Catherine's Reviews > How to Be a Woman

How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
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's review
Aug 15, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: 2012, gender, mainstream-us

There were moments in reading this book where I said aloud to the pages, "No, you're wrong, you're so wrong, god, how can you be so wrong?" Equally, there were moments where I marveled at Moran's analysis -- especially of the politics and cultural dimensions of the abortion debate - and thought, wow, I've never seen someone get this quite so right.

That's the book in a nutshell - a ride between poles, between the things Moran ably, deftly, and humorously nails right on the head, and the moments where her generalizations undermine what she has to say. There's almost no consideration of race in this book, no serious exploration of non-heterosexual sexuality, and Moran rarely admits that it's possible to be female without having a vagina. Those are significant detriments, especially because when she does acknowledge the intersection of other identities (like class position) she has worthwhile things to say.

Yet I'm glad I read the book - glad to have laughed along with her observations about tiny underwear and strident feminism, glad to have read her first-person account of limiting the number of children she wanted to two, glad to have had to refine my own positions by arguing (in my head) against some of hers. Worthwhile reading, perhaps as much because of its flaws as despite them.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 13, 2012 – Finished Reading
August 15, 2012 – Shelved
August 15, 2012 – Shelved as: 2012
August 15, 2012 – Shelved as: gender
August 15, 2012 – Shelved as: mainstream-us

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