How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran
If you're a fan of Caitlin Moran's writing (or more precisely, her wit) then How To Be A Woman is a winner.
Having read and studied many different books on feminism, I was excited to hear that Moran had decided to tackle the subject. A diptych of a book, Moran has infused snippets of her own life alongside her efforts to adopt feminism into said life story. As a fan of Moran’s writing and critiques, I hoped she would bring her usual panache and wit to How To Be A Woman – and she didn’t let me down. There are brilliant stories concerning Jordan, Lady Gaga, a Berlin sex club, bra fittings at Rigby and Peller, rising through the ranks at Melody Maker and a much needed discussion on why pants are getting smaller.
How To Be A Woman gives laugh out loud moments (as I did whilst reading it on the tube) and some more sobering thoughts on growing up, sibling rivalry, bullying, falling in love and a slightly comical, if excruciating, account of childbirth. Through it all, Moran's philosophy remains that she is a feminist without having to be the next Germaine Greer and if she can do it, so can every other woman.
Essentially, How To Be A Woman is a great introductory text to feminism and leaves the reader open-minded to their own ideas about what being a woman is for them. My favourite section, perhaps controversial, was the chapter about abortion, where Moran details not only her own experience of abortion, but also the stigma that is still attached to it. I think in the present age, it is high time a woman stepped forward and declared that ‘actually on this occasion, this is the right decision for me’. In no way is this advocating constant use of abortion, but it is refreshing to read a perspective such as Moran’s. Well worth the read.