicked out of the cool girl gang that you were never really part of anyway. I’m 10 months sober so still in that phase of killing the joy at every opportunity and sharing articles about how cancer is now proven to directly cause 7 different types of cancer etc. However I saw a quote from the Holly over at Hip Sobriety that stuck with me: “it is not your job to convert people. It is your job to speak your truth so that other people may find theirs”. Speak your truth long enough and others will see and listen – perhaps even Ms Moran

  3. Sue

    No real thoughts on Caitlin Moran (she was very good on Desert Island Discs), other than to say that any criticism on social media can somehow seem far harsher than it’s often meant to sound – no context, no tone of voice, no body language etc. – a passing comment can probably sound far more critical than we realise so she probably just overreacted. I know I’ve done the same.

    As someone who designs and publishes greetings cards, however, I’m sick to death (both as a designer, and as a non drinker) of the cult of Prosecco – Prosecco as the curer of all middle class ills, as the ‘hilarious’ punchline to so many unfunny jokes, as the medication of choice for susburban yummy mummies everywhere. “Oh, my children and husband and labradoodle and comfortable detached house in a very middle class area of Surrey are SO unbearable, but PROSECCO will make everything fine again! I shall numb myself with wine that looks like pop!” – this seems to be the subtext of endless cards and prints and those pointless little plywood plaques that people (women) prop up in their kitchens…

    Who knows? Maybe it doesn’t really matter; maybe I’m just raging against it because it’s so twee and smug and tedious. Or maybe I actually do think, a bit, that the endless trvialisation of booze-as-medicine-for-middle-class-mummies is a bit dangerous…

  4. Veronica Valli Post author

    I completely agree, I hate that whole ‘wine o’clock’ thing. It’s the emphasis that there is no part of our life that can’t be improved by booze. Such BS

  5. Els

    I wouldn’t let it live rent free. I too used to like her loud. She’s witty articulate and nails lots of things but I think her blocking you says more about her than you. My experience is those who find discomfort in (my ) sobriety avoid it or over query it .i was a net curtain variety and when I finally jumped ship for good I just didn’t mention it to many as they over persuaded me I had no problem. Needless to say they are more balcony mates than those in my front row these days.

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