Ceilidh's Reviews > How to Be a Woman

How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
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Jul 06, 2011

did not like it

I think it's pretty safe to say that this book wasn't written for me.

Caitlin Moran's columns have always been a bit hit or miss for me but when she's on, she's a witty storyteller with some interesting points to make. She's no groundbreaking pantheon of feminist wisdom, but she's definitely a valuable, and often hilarious, ally. Her book was something I approached with hesitation since several published extracts had left me scratching my head, but with her upcoming scheduled appearance at the Edinburgh Book Festival and my hopes of getting press tickets to said event, I decided to do my research and see what was happening in her ambitiously titled book, already creating big buzz in the press as a new 'fun' type of feminism.

Let's start with the positives. Moran's storytelling, while verging closely into column territory with its style, is witty, often heartwarming and very funny, especially when discussing her quirky family and upbringing. As a child, Moran couldn't stand the idea of being pitied, even in her own diary, so would be ridiculously happy when discussing the most mundane of things. Each chapter opens with an account from Moran's life, how it moulded her feminist opinions, then moves into a rambling, colloquial chat about issues Moran considers pressing for the feminist movement, although your mileage may vary on this front. Some parts, such as her discussion on abortion which includes her own experiences, are powerful and get to the true heart of the matter. I truly appreciated this chapter and Moran for spelling out what should be obvious to all - there is nothing wrong with choosing to have an abortion and sometimes it's the easiest decision a woman can make.

However, most of the book just doesn't pack the same punch as this segment. I'm 21 and I've only really been seriously discussing my feminism for about 3 or 4 years. It's something I pride myself on in many ways and I love to read feminist literature, partake in debates and educate myself as much as I can on issues that are most pressing to the world's women. I've yet to meet a woman who thinks that coming up with a name for one's vagina is a pressing feminist issue. I understand that the tone of the book is chatty, jokey and often the opposite of serious, but such a topic felt out of place. Other topics that Moran discusses - pole dancing, weight, clothes, stilettos, casual misogyny - reveal no new observations or anything of true substance. The book tries to be both a memoir of sorts and a tome for the 21st century feminist but feels too general and rushed to truly be either.

Moran frequently makes sweeping generalisations about men and women in order to make a point, which makes said points feel rather disingenuous. The colloquial style will definitely divide readers and I personally felt that the overuse of capslock, exclamation points and netspeak such as ENDOV and roflment were more of a distraction than anything else, something that's better suited to columns and tweets. Some points also left me asking questions - why is Lady Gaga a feminist symbol who controls her sexuality whilst doing near naked photo-shoots but the myriad of women who did it before her aren't? (It's worth noting, as Moran takes pride in doing, that Moran interviewed Gaga and said interview brought her much attention and acclaim.) Why do you think burlesque dancing is okay but pole dancing isn't? - and other parts coming close to fuming with anger - history has not proven men to be stronger with more achievements than women. Countless women were wiped from history because history is written by the victors! Nobody, female or otherwise, should be able to flirt their way to the top, that's disingenuous and further objectification/casual misogyny! Also, La Roux is a band, not a singer, and said singer, Elly Jackson, is not a lesbian like you said she was. A quick google would show that to you.

Lastly, there was one thing that really bugged me, and it was these lines:

(On her childhood cheery disposition: "I have all the joyful ebullience of a retard." [Page 5.]

(On burlesque dancing): "... it has a campy, tranny, fetish element to it." [Page 175.]

These aren't the only casually distasteful and problematic jokes Moran makes but these two stood out in my mind as particularly offensive. Since Moran takes a lot of time to discuss the harmful nature of the word 'fat', one would think she'd understand the damaging power of the R word and such ableist/transphobic language.

Overall, I'm sure there are many women who will love this book and I'm glad for them. While I vehemently disagree with Moran's assertion that feminism has ground to a halt (grassroots feminism has continued to make leaps and bounds behind the scenes), it is true that many modern women are cautious to label themselves as feminist when in reality it should be worn with a badge of pride. There's a lot to enjoy in Moran's book and some very funny moments but overall, it felt like a failed experiment to me, one that failed to scratch beyond the surface of modern day feminism in a way that would truly bring about the discussions we need. I'd heartily recommend Kat Banyard's "The Equality Illusion" for the starter feminist in need of guidance. Feminism doesn't need to be rock and roll, it's much better than that.

