I’ve read a lot of reviews of How to be a Woman; some loved it, some hated it. From reading these reviews I thought I’d probably love it, and I was so right. How to be a Woman is Caitlin Moran’s autobiography; it is also an acerbically funny look at feminism and the things that make it necessary. I won’t ramble on and on about this book – it doesn’t need me to. Moran discusses candidly all the horrible squeamish bits of being a woman that nobody ever talks about, unless they are very very drunk. She managed to make me squirm in disgust and have a very public giggling fit within the space of five minutes, and I came away from the book feeling like I’d learned a lot. Having grown up with four sisters in the kind of family where you never ever talked about the gross stuff, except by using vague shrugging gestures in the place of the thing you were actually talking about, maybe I just loved this book because it told me all the things nobody else had, and by this I don’t mean that I’ve managed to reach the age of 24 without knowing about periods or where babies come from, but just that it was amazing (and disgusting) for me to read a book that talked about all the horrible bits of childbirth as well as the awesomesauce stuff.
Here is the bit that made me laugh for a full five minutes, and then periodically throughout the day whenever I remembered it. Customers thought I was weeeeeeird that day!
“Caz gets horrific cramps- she spends her periods in the bedroom with the curtains drawn, covered in hot water bottles, shouting ‘Fuck off’ at anyone who tries to come into the room. As part of being a hippy, my mother doesn’t ‘believe’ in pain-killers, and urges us to research herbal remedies. We read that sage is supposed to help, and sit in bed eating handfuls of sage and onion stuffing, crying. Neither of us can believe that we’re going to have to put up with this for the next 30 years.” (p20)
I have so much love, and as I’m totally hating my current rating system for books, I’m going to go with ‘this is a book that I really enjoyed, and will be keeping forever and re-reading, and recommending to absolutely everyone I can find’. Well done, Ms Moran, you are totally hilarious.Maybe I’m just a weirdo, but it struck a chord with me, and I’ll be recommending this book to everyone I come across in the foreseeable future, whether they be male or female. Most of the men I know would benefit just as much as the women from reading about how difficult it is for a woman to know what to call her breasts and other such things.