Monday, August 27, 2012

How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

Summary (courtesy of GoodReads):  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.

And here's what I thought:  I thought this was an interesting book, although I had expected it to be more consistently funny.  Actually, sometimes it was thought-provoking and sometimes it was funny (sometimes, both at the same time).   Moran certainly doesn't shy away from frankly writing about things that might make some readers a bit squirmy, and I liked that.  The back of my book says "Caitlin Moran interweaves provocative observations on women's lives with laugh-out-loud funny scenes from her own...", and that's true.  What confused me at times was that, since this is a series of essays, that it doesn't proceed chronologically --- that is, sometimes she's referring to her childhood, and then jumping to something from the present time ... and I found I was sometimes trying to play catch-up.   However, she says some things in this book that did make me laugh out loud, and things where I was nodding my head in agreement (her section about bras is pretty funny, especially if you're like me and not an A-cup kind of girl).   She does say some frank things about feminism that I agree with --- and I think if you're not sure about what feminism today really is, or think that "feminism" is a dirty word (or applies to crunchy granola women from the 1960s who hate men), I think this is a must-read.  And actually, I think if you're female, this is a should-read, and even if you don't love every single thing she's writing about, I'm almost certain there's going to be parts you'll like, or at least, parts that will make you think (which is always a good thing, I believe).

Some of the writing I liked (since this is essays, a first line won't really do the trick): (p 69)  But on the plus side, I am not alone because - as with a million lonely girls and boys before - books, TV, and music are looking after me now.  I am being raised by witches, wolves, and unexpected guest stars on late-night chat shows.  All art is someone trying to tell you something, I realize.  There're thousands of people who want to talk to me, so long as I open their book or turn on their shows.


Anonymous said...

I adored this books(in fact it's one of the best I've read since starting my blog), I pretty much had a girl crush on Caitlin Moran after finishing it

Red said...

I just recently finished this one and loved it. I agree with you I was expecting it to be more consistently funny. but that's not to say that it isn't overall hilarious and wonderful and she tackles topics so head on, it's a nice to see.

LinkHelpers search engine optimization Seattle for more info said...

I love this book! Caitlin Moran is so funny but she's also shamelessly honest about taboo topics relevant to women growing up that they don't even talk about among each other. She's a great writer and an amazing woman.

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