38. ‘How To Be A Woman’ by Caitlin Moran

This book was recommended to me a very long time ago and I’ve only gotten around to reading it now, which is a shame because I probably could have benefited from reading it a while ago!

I have been thinking a lot more about feminism in recent years and trying to figure out my feelings about it. I’ll admit, in the past I’ve shied away from calling myself a feminist, because of the stigma associated with that word (thanks to some morons using it wrongly it has become associated with man-hating, rather than equality). But now that I’ve researched feminism a little more, I am both comfortable and proud to call myself a feminist. The word is being reclaimed (although it’s a pity that it needs to be) and Caitlin Moran’s book is an excellent way to get started with understanding what feminism really is.

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Moran was raised in a not terribly well-off, large family in England and, when puberty hit, she (like all of us ladies) had to deal with being suddenly thrust into womanhood by the onslaught of hormones and physical changes.

In this book she writes about the various choices women have to face from the time our bodies decide it’s now time for us to be women. There’s hair removal, sex, clothing, bras, babies, shoes and sexism. And these aren’t just choices that we can make in a vacuum: there’s a whole heap of pressure bearing down on us from the ominous Society that stirs up our thinking at every turn.

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Moran deals with these often heavy topics with light-heartedness and humour, and I really liked her style. I didn’t fall entirely in love with her – I’m pretty sure there’s some hamming up of her goofiness here – but she is honest and funny and says things that really need to be said.

Essentially this book tells us that feminism IS about equality, despite what some men and women would have us believe, and the best way to work out if you’re experiencing sexism in a certain situation is to ask whether men are facing the same pressures. I really loved her ‘one of the guys’ philosophy: let’s all just hang out, be polite to each other and do what we want. Sounds good to me.

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“[All we want is] some geeky, nerdy, polite and ridiculous man who we can sit at home with, slagging off all the tossers and waiting for our baked potatoes to be ready.”

If you liked my review, why not read the book and let me know what you think?

What do you think?

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