'Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.'- Angela Carter

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

REVIEW: How to be a Woman - Caitlin Moran

How to be a Woman - Caitlin Moran
How to Be a Woman

It's a good 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 we use Botox? Do men secretly hate us? And why does everyone ask you when you're going to have a baby?

Part memoir, part rant, Caitlin answers the questions that every modern woman is asking. 
I really, really enjoyed this book. It's a book that has so much hype surrounding it and I was definitely not disappointed. Despite being only in my 20s, I completely agreed with Moran's arguments in this book. More often than not I was reading chunks to my partner and having him agree with me. This woman is talking sense. This woman is someone who is finally attempting to break down this ridiculous notion that feminism is a man-hating movement and that women seek to eradicate men. That is NOT what feminism is at all.

With a combination of Caitlin's memoirs, some hysterical dialogue and really powerful messages; Moran succeeds in making feminism something for everyone, something which shouldn't be hidden from and should definitely be celebrated. It was amazing how Moran managed to put so many of my incoherent thoughts into coherent dialogue and manage to get some really amazing points across. There isn't much that I can state review-wise about this book except that everyone should read it! Both men and women. I'm going to just stop rambling here and post a few quotes from the book that I felt hit home brilliantly. 

On feminism:

“We need to reclaim the word 'feminism'. We need the word 'feminism' back real bad. When statistics come in saying that only 29% of American women would describe themselves as feminist - and only 42% of British women - 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 shit GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY?”

“After all, you can argue – argue until you cry – about what
modern, codified misogyny is; but straight-up ungentlemanliness,
of the kind his mother would clatter the back of his head for, is
inarguable. It doesn’t need to be a ‘man vs woman’ thing. It’s just a
tiff between The Guys.
Seeing the whole world as ‘The Guys’ is important. The idea
that we’re all, at the end of the day, just a bunch of well-meaning
schlumps, trying to get along, is the basic alpha and omega of my
world view. I’m neither ‘pro-women’ nor ‘antimen’. I’m just ‘Thumbs
up for the six billion’.”

“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.”
On having children:

“Batman doesn’t want a baby in order to feel he’s ‘done everything’. He’s just saved Gotham again! If this means that Batman must be a feminist role model above, say, Nicola Horlick, then so be it.”

On the work place:

“Ladies, we are at a massive disadvantage in the workplace. Your male peers are flirting with their male bosses constantly. The average workplace is like f*cking Bromancing the Stone. That’s basically what male bonding is. Flirting. They’re flirting with each other playing golf, they’re flirting with each other going to the football, they’re flirting with each other chatting at the urinals – and, sadly, flirting with each other in after-hours visits to strip clubs and pubs. They are bonding with each other over their biological similarities. If the only way you can bond with them is over you biological differences, you go for it. Feel pressurised to actually f*ck them if you do? Then don’t flirt. Find it an easy way to just crack on? Then crack on – and don’t blame other women for doing it.”


  1. I look forward to this one! I saw it around only recently but it drew me in instantly. :)
    So glad you enjoyed it! :)

  2. I'm halfway through this. It's not what I expected, and I think I know TOO much about Moran now, but it is fun.


  3. I'll probably read this one sometime. Great review! I really don't like how people nowadays are so ignorant, they hate feminism when they don't even know what's it about. It's not a hating of men, like everybody seems to think. Sure, there are some people with radical thinking, but they can be found anywhere. We women have so many rights now because of everything feminist fought for in the past.
    Personally, I like this site about feminism, and it opened my eyes: http://everydayfeminism.com/2012/12/6-reasons-why-so-many-people-believe-feminism-hates-men/

    You're also welcome to stop by my giveaway: http://thetemporaryescape.blogspot.com/2013/09/september-new-release-giveaway-hop.html

    1. That's a great website. I completely agree with you. This book clarifies that actually, there is nothing better than a male feminist. It really gets on my nerves when people sneer at feminism as if it's some dirty word.

      Thank you for the giveaway too :).


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