My feminist icon: Caitlin Moran reveals who inspires her

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Stylist is running its first ever feminist advent calendar in 2018, with a remarkable woman revealing who her feminist icon is every day until 25 December. Here, Caitlin Moran reveals why Mary Shelley is her ultimate feminist icon.

My feminist icon is Mary Shelley. A woman who found herself on the The Worst Holiday Ever – a villa in Italy with Lord Byron, when the weather never stopped pissing down, and Bryon was drunk all the time – and rather than moaning about it, she simply went off and wrote Frankenstein, instead; a book that invented an entirely new genre – sci-fi. 


This massively puts into perspective how badly I dealt with my worst holiday – when we had a week in a caravan in Borth during what appeared to be monsoon season, I attempted to invent the Sherry Cappucino. For those tempted to follow in my footsteps, I regret to inform you that the mixture curdles however much you whisk it with a fork, and attempting to emulsify it with cornflour is a surefire way to ruin both all your mugs, and/or life.

A portrait of Mary Shelley in 1830

So infinite, endless props to Mary Shelley, who was badass to the bone, man. She knew the way out of any bad time is the motto “Create! Create! Create!” And she applied that unique inventiveness to everything: when she banged her husband, Percy Bysse Shelley, for the first time, it was on her mother’s grave, in the rain – which also suggests she invented Being Goth, as well. 

Images: Getty

How To Be A Woman, adapted and narrated by Caitlin Moran is part of the Riot Girls series, starting 14 January on Radio 4 and available as a boxset first on BBC Sounds

philosophy are the official partner of Stylist’s Remarkable Women Awards 2018 and, for every day in December, Stylist is asking a remarkable woman to tell us who her feminist icon is, and why. You can see more inspiring and remarkable women here.

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