EDIT: Downgraded to one star because the more I think about it, the more I realise how much this book, its blatant hypocrisies, the obvious yet un-addressed bias of the author, the lack of fact-checking and the entire "Vichy France with tits" joke piss me off. Yes, Moran, a glamour model is just like the government of France which collaborated with Axis powers during World War 2. It's also hysterically accurate to compare a boy's childish reaction to a piece of underwear to "like that Vietnamese kid covered in napalm.". Keep in mind that all this, on top of the use of the word "retard", is present in a book where Moran writes an otherwise accurate piece on the harmful and emotional power of words such as "fat". I don't care if my criticisms of this get labelled as being too PC or some crap like that. Frankly, I'd rather be PC than crack stupid false equivalences regarding a child screaming in agonising pain.

I asked Moran about her use of the word "retard" in her book on more than one occasion on twitter. The result? She blocked me. Nice one.
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Reading Progress

July 6, 2011 – Started Reading
July 6, 2011 – Shelved
July 6, 2011 –
page 44
14.1% "Reading it for Edinburgh Book Fest research (have my name down for tickets to her event). I think she's a witty storyteller, I love the tales of her adolescence & bonkers family and I often agree with her but there's no excuse for using the word r*tard for humour. Plus despite her insistence, feminism hasn't and never has ground to a halt."
July 7, 2011 –
page 89
28.53% "There are some genuinely funny moments in this book but I have not, and do not know a single woman, feminist or otherwise, who has spent serious time wondering what to call their vagina."
July 7, 2011 –
page 203
65.06% "*scowl* Okay, history has not proven that men have accomplished more than women. History is written by the victors & countless women have been wiped out because of that! Also, this line, on page 5 - "I have all the joyful ebullience of a r*tard" - is NOT FUNNY! It's offensive!"
July 7, 2011 –
page 256
82.05% "1. La Roux is a band, not a singer. And Ellie Jackson, the singer in said band, is not a lesbian. She has refuted this claim several times. 2. Why is it feminist and revolutionary for Lady Gaga to sell sex with her act but not the myriad of female pop stars who did it before her? Just because she wears meat that doesn't make her some transcendent artist of femimist glory."
July 7, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-50 of 119) (119 new)

message 1: by Miranda (new) - added it

Miranda I like Lady Gaga to a certain extent (she's been pissing me off lately), and while some of her stuff is feminist, I would not call her a feminist symbol/icon at all. She's been fucking up too much lately to be called that, IMO.

This sounds like a trainwreck, argh. :/

Cath Murphy I enjoyed/disliked this book for exactly the same reasons you give here, but held back in my review because I didn't want to sound like the kind of kill joy 'capital F' Feminist Moran singles out as bringing the women's movement into disrepute. Thanks for redressing the balance and the recommendation which I will follow up.

message 3: by Ava (new) - rated it 1 star

Ava I agree with the same things you disliked about this book. Like I hated that the only time she included a trans person in her book she made them into joke. :/ Very uncool. It seemed like she shamed strippers a lot too.

message 4: by Ava (new) - rated it 1 star

Ava I agree with the same things you disliked about this book. Like I hated that the only time she included a trans person in her book she made them into joke. :/ Very uncool. It seemed like she shamed strippers a lot too.

Siân Thank you for your review. I will not now purchase this book. I am ultra offended by the use of the word retard.

message 6: by Lis (new)

Lis Stripper shaming in a book about feminism and intersectionality...oooookay.

Well, I guess I won't be checking this one out any time soon. If Caitlin Moran's twitter isn't anything to go by, then this review is...

message 7: by Jude (new)

Jude just the promotional raving and blurbs had me wary. your review sounds like what I would have said if I were still articulate and if w I had read it, but I'm 63 and wouldn't have lasted three paragraphs. thank you. hope your studies include some of the writers who saved my life, but you give me hope regardless.

