So: I wrote an article over on Kasterborous that was decorated with a headline that upset some people.

“Get Over It, Fangirls” was intended as a generalised “have a word with yourself!” piece aimed at the annoyingly vocal subset of Doctor Who fandom who believe that the series can’t go on beyond David Tennant and Russell T Davies.

I’m pretty certain I made the point within the article – no one seems to be too bothered by that, there are no references to “silly girls” or anything else that can be construed as sexist within it. I’m happy with the article.

I’m not happy about the title.

First things first – I am totally blown away by the response to this piece. There have been links aplenty flowing to it, the majority of which (initially) were of the “hear, hear!” variety.

In the last few days however, it has become clear to me that some have possibly taken me too seriously. That’s fine, this is the internet. The problem is, I probably took me too seriously as well.

Before I go on, some context. This isn’t me making excuses, this is me saying who I am. I live and work in the north east of England, I’ve lived and worked here all my life with steelworkers, maintenance crews, crane drivers, bulk haulage drivers, chemical workers… it’s a very old school industrial setting (which if you’re aware of the UK news, you’ll know is slowly dying) and it’s a culture that I’m a part of.

Calling someone a “girl” is part of everyday life. It’s as natural as taking the piss out of “Geordies” and “Mackems” and “southern softies” (and this type of banter isn’t restricted to the north east. I can’t count the number of times I, a Yorkshireman, have been called a “Geordie” whenever travelling south of York).

I’m not setting myself up as some sort of proto Gene Hunt here, what I’m attempting to explain is that regardless of what is considered politically correct, fair and just across the more enlightened parts of the country and industry in the UK, it doesn’t really exist in my immediate sphere of day to day work. This doesn’t mean I’m a sexist, rascist, fighting on a Saturday night ape – it means that for 2 hours last week I was unable to distinguish between what would be acceptable amongst a few friends and what is acceptable for publishing online on a popular website.

Kasterborous recently has been the subject of some change, with the power moving from two founders to just myself. While I wouldn’t at any point suggest that at any time in the past 5 years I’ve required anyone to hold me back or say “Whoa! What are you doing?! You can’t say that!” it’s more than likely I’ve got a bit over-excited with the autonomy and a shiny new interface to run the website from.

I’ve agreed with one correspondent not to divulge any of their concerns. I had planned to reword them and address them one by one; a misguided attempt to divert attention away from the “Get Over It, Fangirls” title with a footnote resulted in that particular conversation going absolutely nowhere, so instead of that I’m just going to make it clear that I was wrong. It was shortsighted of me to refuse to change the title of the article at that stage, especially for the reasons given.

That same correspondent also speculated that I wouldn’t be sorry to miss anyone who stopped reading Kasterborous because of the article. Well, frankly, they were wrong. I wouldn’t want anyone to stop reading over an opinion, and certainly not one with an ill-conceived title.

Calling the article “Get Over It, Fangirls” was not only sexist and misogynistic, it was also bloody stupid.

I’m genuinely sorry.

While it evidently struck a chord, people don’t usually email to say “you’re right!” They usually get in touch to tell you you’re wrong, such as what has happened here.

What is particularly galling is that the title has affected the contents of the article. The title has influenced any reader to believe that I was addressing a bunch of female David Tennant-ites and identifying them as the sole cause of the bizarre phenomenon.

As a writer, I should know how a headline works; I should know how words work! 99% of the time I would say that I do. I deal with SEO on a daily basis, I fine tune articles and write content on Kasterborous so it is both user and search engine friendly. In hindsight, this whole issue shouldn’t have come as such a surprise.

In hindsight I would have used a different title.

I’ve avoided publishing this commentary on Kasterborous – there is a link at the foot of the now retitled “Get Over It!” opinion piece – in order to avoid any further unnecessary negative attention.

Kasterborous is my “baby” as it were – we’ve been going for 5 years now, but I have noticed, looking around at the regular contributors, that we’re a bunch of 30 something fanboys – mostly northern, too.

Changing the title of the article is only really the first step in what has been set in motion here.