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➻ How to Be a Woman Download ➼ Author Caitlin Moran – Cravenjobs.co.uk



10 thoughts on “How to Be a Woman

  1. says:

    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 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 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 I think about it, the 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 than one occasion on twitter The result She blocked me Nice one.


  2. says:

    You know what Since there are so many four and five star reviews hanging around for this, I will serve a proper review to show why I absolutely could not stand this book Moran is a sporadically talented writer maybe it deserved 2 2.5 stars in the writing stakes However, I did something I almost never do I rated this book intellectually As a memoir, it succeeded almost brilliantly her recollection of her wedding had me in absolute stitches and makes me laugh every time I reread it yes, I ve reread it multiple times I liked that she wasn t some middle upper class Oxbridge girl, as most of the Times writers seem to be It was really refreshing to read about her life That being said, her writer belied her teen author roots Listen to me, guys I m a 17 year old aspiring writer Hannah Moskowitz is one of my favourite authors and MANY OTHER YOUNG ADULT AUTHORS DESERVE THEIR RESOUNDING SUCCESS This is in Caps not because I am trying some postmodern thing, emulating Caitlin Moran, but because the antithesis of this point makes me grind my teeth in fury I do not believe in any of this oh you shouldn t be published if you re a teenager and everything teenagers write is crap bullshit No It s about the writing and good writing is good writing, regardless of who the author is or how old they are However, I feel that good books by teenage authors should either belie their early starts e.g Invincible Summer or use all that amped up hyper realistic teen experience as their biggest advantage e.g Break Caitlin Moran lacked depth or objectiveness When you are trying to write a book about feminism, I think that the most you need to be is objective to the max Caitlin Moran is not She has the over eager, juvenile, puerile, irritating narrative voice of someone who is convinced of their opinion despite not having a real evidence to back it up or b a real understanding of the opposing viewpoint There is no real reflection or evaluation Her opinions can just be summarised as, I believe this because I believe that X is awesome This was most painfully obvious during her segment on Lady GaGa I like Lady GaGa She appears to have a feminist standpoint and that is very, very good In my opinion, she s not a feminist symbol by any stretch of the imaginaiton Although Moran could easily have made the case that she was what irritated me most of all was that Moran s analysis of GaGa never went beyond a giggly teenage girl with an idol, who thinks that said idol is awesome and so has no real sense of evaluation She calls Lady GaGa her idol and refers to an intimate not sexually intimate, guys, don t go there experience with GaGa in a sex club She reminded me a lot of that girl who gets taken for a whirlwind with the rich popular girl and comes back down to earth starry eyed, completely refusing to hear a bad thing about her idol The most jarring thing for me was the way that Moran backed up all her hyperbolising with one anecdote that GaGa refused to do an album shoot while down in the sand touching herself I m paraphrasing I don t have a copy of the book to hand Is that feminist Yes, she refused to be objectified on her body But with one Google search I turn up a picture of GaGa circa Telephone, with Beyonce, wearing nothing but what looks like some leather straps and leather boots, arms hiding the gory bits but with no doubt that GaGa is, at the very least, 98% naked She s not quite down in the sand touching herself but she s not far off Ditto the lesbian kisses in the Telephone video It should be noted that I consider it everyone s right to be whatever the hell they want and with whoever the hell they want The point is that this wasn t done to show a lesbian relationship for God s sake, they re in an all women prison because GaGa s character poisoned her boyfriend Not exactly the most positive portrayal of lesbianism, which makes the kiss and the provocative dancing in barely there underwear obvious titillation.The worst example of this in the book is Germaine Greer However, this is me ranting emotionally I cannot stand Germaine Greer Let s leave at that, shall we I just found all of Moran s arguments totally one sided, narrow minded and slightly creepy for their complete inability to take the full picture into account Another example of this was her burlesque vs stripping argument I know next to nothing abou either, but I would be very surprised if burlesque was made for women by women as Moran claims to state What was most mind boggling about this book, though, was Moran s inability to accept her own quirkiness I really hate the word quirky , but there is