I have been following Caitlin Moran on twitter for some time now, and had read a number of positive reviews about her book How to be a Woman.
I was put off by the name of the book- but a great friend of mine insisted I read it.
Now, I know this isn’t what you want to read from a book review, but I still can’t make my mind up about it.
I love love LOVE books written by empowered and strong women who are not afraid to speak their minds. Obviously Caitlin qualifies in this regards. Some parts of the book were brilliant and really made me stop in my tracks and think. Other parts were just disappointing.
The book isn’t really about how to be a woman. It’s a story about Caitlin’s experiences growing up (it starts from when she is 13 years old). It’s frank, honest and direct. She gets straight to the point in every chapter – from abortion to bikini waxing.
She has a great way of explaining feminism:
“Put your hand in your pants.
a) Do you have a vagina? and
b) Do you want to be in charge of it?
If you said ‘yes’ to both, then congratulations! You’re a feminist.”
That statement was probably the best part of the book for me. Oh apart from:
“When a woman says, ‘I have nothing to wear!’, what she really means is, ‘There’s nothing here for who I’m supposed to be today.”
As I said, I enjoyed parts of the book, but other parts I wanted to hurry up and just get to the end of the chapter. It didn’t tell me anything new. The only thing I really learnt is that Caitlin is very anti bikini waxing – and that’s not something I particularly want to ponder over or need to know.
Despite my ambiguity to the book, I would recommend reading it. It’s one of those books you’ll only read once. But there are a few paragraphs in each chapter that might just change the way you think.
“What is feminism? Simply the belief that women should be as free as men, however nuts, dim, deluded, badly dressed, fat, receding, lazy and smug they might be. Are you a feminist? Hahaha. Of course you are.”