The Back of the Book (from Amazon): 1913: Suffragette throws herself under the King’s horse
1970: Feminists storm Miss World
Now: Caitlin Moran rewrites The Female Eunach from a bar stool and demands to know why pants are getting smaller
There’s never been a better 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 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?
Part memoir, part rant, Caitlin Moran answers these questions and more in How To Be A Woman – following her from her terrible 13th birthday (‘I am 13 stone, have no friends, and boys throw gravel at me when they see me’) through adolescence, the workplace, strip-clubs, love, fat, abortion, Topshop, motherhood and beyond.
‘Ever since I was eighteen I’ve wanted to be as cool as Caitlin Moran. Now this book has shown me how’ Lauren Laverne
NotJustLaura’s Review: Although I was intrigued by this book, I resisted getting a copy until a friend read it and shared her thoughts, asking if anyone else had read it too? So I gave in and downloaded it to the Kindle.
The narrative of this book really divides into three parts and they reflect the adolescent and adult phases of Ms Moran’s life and then move on to her, very personal, take on feminism.
The adolescent thread had me laughing out loud (on the bus!) as I also grew up in the ’70s and ’80s. I could have written it from my own experience – but not nearly as wittily as Ms Moran! Of course, she and I have both grown up and our paths have diverged so I found the adult thread very … adult. It’s sex, drugs and rock’n’roll with a dose of motherhood and an abortion thrown in. I found this thread to still be persuasive and readable, if disturbing. I kept thinking ‘If I’d chosen B instead of A … that could be me!’ And that’s not a road I want to travel.
The third strand of this book is Ms Moran’s interpretation of feminism. She is practical. She is blunt. She is sometimes angry and sometimes funny. Whether you agree with her or not (and I was surprised to find that I often did) I don’t think anyone could question the passion with which she holds her beliefs and puts them into practice in daily life.
I realise I’m writing as though the three strands were three separate sections of the book – they’re not. They’re as skillfully interwoven as the layers of any good work of fiction. This isn’t fiction though – this is life. And I’m grateful to Ms Moran for sharing some of her life with me.