This month's review is How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran.
Part social commentary, part personal memoir; when I first picked up this book I wasn't sure what to expect - with chapter title's such as 'I start bleeding!' I can't be the only one! But this was everything I wanted it to be; witty, insightful, truthful and in parts laugh-out-loud funny. When asked to shout "I am a strident feminist!" I did (in my head, there were people around) and it made me feel good. For the first time I was reading feminist literature and not wincing at the men-bashing or anecdotal evidence used to make a shaky point about why women are superior. The fact of the matter is that we're not, but then neither are men! My favourite part was how Moran summed up the pure basics of modern feminism: when all's said and done, are we being rude? It's not about who is better/superior, it's about whether we are all being fair and polite to each other, because at the end of the day, what more can any of us want from society?
The, at times painfully, truthful moments that Moran describes at various points in her life are what bring so much comedy to the piece, moments such as when she has her first period or her experiences with school bullies in Wolverhampton. This is juxtaposed with truly saddening moments, particularly when she decides to have an abortion, after previously having two children. Personally I found this a little bit jarring, because there really was nothing funny about having an abortion, just the cold, sad truth. However, in a way it didn't matter, I admired Moran's truthfulness so much that I wanted to know all about her experiences, the good, the bad and the ugly; I think it was extremely important that she was so honest about everything.
Caitlin Moran is one of my favourite writers and a true inspiration to me as a woman. If you've never read any of her work, or you want to read something that is thought-provoking and incredibly funny I urge you to buy this book.
Have you read How To Be a Woman or any of Caitlin's other work? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below :)