Though they have the vote and the Pill and haven't been burned as witches since 1727, life isn't exactly a stroll down the catwalk for modern women. They are beset by uncertainties and questions: Why are they supposed to get Brazilians? Why do bras hurt? Why the incessant talk about babies? And do men secretly hate them?
Caitlin Moran interweaves provocative observations on women's lives with laugh-out-loud funny scenes from her own, from the riot of adolescence to her development as a writer, wife, and mother. With rapier wit, Moran slices right to the truth - whether it's about the workplace, strip clubs, love, fat, abortion, popular entertainment, or children - to jump-start a new conversation about feminism. With humor, insight, and verve, How To Be a Woman lays bare the reasons why female rights and empowerment are essential issues not only for women today but also for society itself.
©2011 Caitlin Moran (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers
Usually I can't get through a book of comical columns. This is the rare exception. Caitlin touches on EVERYTHING a woman has ever grappled with, but rarely will bring up, even to her best friend. With every topic, with relentless British humor, she brings you to a place of seeing the most common of things totally differently. From Brazilian waxes to high heels to childbirth to one of the funniest, most astute pieces on relationships I've ever read, she irreverently tears the conventional, cultural norms to shreds and offers up a lucid, common sense look at things we too often inanely follow like lemmings.
While walking along the Pacific, listening to How To Be A Woman, a friend rode up on her bike. She's the same age as me, 59, has a successful business and who ran so much, prepping for a marathon to impress her kids, that she got plantar fasciitis. That was two months ago and she can still not walk far, never mind run. She breathlessly, sweating profusely, related how she goes to spin class three times a week, swims every day she can, and bikes umpteen miles to LOSE WEIGHT. This woman was, before she stated all this marathon training, MUCH THINNER THAN ME (and I'm a person whom no one considers fat, ok, except me,) and married to a guy who adores her no matter what she weighs. Having been quite happy race walking in the sunshine by the sea, I would have instantly switched to feeling like a clumsy elephant if it weren't for this book, to which I was listening. Caitlin is my heroine. She brings the insanity women just take for granted front and center and kept making me say to myself, "Well, of course!"
This book also provoked numerous discussions with friends and family; the most amazing conversations about subjects we'd never touched before. This is such a mind opening book, so informative, while causing one to constantly laugh out loud (which is no simple feat for a book.)
The first chapter is deceptive and Caitlin, stand up comedian she is, can be a bit loud. But stick with it, please, and then laugh your head off and, if you're a woman, be prepared to feel far more secure in your own sneakers than you did at the start. If you're a man, be prepared to actually start to understand those female enigmas around you. And no matter who you are, you will, without a doubt, look at everything around you in a whole new light.
This is a must read for every woman out there. I think it would help many a girl to relax and not take them selves so seriously.
Caitlin lays it on the line just how crazy the world has become and what we woman do to try and fit in as normal.
I have already listened to this book twice since I got it in January and I am sure will pull it out every couple of years to listen again to help remind me that I don't have to fit into what the world calls norm to be a women. I am a woman 100% no matter how little or how much effort I put into my appearance and if others don't like it then who cares.
Smart, confident, funny and well-crafted. Moran pulls no punches when discussing the hardest choices women make, everything from abortion to what to call one's private parts. The modern handbook for feminsim.
I am a clay sculptor and an art instructor at a community college. I mostly listen to audiobooks while I work in my home studio.
After the first half hour I really wanted to like this a lot. I was ready for a rockin' hilarious feminist jaunt. It almost was, I guess.
Some parts were really funny. I generally agree with Moran about life and stuff. I'm not a big fan of listening to lots of graphic talk about masturbation and the first two or three chapters felt like a forever of, well, I don't know if Audible edits language in these reviews, so I'll leave the actual words unsaid.
General warning for listeners: NSFW or for listening around kids.
I certainly liked Moran more as a mom than as a teenager in this book. I'd be curious to know more about her working life between those two stages. I think her other book or books might focus more on that time in her life.
The audio books I get tend to be either 1) scifi or 2) things for my husband and me to listen to on long road trips--humor or history
Caitlin Moran is my new hero! This book was so funny, so insightful and so unafraid of tackling the toughest issues, it left me practically breathless.
Topics covered include: What is feminism?, why bras suck, why all women are feminists, what your first crush on a celebrity feels like, what puberty feels like, what getting your first period feels like, what labor feels like, what getting an abortion feels like, why women need to be free to decide what is right for their own bodies, what it feels like to be condescended to by a man, how to react when you’re condescended to by a man, why hiring a woman to clean your house is NOT a betrayal of feminism, and much, much more.
Listening to this as an audio book read by the author only added to my enjoyment and appreciation. She is funnier than any stand-up comedian I have ever heard, simply brilliant. I bookmarked so many passages it would be impossible to quote even a tenth of them, but here are two that give you an idea of how devastatingly right-on her observations are.
“It’s difficult to see the glass ceiling because it’s made of glass. Virtually invisible. What we need is for more birds to fly above it and shit all over it, so we can see it properly.”
“The real cost of living is dying, and we’re spending days like millionaires: a week here, a month there, casually spunked until all you have left are the two pennies on your eyes.”
This has been my favorite audiobook. Caitlin's delivery makes her words that much more relatable and funny. There were many times I didn't want to leave the car.
I've read many feminist texts, but this is the first that actually gave me hope about the fate of feminism and women in general. She balances the hysterical with the poignant and moving, and makes some truly excellent points in ways I've not heard before. There is something for everyone here.
Caitlin's voice is such a part of her writing that hearing her read it makes it so much more effective.
"Not for grandma, unless your grandma enjoys shocking vulgarity."
Her voice. The stories she tells and the new wave of feminism she is proclaiming somehow becomes even more meaningful and hilarious at the same time with her tone and perfectly timed exclamations. The British accent doesn't hurt when hearing why she prefers to call her breasts "tits" and why women should stop shaving their "muffs."
Caitlin Moran is my new hero.
This is an instant all-time favorite. It's a philosophy primer that’s hilarious — not an easy feat to pull off, especially if you don’t dilute the philosophy. This is a great book for everyone who thought they might be a feminist. It explains everything that defines being a woman these days. She’s not afraid to call out her heroes for stupid comments (Germaine Greer). The personal anecdotes are priceless. A co-worker and I email mail sentences back and forth and crack each other up. The narration is spot-on; Moran's performance comes off as almost a standup concert.
Haven't read the print version
Just about any sentence was memorable. Caitlin is a absolutely hilarious and insightful woman.
Yes. I listened to it in my car and there were times I would park at my destination and just sit there so I could listen to a little bit more.
If you don't get this book you are definitely missing out on a great piece of literature.
The beginning of the book was wonderful. All cheery and embarrassing stories from her childhood and youth mixed in with some life lessons that she picked up the hard way. Then once we reach her early adulthood the book becomes more of a complaint about everything she doesn't like. Instead of spending six hours ranting about strip clubs, high heels, and how generally awful men are, maybe continue with the personal aspect of the story rather than aim your megaphone at anyone or thing you don't personally enjoy.
The huge cliff it dropped off in the second half. The book was wonderful and funny in the beginning, but about halfway through it turned into one sexist and stereotyping rant after the other.
The second half would have been rewritten so as not to come off as isolating all possible readers who occasionally do feminine things and don't whole themselves off in a closet doing angsty things late into their 20s.
I can't say enough that I LOVED the first half, but being a woman who occassionally likes a pair of high heels, and does someday want to enjoy her wedding, and doesn't think that strip clubs and burlesque are all that different...we had some differences that in the end were irreconcilable.
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