Friday, May 02, 2014

"How to be a Woman" by Caitlin Moran

“But, of course, you might be asking yourself, 'Am I a feminist? I might not be. I don't know! I still don't know what it is! I'm too knackered and confused to work it out. That curtain pole really still isn't up! I don't have time to work out if I am a women's libber! There seems to be a lot to it. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?'
I understand. 
So here is the quick way of working out if you're a feminist. Put your hand in your pants.a) Do you have a vagina? andb) Do you want to be in charge of it?If you said 'yes' to both, then congratulations! You're a feminist.” ― Caitlin MoranHow to Be a Woman
I picked up this book when I was at the airport a few weeks ago, waiting for a flight and desperately looking for something to pique my interest. So when I happened upon "How to be a Woman," I was pretty excited. First, because I'd heard and read a lot about it in the last few years (see the NY Times article here if you're interested in a review by someone who knows more than me). Also, you can pretty much get me to pick up any book that is quoted as being "the British version of Tina Fey's 'Bossypants.'" I mean, obviously.

So I must say that I probably dove into this book with pretty high expectations - we all know how I felt about Bossypants (or do we? Click here if you aren't sure...). And it's an unfair characterization to say I was disappointed. But if you read this expecting Bossypants, I think you might be a tad disappointed.

But let's back up. The only reason I'm even comparing it to that book in the first place is because it was mentioned on the cover! Don't mention it on the cover if you don't want me to compare! Unfair, publishing company, unfair.

Because, without that expectation, I think I would've walked away with a much more fair assessment. It was funny, interesting, dug into some topics about women that are sometimes, um, not something we really read about (outside of Cosmo, which is the worst) - like waxing, getting your period, and other really fun girl stuff!

Also, obviously CB was fighting me to read this book the whole time and cannot wait to read about a girl's coming of age in the UK in the 1980s.

I guess the overall feeling from me is that it's a good read, an important topic (feminism - and not being scared of that word for the love of God!), and really palatable. But it isn't something that I'd necessarily pass around to everyone I know (like I did with the aforementioned "Bossypants," whether people wanted me to or not).

I do think that mom and Amanda would enjoy this, if for no other reason than it's pretty relate-able if you do, in fact, possess female body parts. (sorry dad and CB!)

Pick it up. Read it. Let me know what you think.

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