Sunday, January 10, 2016

How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran

How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran
Published by Ebury Publishing  June 2011
Source: bought my copy for my Nook

Publisher's Summary:
Though they have the vote and the Pill and haven't been burned as witches since 1727, life isn't exactly a stroll down the catwalk for modern women. They are beset by uncertainties and questions: Why are they supposed to get Brazilians? Why do bras hurt? Why the incessant talk about babies? And do men secretly hate them?

Caitlin Moran interweaves provocative observations on women's lives with laugh-out-loud funny scenes from her own, from the riot of adolescence to her development as a writer, wife, and mother. With rapier wit, Moran slices right to the truth—whether it's about the workplace, strip clubs, love, fat, abortion, popular entertainment, or children—to jump-start a new conversation about feminism. With humor, insight, and verve, How To Be a Woman lays bare the reasons why female rights and empowerment are essential issues not only for women today but also for society itself.

My Thoughts:
Caitlin Moran and I have very little in common. Except that we're both women. And that seems to be enough for me to be able to connect with her. Moran calls proudly calls herself a "strident feminist." I'm content to just call myself a feminist but I'm glad that there are people like Moran out there, loudly calling for the rights of women.
"Because it's not as if strident feminists want to take over from men. We're no arguing for the whole world. Just our share."
Exactly! Although I do think the world would be a much better place if more women were running countries.
"...we need to reclaim the word "feminism." We need the word "feminism" back real bad. When statistics come in saying that only 29 percent of American women would describe themselves as feminist...I used to think, What do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of "liberation for women" is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? Vogue by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good SH*# GET ON YOUR NERVES? or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY?"
How To Be A Woman is part memoir, part feminist manifesto. Moran begins every chapter talking about events in her own life, events that all women face at some point in their lives. Events like getting her first bra, having her first period, encountering sexism, deciding to get married, deciding to have children (or not). Moran has strong opinions, doesn't shy away from the F word, and talks about some issues (such as abortion) that make this a book that might make this a tough read for some women. On the other hand, Moran is brutally honest, extremely honest, and has things to say that every woman needs to read.
"Accepting you're just some perfectly ordinary woman who is going to have to crack on, work hard, and be polite in order to get anything done is - once you've gotten over the crippling disappointment of your thundering ordinariness - incredibly liberating."
Moran doesn't contend that, in order to be feminists, all women need to be striving to rise to the top. Instead, she contends that being a feminist is something that every women, not matter your background, ambition, or political leaning, should get up on a chair and shout "I AM A FEMINIST!" For Moran, being a feminist is about being in charge of who you are and having choices in life.

My copy of the book is now heavily highlighted. I'd love to share all of those passages with you. I may at sometime in the future. How To Be A Woman works right into my word of the year, "happier," in giving me the push to insist on equality, choice, and change. For me. For my daughter and my nieces. For all women.
"In the 21st century, we don't need to march against size-zero models, risible pornography, lap-dancing clubs, and Botox. We don't need to riot or go on hunger strikes. There's no need to throw ourselves under a horse, or even a donkey. We just need to look it in the eye squarely, for a minute, and then start laughing at it. We look hot when we laugh. People fancy us when they observe us giving out relaxed, earthy chuckles."
Perfect book to start a new year!

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