Jodie Steiner Get over yourself, dear. This is not an academic journal.

message 9: by Lis (new)

Lis Jodie wrote: "Get over yourself, dear. This is not an academic journal."

Hello, Jodie! I'm going to clear up a few things for you that seem to be kind of vague for you and a few other users that I've met on this site.

The point of a review on this site (and any other blog-type sites) is to express an opinion in whatever way, shape, or form that you see fit on your own space.

Telling someone to "get over" themselves in their own personal space while they are expressing their own opinion is not only rude, but also hypocritical. Keep that in mind.

No, this isn't an academic journal, and whether Ceilidh is treating it as such is up to debate. However, criticizing her about it on her own review? Not so much.

Hope you can use these tips in the future. :)!

Ceilidh Hi there Jodie. How nice of you to make a Goodreads page, give this book 5 stars then comment on my review.

No indeed, it is not an academic journal. It is, however, marketed as non-fiction, and as such deserves the full level of scrutiny. There are factual errors, false equivalences, sweeping generalisations and many hypocrisies littered throughout this book, which is somewhat unusual when the author states her desire to bust stereotypes yet ends up reinforcing them. Moran cannot talk about her strident feminism all the while making sweeping comments about the genders that reinforce patriarchal stereotypes, nor can she argue about the power of words to insult yet freely throw around ableist and transphobic language to get some laughs. Plenty of other people liked this book. I am aware that I am in the minority on this. That's your right to disagree with me on this. However, I suggest you do it in a less patronising manner next time. You're not my friend so don't call me "dear". Thank you.

message 11: by Kiki (new)

Kiki Excellent review, Ceilidh.

message 12: by Amber (new) - rated it 1 star

Amber Way to be mature by blocking your tweets. Avoiding this book.

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Unfortunately I have come to similar conclusions. The napalm joke and the women not having done anything important for the last 100,000 years, are just plain offensive statements. I'm struggling to finish it. What a shame.

message 14: by Lis (new)

Lis this sucks because I've really been on the lookout for some modern feminist-lit. I thought Moran would be the one :/

message 15: by Kai (new) - added it

Kai McNeill Really really enjoyed your review and feel doubly compelled to read it now. May put it on the list for my Killjoy Feminist book club because I'd love to chat about it with people who won't brush off her problematic language.

message 16: by Wildrose71 (new)

Wildrose71 Saying that Gaga isn't feminist cause she's fucked up too much lately, well that's just sad and shows the need about more info about feminism. As for the review, interesting and well written until the words about finding a name for the female sex. That's kind of a core thing... Why doesn't our parts have names like males do? Because we aren't supposed to talk about them? I haven't read the book but I sure will!

Ceilidh Wildrose71 wrote: "Saying that Gaga isn't feminist cause she's fucked up too much lately, well that's just sad and shows the need about more info about feminism. As for the review, interesting and well written until ..."

Hi there.

At no point in my review did I say that Gaga wasn't feminist because "she's fucked up too much lately". My point was that I saw no reason why Caitlin Moran could classify Gaga as a feminist for doing the same things that female singers have done for years now yet are derided for. Grace Jones did weird stage antics, as did Kate Bush and Siouxie Sioux. Katy Perry's stage persona is on a similar level to Gaga's so why isn't she feminist? I felt that Moran's own conflict of interest shone here and ended up undoing some of her points.

My issue with the chapter on vaginas and nicknames for them also stems from what I see as an extreme mix-up of priorities. There were many great points to be made about women's reproductive rights, ownership over their own bodies, etc, but Moran is far more concerned with making jokes in capslock than addressing those points, and what she does talk about has been repeated many times over in much better books. Once again, you are making assumptions about the content of my review and apparently picking things out of it from nowhere.

I'm sure this book will be right up your alley, you are free to disagree with my review, but please don't twist my words or outright lie about the content of my review to make your point.

NYLon Carry On Ceilidh - Well said. I'm so not digging this book, for all the reasons you have mentioned.

Michelle Jodie wrote: "Get over yourself, dear. This is not an academic journal."

You don't have to get over yourself, dear. Just get back to us when you are back in the real world and have some perspective outside of academia. I used to spout off in undergrad a lot too, but now just a few years out I understand how narrow a perspective academia allows.

