I actually write some quite serious things sometimes. About women and politics. Films, music and TV. I campaign. I am an activist. I am a therapist-in-training and an out-and-out feminist. And yet one of the most heart-breaking moments of my career thus far was typing ‘Cillian Murphy single’ into Google and realising he’s been married (thanks, Yvonne) for 12 years.
In my defence, it was late. I’d spent a long, cold night writing a feature with no one for company but my dog. I’d finished the third season of ‘Peaky Blinders’ some months before and needed a fantasy hit. In my mind, I could for a second imagine that an actor as ridiculously attractive (and talented and smart blah blah blah) as he is might actually be obtainable. Jenn Murphy. Cillian Selby. JenUrphy. With our hundreds of blue-eyed children cavorting across a sun-drenched meadow as we laugh and laugh and laugh. And also kiss. And do other stuff. But not in the meadow in front of the children.
Then came the shame. THE SHAME.
Had I just objectified an unwitting man with cheek bones so sharp they could slice cheese? Brazenly thought about those nude Tommy Shelby scenes he’s vehemently told the press not to think about? Was it OK that I’d totally kick Tom Hardy – complete with story book – out of bed to let a lone man in scrubs escaping a zombie invasion hide under the covers with me? Are thoughts generally PC? Is thinking still allowed?!
Thankfully, with someone to talk to (who wasn’t my dog), I was able to come to terms with the idea that I could be both a feminist and also fantasise about otherworldly screen gods in the privacy of my own brain. Had Cillian been placed on page 3 of The Sun, for example, scantily clad and surrounded my serious news pieces written by serious women about women, things might have been different. If men were largely socially dismissed as feeble and less intelligent creatures only good for making babies and pleasing women, I may have fallen foul of my own moral code. But the world hasn’t turned on its head, and last time I checked, it was still OK to fancy people.
Cillian Murphy had been to me what Emma Watson’s boob was to others. A minor distraction from my mission, but actually nothing to do with fighting for the rights of women to control their own vaginas. And thank god for that, because let me tell you, Cillian would make it so much more difficult.
So to celebrate, I’ve gone and done exactly the media dumbing down thing I think he was on about and collated a bunch of gorgeous pictures of him for other women out there to enjoy, guilt-free, at their own leisure. It’s our revolution, and if we want to bring a Cillian Murphy cut-out to the picket lines, we’ll ruddy well do so. Enjoy.
Originally published 17 March 2017