September 18th, 2011

book and cup

#93 How to be a woman - Caitlin Moran (2011)

Read for my book group.

Read on kindle

From the Back Cover

1913: Suffragette throws herself under the King's horse

1970: Feminists storm Miss World

Now: Caitlin Moran rewrites The Female Eunach from a bar stool and demands to know why pants are getting smaller
There’s never been a better time to be a woman: we have the vote and the Pill, and we haven’t been burnt as witches since 1727. However, a few nagging questions do remain…
Why are we supposed to get Brazilians? Should you get Botox? Do men secretly hate us? What should you call your vagina? Why does your bra hurt? And why does everyone ask you when you’re going to have a baby?
Part memoir, part rant, Caitlin Moran answers these questions and more in How To Be A Woman – following her from her terrible 13th birthday (‘I am 13 stone, have no friends, and boys throw gravel at me when they see me’) through adolescence, the workplace, strip-clubs, love, fat, abortion, Topshop, motherhood and beyond.

If it hadn't been for the fact that this was chosen by someone at my book group, I would never have read it. I knew it wasn't my kind of book. I am quite prepared to be wrong about a book, I have been before. However I wasn't wrong, I didn't like this at all.

Firstly, I'm sure this can't really be described as a work of feminism - which is how it has been touted - talking about sex and saying c*nt a lot doesn't make one a feminist! (However I would also agree that most of us women these days are feminists to some degree or other) That is not to say that Moran doesn't raise some interesting points - she does, and many of them I would agree with - however these were no great revelations for me - I knew already I thought these things. Also a few quotes from Germaine Greer hardly makes for a great work on feminism either - there have after all been others along the way.

This is mainly a rant, Caitlin Moran rants about things that get her goat - which she is quite entitled to do. Her style is very witty - and I suspect she is very pleased with this style - I however found it rather trite, it got a bit much after a while. It did seem as if for many things Moran has no grey areas, things are either marvelous or terrible - well for me, there are sometimes shades of grey to be considered.

Parts of Moran's memoir - the story of her upbringing, her pregnancies and marriage are quite entertaining and interesting, however I felt the book was quite lightweight and was often irritated by things I suspect may be exaggerations.