Ceilidh Michelle wrote: "Jodie wrote: "Get over yourself, dear. This is not an academic journal."

You don't have to get over yourself, dear. Just get back to us when you are back in the real world and have some perspecti..."

You're also not my friend so please don't patronise me by calling me "dear".

If you seriously think that me having an education means I'm not entitled or properly equipped to review this book then I am rather baffled by your comment. I didn't like this book. I've made my reasons very clear, with evidence presented, as to why I did not like this book. You're free to disagree with me, as the majority of reviews on this site have, but do not talk down to me or act as if my opinion is void of worth because of your own narrow perceptions regarding my education.

NYLon Carry On "If you seriously think that me having an education means I'm not entitled or properly equipped to review this book then I am rather baffled by your comment." - Genius reply Ceilidh.

Anti-intellectualism is so boring. The common and 'constant assaults on intelligence' always confound me.

I mean, what is that? "Because you have the ability to think critically, you have no say" makes sense to people?!


message 22: by NYLon Carry On (last edited Sep 12, 2012 03:49AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

NYLon Carry On "I used to spout off in undergrad a lot too, but now just a few years out I understand how narrow a perspective academia allows" - Translation, "I went to a REALLY crap school."


message 23: by Rita (last edited Sep 14, 2012 11:42AM) (new)

Rita Meade In my version of the book (US), the word they use is "idiot" instead of "retard." Just a note.

message 24: by Kai (new) - added it

Kai McNeill @Shannon, Just as Caitlin Moran is allowed to express her opinion of stripping, Ceilidh is welcome to have her opinion and express it in a review.

Opinions are informed by education but the dismissal of anyone without your minimum standard of education is classist and demonstrates that while you speak about respecting opinions, you can't practice it.

message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Agreed Kai. What's with everyone showing up on this review to harass another person's opinion? Not good. It's pushy, patronising and rude. Somehow I doubt Caitlin Moran would like her readers butting into another person's review either. I certainly wouldn't.

Ceilidh Shannon wrote: "Real world experience is key to dissecting any book, a higher education is a powerful thing, however, I think you are missing some of the finer points of this book. Your political correctness is gr..."

My "political correctness" is wanting a book that markets itself as feminist to adhere to the beliefs it preaches. Moran spends a portion of the book talking about the power of words and their harmful nature, yet finds it perfectly acceptable to use problematic language and phrases herself for a joke. The word "retard" should not be in the UK edition of the book, there's no excuse for it. Does the US edition of the book also remove use of the word "tranny"? Because that's not any more acceptable.

Moran makes sweeping generalisations about gender, sexuality and the expectations of men and women throughout her book, yet because she's doing it in a supposedly humorous manner, she's excused for it? If a lad's mag referred to Katie Price as "Vichy France with tits" they'd rightly be condemned, yet Moran has people like Laurie Penny fawn over her for it?

Given the important cultural context behind Madonna's career, I think there's a perfectly reasonable argument behind declaring her to be a feminist figure. She pushed the pop culture boundaries in relation to women and sex in a way that nobody had really done in mainstream music before. Gaga could be seen as the natural extension of that, but to declare her to be feminist for taking her clothes off whilst every other singer that does so is not reeks of double standards. I think Moran probably should have mentioned some of Gaga's own quotes, such as this one:

I'm not a feminist - I, I hail men, I love men. I celebrate American male culture, and beer, and bars and muscle cars...


I did my research for this review.

Okay, what is it about this review that brings out the commenters in full on condescending jerk mode? I've been patronised to in regards to my education, called "dear" despite repeated requests against it, and had people twist my words and the content of my review to try and make their point.

NYLon Carry On Ceilidh... BRAVO! Well said. ;-)

Ceilidh The interpretation of feminism Moran presents is one built on contradictions and attempts for the author to validate opinions she already possesses. She's very proud about having interviewed Gaga (said interview won her journalism prizes and much attention) and loving her, whilst also interviewing Katie Price and hating her. I'm not a fan of the latter either but referring to her as "Vichy France with tits" is not only grossly insulting, it's a false equivalence that does nothing to help her case. Her comparing a boy's reaction to a woman's underwear to being "like that Vietnamese kid covered in napalm" is also another example of her so-called humour being applied unsuitably in a book where she otherwise accurately talks about the power of the word "fat" as a way to silence women. So when Moran uses the words "retard" and "tranny" for punchlines, I am offended and it does discredit what she previously said. How can her point be made effectively if she won't even adhere to her own standard?

