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How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran

How to be a Woman

It’s difficult isn’t it? Being a woman? Haven’t you ever wanted a book that would give you no nonsense advice on the most pressing issues facing women today such as abortion, sexism, ageing and not forgetting small pants? Ah but here’s the catch, Caitlin Moran thinks the world is serious enough without women contributing to it so her book is a humourous take on feminism and she writes as if she is ‘one of the guys’. Moran wonders out loud in this achingly funny rant that we are past all the obstacles our fore-mothers were presented with but she still has a few nagging questions to ask – Why are we supposed to get Brazilians? Should you get Botox? Do men secretly hate us? What should you call your vagina? Why does your bra hurt? And why does everyone ask you when you’re going to have a baby?

Starting off by delving into the diary she wrote at 13, Moran tackles the differences between men and women and no subject, no matter how dirty or risqué is left untouched. Her observances are so spot on I was asked to leave the library for raucously laughing out loud in public. Regarding pants, she comments that “Scarcely a woman in Britain is wearing a pair of pants that actually fit her, they’re little more than gluteal accessories, arse trinkets.” As I squirmed in my seat trying to get the wedge of pant from out of my own gluteus maximus, I understood exactly what she was saying.

Caitlin Moran

As it seems that we are at a point in time when younger women aspire to be glamour models, wags or simply ‘famous’ by appearing in reality tv shows, this book is aptly timed as only 25 to 30 per cent of women identify themselves as feminists. Perhaps this is why Moran wrote the book. “Feminism, as it stands, well … stands,” she writes. “It has ground to a halt …. And no one is tackling OK! magazine, £600 handbags, tiny pants, Brazilians, stupid hen nights or Katie Price. And they have to be tackled … rugby-style, face down in the mud, with lots of shouting.” Comparisons have already been made with Germaine Greer’s the Female Eunuch but this I feel is unfair. Greer’s book was of the time and dealt with the seriousness and business side of feminism. Moran has tapped into the problem with what women face in today’s society and it is a lot different to 40 years ago when Germaine wrote her book. And I mean, if you can joke about cystitis then you are welcome in my book shelf any day.

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