Three cheers for Caitlin Moran’s memoir, How to Be a Woman, which had me laughing all the way through and on into the night!
Meet Writer Caitlin Moran
With a precocious start as a teen music writer, she went on to write a column for The Times for nearly two decades. You can study lots of other resume highlights on the about the author page if you’re so inclined, but who really cares. What’s amazing about Moran isn’t her credentials. It’s her unabashed determination to bring back grannie panties and the proud usage of the term Strident Feminist.
Even if you’re not a strident feminist, you’ll enjoy the book, because her style makes everything hilarious. (Here’s a blog about how the importance of style.)
Moran Leaves no Social Stone Unturned
No stone of modern womanhood is left unturned in Moran’s wholly unpredicatable screed. Her comments on the internet making the world a porn-at-your-fingertips bonanza made by men for men are right on–maybe not completely unique, but by far the most hilariously phrased of what’s out there on the subject. (Here’s a blog on living in modern times)
Her story of discovering the mechanics of menstruation and tampons, on her own, off a leaflet found in a bush, engaged me right away. Let’s just say I related. (Here’s a blog about High Quality Suffering)
In Caitlin Moran’s memoir, she lambasts the lengths to which women must go just to be acceptable. Why, she asks, do women have to have the right outfit for each season? The right shoes for each occasion? The ability to accessorize separates with funky style that tells the world you’re ironically playful, yet adultly sexy, yet sensible?
Doesn’t anyone realize how difficult (not to mention expensive) these achievements are?
Most women are so used to this pressure, we don’t even notice it until (speaking for myself, now) we set a date with a man and he texts an hour beforehand while I’m carefully putting together my outfit. He asks, “Do I have to wear a clean shirt?”
And don’t get Moran started on the issue of shaved vaginas . . .
(Excerpt from How to be a Woman)
“’I remember when it was all furry round here,’ I will say sadly in the changing rooms of the gym, surrounded by smooth, pink genitals. ‘Hairy toots as far as the eye could see. Wild and untamable. An arbor of nature. Playground of my youth. I used to spend hours there. Now . . . now it’s all waxed and empty. All the wildlife has gone. The bulldozers have moved in. They’re going to build a new Safeway there, on the vaginas.”
Being a Woman is Complicated
Overall, Caitlin Moran’s memoir, How to be a Woman, hilariously brings to the fore how very complicated it is to be a woman, especially in the business or entertainment fields. She candidly discusses the difficulty of finding female role models in sports and music and all kinds of areas where even female fans prefer the men because the men are still better at it. She asks why this is the case and doesn’t offer any pat answers.
Caitlin Moran Talks Babies
Moran takes us through the whole baby-having process and its aftermath and makes us jealous when we hear her husband say, “I can’t believe in order for us to simply reproduce, YOU have to go through all this SHIT!”
She reminds us that there are indeed some organic reasons why we women have to go through all this shit. For instance, if you’re totally out of shape when you go into labor, it’s going to go very badly, as it did for her, admittedly. Okay. That’s not society’s fault, just a fact. But the other shit?
All the waxing and spending and worrying and posing—Moran hilariously but relentlessly reminds us that we don’t in any way, shape, or form live in a post-feminist society. For her, the term Strident Feminist should be a proudly self-applied label for every man or woman in 2018, and that’s just for starters. Go Caitlin!