I can't provide specific examples since I no longer possess a copy of the book (gave it to a charity shop). There is one moment where Moran claims that men are not told to behave in a certain way (I'd argue that yes, they are. Certainly not in the same way women are but these gender expectations still exist for men). Then later on she claims women plan their weddings from the age of five and men just fill their spare time with hobbies like X Box. What about women who play video games and go fishing and have no interest in weddings? However, Google helped me with this particular example where Moran starts out well then entirely misses the point and swings into offensive:

By whatever rationale you use, ending a pregnancy 12 weeks into gestation is incalculably more moral than bringing an unwanted child into this world. It’s those unhappy, unwanted children, who then grew into angry adults, who have caused the majority of humankind’s miseries. (P275, according to Google)

Did Moran do a survery of every human tragedy to find out if the people who started them were wanted by their mother? I agree with Moran that it's cruel to force a woman to go through with an unwanted pregnancy, particularly without support, but how on earth is her point helped by making such a gross generalisation? Children who were wanted and/or planned pregnancies aren't automatically given a happy life.

You just basically said, history is written by the victors and that is why the women are written out. This potentially means that women were the losers, point made.

That wasn't my point. Similar to the concept of Shakespeare's Sister that Virginia Woolf theorised in A Room of One's Own (the idea that women in history were denied the same opportunities as men so weren't able to flourish creatively in the same way), women in history were not given proper opportunities to have their contributions to history fully represented. Why? Because the history books were being written primarily by men. Their contributions are minimised or just flat-out ignored, and it's only in the past hundred years or so that we've seen real change to revise the history books to make up for this. I found it insulting for Moran to not only ignore the work of contemporary grassroots feminism, but to also readily accept this skewed and unfair representation of history.

I maintain that feminism doesn't need to be "rock and roll" as Moran states. This idea that in order to encourage women towards feminism we need to make it cool is so condescending. There is absolutely no nuance to her arguments. She favours capslock and generalisations over presenting facts or figures to make her point. Moran almost seems adverse to ever appearing completely serious about something, and it works against her favour. Kat Banyard and Natasha Walter recently wrote books that could be classified as "popular feminism" (by which I mean books you could find in general bookshops and not just gender/women's studies areas) which are more nuanced, detailed and understand the shades of grey in the issues they present. The lap-dancing versus burlesque issue is not as straight forward as presented by Moran. There are major issues of class and cultural/historical context that are just ignored. I have major issues with Laurie Penny but she wrote very eloquently and accurately about burlesque and how it really isn't classier or different from pole-dancing and stripping:


If Moran's book were a straightforward memoir of her life it would be a much more satisfying and worthwhile read. For all the reasons I stated here, in above comments and in the review itself, I believe that Moran's book fails in its objective. If others love her book, that's fine, more power to them. I get that I don't present the ultimate branch of feminism, nor would I ever want to. I'm a working class bisexual white woman who went to university and reads a lot of books. I can't speak for women of colour, all branches of gender and sexuality, class, age, etc. I don't claim to. Moran's generalisations in the name of a good joke and trying to make feminism "rock and roll" don't do her any favours. Given that Moran is a columnist for The Times, a little fact-checking would have been appreciated.

Ceilidh You know what? Having just compared my point to the pro-life movement, I'd like to kindly ask to you stay off my review. You're ignoring my points, making assumptions, talking down to me and now you've just compared me to something I've spent a lot of time fighting against. I'm insulted, upset and it's 3:30 in the morning so I don't have the time or energy to continue this any more.

message 30: by Miranda (new) - added it

Miranda So basically what I'm getting from the comments is that the red hot second you dare to question a well known, public feminist's words because they're actually pretty effing offensive, you're the one in the wrong.

