Review #11: How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
I unabashedly love this book. Part memoir and part self-guide book, Caitlin Moran loads up her debut with wacky anecdotes, but also a brash look at her emerging womanhood. She talks porn, masturbation, feminism, cursing, drugs, baby making, random sex, weddings, and abortion. When I read this book over Christmas break, I devoured it in just a few days and was laughing out loud on the plane. I highlighted so much of the text on my Kindle, that you’d think I was studying for a major exam.
I read so many mystery thrillers, and choose books that make me feel escapist and not like I need to think too hard. I get enough of that when I look up Yahoo news and feel my mind boggle over some of the ways people think and view the world. I think that’s why, while much of this book really struck me, I most enjoyed the discussions on sexism and feminism.
“Most sexism is down to men being accustomed to us being the losers. That’s what the problem is. We just have bad status. Men are accustomed to us being runners-up or being disqualified entirely.”
“In more primitive times—what I would personally regard as any time before the release of Working Girl in 1988—the winners were always going to be those both physically strong enough to punch an antelope to the ground and whose libido didn’t end up with them getting pregnant, then dying in childbirth.”
As someone who doesn’t appear to have a biological clock, even at age 30, and is fortunate enough to not have felt societal pressure in that regard (thank God for still being in grad school… best excuse!),
her discussion of the choice to have kids felt so true and real to me:
“Every woman who chooses—joyfully, thoughtfully, calmly, of her own free will and desire—not to have a child does womankind a massive favor in the long term. We need more women who are allowed to prove their worth as people, rather than being assessed merely for their potential to create new people.”
“While motherhood is an incredible vocation, it has no more inherent worth than a childless woman simply being who she is, to the utmost of her capabilities. To think otherwise betrays a belief that being a thinking, creative, productive, and fulfilled woman is, somehow, not enough.”
This book has been reviewed so much on the Cannonball Read and all over the internet, so I won’t go on too much except to say that I love this book and I can’t recommend it higher to all women and people who love women. Caitlin Moran will get you laughing, crying, and most importantly, thinking. What a woman!