Monday, August 20, 2012

Review: How To Be a Woman by Caitlan Moran

Description:Though they have the vote and the Pill and haven't been burned as witches since 1727, life isn't exactly a stroll down the catwalk for modern women. They are beset by uncertainties and questions: Why are they supposed to get Brazilians? Why do bras hurt? Why the incessant talk about babies? And do men secretly hate them?

Caitlin Moran interweaves provocative observations on women's lives with laugh-out-loud funny scenes from her own, from the riot of adolescence to her development as a writer, wife, and mother. With rapier wit, Moran slices right to the truth—whether it's about the workplace, strip clubs, love, fat, abortion, popular entertainment, or children—to jump-start a new conversation about feminism. With humor, insight, and verve, How To Be a Woman lays bare the reasons why female rights and empowerment are essential issues not only for women today but also for society itself.

My Thoughts: Oh, lord, where do I even start? I laughed until I wheezed well over a dozen times in the reading of this book; frankly, I owe Ms. Moran a fist-bump for bringing me closer to actual abs than I've managed in years. Half memoir and half feminist manifesto, she uses her own life to examine the state of modern feminism, how far it's come and how desperately much there still is to do. What I loved most about this book was how optimistic and ultimately joyous it is even as the author is working herself into a frothing rage over genuine injustices; she never loses her ultimate conviction that we're heading somewhere, that the wrongs of this world will get better through women being smart, creative, and more than a little crazy. I also found her attitude towards pornography to be incredibly refreshing (and fairly well encapsulating my attitude towards 50 Shades): what we need is more porn, not less, so that one half of the human species don't make up 99% of the ids presented.

(And Ms. Moran, if you're taking requests? Caz needs her own book, as well.)

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