Amusing enough if you can ignore the egregious levels of unnecessary capitalisation
When I started reading this book I had no idea that I was reading the ‘feminist heroine of our times’. It actually got onto the kindle somehow and the title sounded intriguing at 3 AM, so I started reading it.
I think I was less disappointed than most because I didn’t have any expectations, so Caitlin Moran’s, part biography, part blog, part (draft) newspaper column, part feminist rant – worked okay for me.
Ms. Moran is a columnist with a far from normal set of life experiences (if that is normal for a majority of folks I’m really worried about ye olde england!). She grew up the eldest of 8 siblings in a sooper poor home where she had to live on underwear hand-me-downs from her mom. Moved on very logically to getting a loser, druggie boyfriend along with her first job and ‘cool music magazine’ life in London before wisdom prevailed and she married a ‘nice boy’, had a couple of kids and did a steady job as news paper columnist. Definitely someone who has found success against the odds.
But is she qualified to tell you ‘How to Be a Woman’ ? Erm. I’m not sure anyone is! But her level of snark was fun to read. Sample this…
“So here is a quick way of working out if you’re a feminist. Put your hands in your pants.
a) Do you have a Va*!na? and
b) Do you want to be in charge of it?”
Not too many women out there who are going to say ‘No’ to those two questions. However, some of her concerns are truly over the top. Brazilians – do real women worry about that? Same for make up. Same for naming your ladyparts. Same for the stripper vs. burlesque dancer thing. Which covers 90% of the book.
The only sensible bit is where she talks about getting an abortion. I will admit that as a teenager when I heard my grand-mom say rather cynically – “If there had been birth control and choice in my time you think there would have been so many kids”, I was shocked. These were all my aunts and uncles we were talking about and I can’t imagine this world without one of them!
Now that I’m a little older (and maybe wiser) I understand and have a heck of a lot more sympathy. All the drama (esp. in western media) on how the choice is difficult and traumatic for women is stupid. Women like my grand-mom and mom and me have the right to make our choices and we’re not idiots. And its not murder.
Its good to finally hear / read a narrative which takes that view and doesn’t apologise.
So read this book if (like me) you have lots of spare time and tolerance for silliness – else just skip straight to Chapter 15.