Title: How to Be a Woman
Author: Caitlin Moran
Genre: Adult, Memoir
Rating: Mixed bag
After tweeting a question of what I should read, Orisi tweeted back to me to read Moran's How to Be a Woman (thanks again, Orisi!). So I requested it and started reading it right away. I've read both awesome, fangirl reviews as well as scathing reviews and I would have to say that mine is right in the middle. There were parts that I thought were beyond awesome but then, BAM!, there would be something would have me scratching my head in wonder or offended beyond imagine.
There is no doubt that Moran has a way with words and writes extremely well. It was her brashness that I was unable to get past. Besides the language, I was just flat out offended by some parts. At the same time that I wanted to stand on a chair and shout "I AM A WOMAN!"...I also spent the book with a shoulder up like "who cares?"
It felt like a part memoir, part series of memories/essays/rants that never quite came together for me. She attempted to define what made her a woman, what feminism is and where it needs to go but that was interlaced with fangirling over Lady Gaga and seemingly non-relevant. It seemed like it as all over the place.
Would I recommend it? Depends on what you want out of it. If you looking to look at feminism through a different lens and don't mind frequent cussing and general crassness then yes. It was highly entertaining even if I didn't personally agree with everything she said. I am glad I read it even if parts made me cringe.
A few of my favorite quotes:
You can always tell when a woman is with the wrong man, because she has so much to say about the fact that nothing's happening.
When women find the right person, on the other hand, they just...disappear for six months, and then resurface, eyes shiny, and usually about six pounds heavier. (page 146)Or about big, expensive weddings:
If we were inventing things from scratch, surely we would decide to throw a gigantic ($35,000) celebration of love right at the end of the whole thing - when we're in our sixties and seventies, the mortgage is paid off, and we can see if the whole "I love you forever" thing actually worked out or not. (page 173)She sums up her book to me with this quote:
As I have said, in the same way that you can tell if some sexism is being exerted on women by asking the question "Is this polite, or not?" you can tell whether some misogynistic societal pressure is being exerted on women by calmly enquiring, "And are the men doing this, as well?"
Want a second opinion (or third)? You can read Orisi's review on her blog Orisi's Blah Blah Blah. Another favorite blogger, Jill, also reviewed it on her blog Fizzy Thoughts.