Great. Good to know!

Shannon, are you seriously saying that using derogatory slurs like "tranny" and "retard" are okay? No, really, are you? Because if you are I think you're missing a huge point of the current feminist movement.

Also saying Ceilidh's argument belongs to the Christians... are you for real? How dare you come skipping into her review and compare her to something as degrading and horrific as the pro-life movement. You need to leave, quite frankly, because you're done here.

If this is anyone's starting point into feminism, that's incredibly unfortunate.

Ceilid, I'm sorry this review has gotten you so many infuriatingly offensive comments. You in no way deserve that. I say block the people leaving the offending comments and be done with it, it's not worth the rise in blood pressure to fight with them.

message 31: by Ceilidh (last edited Sep 14, 2012 08:09PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Ceilidh Shannon, I already asked you to please stay out of my review before. If you want to continue this discussion elsewhere with others then please feel free to do so.

Kara, as much as I appreciate the fact that you seem to have dedicated your entire GR account to commenting on my review, I'd also appreciate if you left me alone. Shockingly, I do have discussions with people I disagree with quite a lot, but comparing my point to a misogynist movement I so vehemently disagree with is frankly the tipping point for me. I've explained my points numerous times and provided evidence whenever possible. I'm not ashamed of my education and I know I'm extremely lucky to have received it. I'm not shaming anyone who didn't go to university. I just think if you're going to write about feminism then it wouldn't hurt to do some reading on it. Or at least Google to make sure you don't incorrectly label a singer by the name of her band and call her a lesbian when she isn't.

I'm done. It's 4 in the morning. I'm sick of being angry and upset and insulted.

message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

If I could fan Ceilidh right now, I would. Great, well thought out and articulated arguments. The pro-Moran brigade seem to have fallen back on insults. Not impressed. Wasn't with the book either.

message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

I obviously meant to become a fan, not fan her with some feathery thing. Thought I'd clarify. :)

message 34: by John (new)

John Egbert Shannon wrote: Yes I may be offended by the word "tranny," however that does not in my opinion discredit a whole book.

I'm sorry, really, and I'm not trying to prolong an argument that Ceilidh obviously does not want taking place here but yes, yes it does. If you can go on about how harmful the word fat is but can't see that words like tranny and retard are just as if not more horrible, I have no patience for your hypocrisy and frankly would rather not be within three thousand miles of you or your work. Last I checked feminism is about equality between men and women, and if you can't get a point about equality across without using a word that dehumanizes someone else then you should just. Stop.

Thanks, Ceilidh, for this review because *clearly* this book isn't for me either.

message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

Interestingly Kara has just joined GR from Bristol, U.K, has no books or friends, and has only made comments on this review...

message 36: by John (new)

John Egbert This is Ceilidh's review, she can dismiss whatever she wants. And, wow, she wasn't. At all. Which is in fact exactly why she didn't want to continue this argument with you or your, *ahem*, friend.

Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews) Kara wrote: "if you're implying that I'm Shannon, you're wrong. But that would be my first thought if I were you, so I understand completely. We are however, friends, currently on opposite sides of the atlantic..."

Hey, newsflash: life isn't fair, and people certainly don't have to adhere to your version of it. Back off, have your own opinion, write your own review. Stop telling others - who have reasonably and eloquently written their opinions - how to like a book, or write a review.

the tl;dr version: GTFO. Just like Ceilidh asked.

message 38: by John (new)

John Egbert Kara wrote: "I would like to debate this."

No one else would. That's the point. You can go now.

message 39: by John (last edited Sep 14, 2012 09:27PM) (new)

John Egbert Shannon wrote: "

Oh and just a comment for you all, don't direct a comment at me unless you want an answer which will all be sent via messages."

1. That doesn't prove anything. It's quite easy to create two accounts on whatever medium, open up each account in a tab, and go back in forth.

2. I honestly doubt anyone's too deeply concerned about it. Even if we were, should it really matter what we think? Why are you/the both of you so defensive? (Note: Rhetorical, answer not needed.)

message 40: by John (new)

John Egbert Shannon wrote: "For someone who doesn't want me to contact them, you seem pretty eager to have a conversation. I care because Kara cares and I don't like being accused of trolling. If you don't want to speak with ..."

