Published on July 17th, 2011 | by Yaz Saeidi0
Caitlin Moran- How To Be a Woman
Feminism is a word I’ve struggled with, wrestled with, resisted and desperately wanted to believe in. Up until now, most, if not all of the ‘feminism’ I have encountered has been overly righteous, whingy, seemingly concerned with female superiority over equality or makes mountains out of mole hills. It’s enough to put anyone off. This book makes feminism accessible, strips it down to its common core of common sense and most importantly, it has a sense of humour.
‘How To Be a Woman’ is, it’s important to point out, filed under ‘humour’. First and foremost, this is a funny book, rather than a serious academic one. The wonders of modern technology meant that I discovered Caitlin Moran’s writing on Twitter. Her hilarious tweets have had me chuckling and nodding emphatically for quite some time, so when a book was announced, I was excited. Like Nigella Lawson, I am ‘addicted to Caitlin Moran’s writing’. Thankfully everything that is so charming about Moran on Twitter is carried over into this book- the witty and clever yet informal style and those all important capital letters and exclamation marks (SCREAM!). The book has me giggling throughout; jokes about Chevy Chase being related to Cannock Chase, anything her sister Caz says and her gobby pleading attempts to become a musician’s muse, to name but a few.
She is wonderfully candid throughout, leaving any potential barriers well and truly smashed down. The inclusion of early diary entries make for a lovely journey through Moran’s transformation into womanhood. And I find myself agreeing whole-heartedly with most of her sentiments (yes, money spent on Brazilians would be better spent on cheese and berets, and yes, high heels are stupid). I only wish I’d had this book earlier in life, to help me through the teenage years. But then I also wish I’d spent my teenage years in the 90s, when young girls happily wore Doc Martens and no make-up, instead of the following decade, when young girls wore low-rise jeans with diamanté encrusted thongs deliberately creeping out from them and alarmingly high heels (me not included).
The book never gets too ranty, ultimately Caitlin Moran’s outlook on life and people is infectiously joyous and rosy. I’m torn between not wanting to put it down, and stalling it because I don’t want it to end.
So even though this book is more entertaining than it is revolutionary, it has contributed to me finally feeling comfortable with the ‘f’ word. I want to be as cool as Caitlin Moran. Do I know how to be a woman now? Probably not quite yet, but I think I have a better idea.