Saturday, 23 January 2016

Review: How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

Title: How to be a Woman
Author: Caitlin Moran
Publisher: Ebury Press
Pages: 312
Genres: Memoir

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.
At first glance, How to be a Woman is a hilarious wry commentary growing up poor in Wolverhampton, with a large family. There are so many laugh out loud moments for me as Moran presents a pretty bleak and depressing start under a humorous lens. I would say the humour is quite dark, I can think of nothing worse then having hand-me-down underwear that were owned previously by mother. As someone who grew up in a depressing tiny financially struggling house with a large family, I understood completely. It was cathartic to laugh at the ridiculousness of the shared common experiences. On that basis, How to be a Woman was excellent.

From what I understand, this book is a memoir but supposed to be also a commentary of some aspects of feminism as it relates to the modern woman. I found Moran's take on feminism pretty insulting at times and there was a lot of what she said that I just did not agree with. There are also a lot of sweeping generalisations about other cultures and sexualities that made me uncomfortable. However, there were also some things that made me want to scream 'YES!' In agreement.

In short, I had mixed feelings about How to be a Woman and it should be taken with a very large pinch of salt... and a glass or two of wine.


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