Author and journalist Caitlin Moran is best known for her comedic, insightful commentary on gender inequality — especially when it comes to the modern realities of life being female.
In her 2011 bestseller How to Be a Woman, she called for fifth-wave feminism that — rather than internalising, denouncing, or squabbling with the “bullshit of being a modern woman” — would point and laugh at it instead.
But on Thursday she changed tack, calling on the “Men of Twitter” to discover what kind of issues they’ve been dealing with lately.
Feminism is essentially about equality between men and women — and according to some of the guys that responded to her, it appears that men can be equally affected by the patriarchal world we live in, especially when it comes down to being “mocked for enjoying a sit down wee.”
Men. Men of Twitter. What are the down-sides of being a man? We discuss the downsides of being a woman very frequently - but what's going on with you lovely guys?— Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran) October 18, 2018
Moran has since received thousands of responses from men and women around the world.
And examining the thread, the stories that were shared ranged from hilarious — the single most-retweeted answer was simply “Piers Morgan” — to the downright beautiful.
Hey thanks for thinking of me. I appreciate the acknowledgment. I worry about losing my job and letting my family down. I could have taken the easy safe path, but I chose to go after something more. If I fail my family suffers. I worry about it daily.— Bobby Johnson: v1.43.2 (@NotMyself) October 19, 2018
Trying to walk in a quiet street behind a woman whilst overthinking how you can reassure her you're not an attacker and simply just trying to get home, too - but only communicate that through your footsteps.— Joshua Fowler (@joshuaffowler) October 18, 2018
Going to the toilet on a night out and having a complete stranger become your BEST FRIEND and compliment your clothes sounds pure and wonderful and I want one— Duncan Geddes (@geddesduncan) October 18, 2018
Seen a wee girl crying looking for her mum. Felt I had to approach a woman to help out because of the worry I’d be suspected of the evilest crime imaginable if I spoke to her. Maybe overkill, but the fear is real.— Chris Mochan (@ChrisMochan) October 18, 2018
no one will ever buy me flowers. I like flowers.— Jamie McHale (@Jamie_McHale) October 18, 2018
Once had a child follow me down the street in the dark crying out "Daddy Daddy"— Stuart Turner (@OnlyOneT) October 18, 2018
I turned around and told them "i'm not your Daddy" raced home tell my wife what happened so she could go and find child and take them back to what ever house they wandered out of. That was shit.
In 2015, a Stylist poll crowned Caitlin Moran the funniest woman on Twitter — and in 2014 her Twitter feed was even added to the A-level English language and literature curriculum.
Well, the Department of Education probably needs to update its textbooks, because this thread is definitely worth studying.
In fact, Moran thought the conversation was so important that within hours she had set up a new Facebook group called The Decent Fellows’ Society to provide another platform for men to talk about their concerns.
Well, I have to say, this has been an ASTONISHING afternoon on Twitter. I've set up a Facebook group, called "The Decent Fellows' Society", for anyone who wants to continue talking about what's making mens' lives difficult right now. Come! let's chat!— Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran) October 18, 2018
The group already has 1,000 members and is discussing everything from road rage to Twitter's favourite gendered oversight: flowers.
The stories and replies continue to flood in — and judging by what men have been saying, we would wager that flower sales might be about to bloom.
Ach, you see: this is the stuff that breaks my heart https://t.co/A30HHa47fA— Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran) October 18, 2018
Men aren't conditioned to talk to each other about our lives. We meet up, have a four hour conversation about who would win in a fight between inspector gadget and RoboCop, but never get our worries off our chests— Adam Shenton (@_shenton) October 18, 2018
Something that bothers me is when people want to say you "aren't a man" unless you like football or you like cars. Why is our "manliness" being measured by our hobbies and not our character?— Corey Calvet (@thebiclord) October 19, 2018
Always having to be the persuers when it comes to dating. I have really bad social anxiety and am extremely shy so the very thought of approaching women in public absolutely terrifies me. But we as men are expected in society to make the first move always.— Thomas Mueller (@Blizzard86) October 19, 2018
When we upset or get upset by friends, there no talking it out about what went wrong. I find it either goes away and we get on with our lives or you drift apart because we don't talk about it.— Anaesthesia (@tifauk) October 19, 2018
It's lonely being a man someday, especially as a father.