reginadelmar’s #CBR5 review #47 How to be a Woman by Caitlan Moran

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I started this book about 6 months ago, then picked it up again read a few chapters, then again, until I finished it. Caitlin Moran is pretty funny, although I found the interviews I heard on the radio funnier than the book I finally completed The book is primarily an autobiography with a dash of feminism here and there.

Moran’s views on feminism aren’t terribly radical.  She believes that any woman who wants to be free to do what she wants should consider herself a feminist.  As she says we need to reclaim the word “feminism.” Citing a survey that less than 30% of American women and 42% of British women consider themselves feminists, she says:  “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 shit GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY?“ Ok, the use of all caps is really irritating (and she does this a lot) but she does make a good point. 

Moran doesn’t believe that all men secretly hate women, and she doesn’t think that feminism’s biggest problem is women turning on each other.  She may tick of a few folks with her statement that “women haven’t done F’all for the last 100,000 years.” To her credit, she doesn’t suggest that the past must dictate the future; rather, she’s simply conceding that thousands of years of patriarchy are not easily undone.

Moran spends a lot of time covering the insecurities of women, particularly about appearance and weight through the lens of her adolescence and adulthood.  It works, it’s funny, and lets face it, what most women think about their own appearance is pretty f’d up. 

To sum up, Moran is against burkas, heels, strip bars and cosmetic surgery, and pro-choice, pro freedom, and pro being yourself.  And she’s funny.  Good enough. 

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