I spoke in a general sense, not to a particular person. Quoting your words does not mean I particularly want to engage in conversation with you. And certainly it doesn't mean there's something wrong with me for not wanting an extended debate with you in private.

message 41: by John (new)

John Egbert Kara wrote: "I suppose that works, Shannon :D

As far as I can see the original disagreement is over whether you can reasonably dismiss everything someone has to say if they are wrong about something – not jus..."

Discussion? What discussion? You're just telling Ceilidh that for some reason or the other she's wrong. She's already asked you to take the discussion someplace else, but apparently, you refuse. This isn't a discussion. This is you beating a dead horse because you'd like to argue someone down. Goodnight.

message 42: by John (new)

John Egbert Kara wrote: "we all sit here clutching at pearls and fretting about the very best way to tell the public about feminism without being even slightly hypocritical"

And we all know there aren't any ways to tell the public about feminism without being slightly hypocritical.

(That was sarcasm.)

message 43: by Clara (new) - added it

Clara Madrigano Shannon, Kara, GoodReads newest members, possible sockpuppets lurking…

This is Ceilidh's review of a book she has read. She's in no way obliged to follow the "be nice" stance when reviewing it. She read the book, she didn't like it, she said so and named the reasons why. You disagree with her.

GOOD FOR YOU. But that's what it is, a disagreement, which can't have a decent outcome anymore, and simply because people started to make personal assumptions about Ceilidh; assumptions that insulted her.

I see she stated that she was over discussing it; I see you continue to drag this on, maybe trying to create your Big Feminist Debate. Not happening.

It's time to sit down.

Ceilidh Shannon, Kara, I already asked you both to please leave my review. If you continue to ignore my wish then I will block you both. It's nice that you got some sort of tag team friendship bonding session out of this but I am tired of being patronised to and insulted for my opinion, which I have stated and backed up numerous times. I have no desire to be "told off" any longer.

Ceilidh Kara wrote: "Silencing tactics should be a red flag for you all but since it's not I'll leave you with this


this is Moran basically saying what we've been trying t..."

Moran's so against silencing tactics that she blocked me for asking about her use of the word "retard". Thanks for ignoring everything I've said, twisting my words and generally making me feel like a piece os shit, and please go away. I'm done.

message 46: by Whitney (new) - added it

Whitney Maas If women want to be taken seriously in any context of society outside of the norms set by sexist advertising, we really need to stop cat fighting in a forum for discussing literature... regardless of disagreement.
Regardless, if a book can cause this much turmoil, maybe it has achieved its goal.

message 47: by Jane (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jane Great review, Ceilidh. And your responses were very insightful and patient. I am sorry that you encountered so much trolling on GoodReads, of all places. And about a purportedly feminist book, of all books.

message 48: by Amber (new) - rated it 1 star

Amber Amaryllae wrote: "Women have only really had ready access to education/control over our own biology for the last 50-odd years. The future is full of possibilities - ones that women in the past were undeniably denied. Give our ancestors a break."

I saw this and ragequit, because this person clearly knows nothing about the historical control of female biology.

message 49: by [deleted user] (new)

great review. Wearing my feminist badge with pride, not hating men either, and rather at peace with myself. I believe people can name their body parts whatever way they want, I just don't need to understand it. I usually use the regular terms for vagina, penis, breasts, etc. But to each their own.

ignore the trolls, and keep writing good reviews :)

message 50: by Moonlight Reader (new)

Moonlight Reader What on Earth is "fun" feminism? And why does feminism, which at its core means nothing more than being equal to men across domains - family, home, civic, political, economic, educational, intellectual - need to be made "fun?" If we agree that feminism needs to be "fun" aren't we, de facto, ceding the ability to define feminism as "unfun" to be people who just, in their hearts, don't want us to be equal?

At the age of 46, I don't get this. Why are we letting our opponents define us? Feminism isn't fun or not fun. It just is. Either you are a feminist, or you believe men are, in fact, the superior version of humanity and women need to be sheltered, protected, ignored, and otherwise patronized.

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