no other way to describe it For instance, her father said to her Remember you re a Womble before walking her down the aisle and oh, how I laughed Her mum yelled out about her pubic hair in front of her father and her various mixed sex siblings I don t think that normal really exists but I do think that Moran has particularly unique experiences which she undermines by behaving as though they are commonplace I ve never known a single woman who has named her vagina or her breasts That being said, I am, as I said above, seventeen I m aware that this might be a problem I run into later in life, when I might actually have to address either of those two anatomatical areas rather than just avoiding them altogether But Moran presents all of this stuff as totally normal Yes, all women have weird names for their vaginas Yes, all women have weird names for their breasts But Moran has a whole Twitter community to back her up on those things However I would bet that most of the women who replied were the ones who ran into this problem as Moran herself obviously has It seems that on Twitter, if you don t have anything to add, you don t SAY that you have nothing to add You just don t add anything I would be very surprised if Moran received many tweets that could be summarised as lol what or no I don t do that shit , and equally if the Tweeters who replied to her made up any than a minority of the female British population ETA also, I was having a quick look at the Quotes page on our very own Goodreads, and I could not help but see this If you want to know what s in motherhood for you, as a woman, then in truth it s nothing you couldn t get from, say, reading the 100 greatest books in human history learning a foreign language well enough to argue in it climbing hills loving recklessly sitting quietly, alone, in the dawn drinking whisky with revolutionaries learning to do close hand magic swimming in a river in winter growing foxgloves, peas and roses calling your mum singing while you walk being polite and always, always helping strangers No one has ever claimed for a moment that childless men have missed out on a vital aspect of their existence, and were the poorer, and crippled by it Note I believe that both men and women have a right to have or not have children and that women without children should not be treated as emotional cripples for it Although I do actually feel as though Moran short changed the joy of having children, but maybe that s what you get for being raised by a mother who was, by her own admission, absolutely desperate to have them But am I the only one who sees the problem with this quote She says that Nothing in motherhood is something you couldn t get fromcalling your mum I didn t notice this when I read it I don t read that closely, dudes , but seriously Moran has just used evidence of a would be mother s mother child relationship with her own mother as a reason why you shouldn t have children My opinion seriously faulty analysis If ringing your own mother gives you such happiness, why wouldn t you want to pass that on God, now I sound like someone who is advocating the all women must have babies stance I m just making the point that I don t think Moran is helping her case here Even where Moran cannot really be faulted on her analysis, such as in weddings or in her Why You Should Shouldn t Have Children sections although I was pissed that Why You Should Have Children seemed to revolve almost totally around her own experiences of childbirth , it is not the revolutionary piece of literature the back blurb hails It s very blah, very typical Nothing you couldn t see every other day in one magazine or another She even presents stuff that seem to be part of accepted culture, like the fact that weddings cost too much for too little, as though she is the first person ever to have thought of them Even during the Why You Should Shouldn t Have Children sections, I found myself saying, Well, I could have told you that And as a seventeen year old who has never been pregnant or even babysat a child, I m pretty sure that shows how stale, pathetic and shallow most of Moran s supposedly fresh insight was.In short, this long, vitriolic review can be summed up in one letter Dear Caitlin Moran,Please do not let anyone market your book as The Female Eunuch if it is, in fact, a pretty good memoir hiding behind some stereotypically teenage standard analysis.Thank you.


  3. says:

    1 I am confounded by the critical response Confounded.2 The book is indeed very funny and has its charms but this is far memoir than manifesto and very grounded in a rather singular set of experiences.3 Good humor doesn t elevate common sense wisdom into groundbreaking or important feminist thought.4 Casual racism More than once Or twice 5 Birthing babies makes you a woman, you see But that s followed by a chapter where it s totes okay if you choose not to have a baby.6 People are being REALLY selective when sharing quotations from this book 7 Frustrating book in every possible way.8 More to say in a forthcoming essay.


  4. says:

    iiiiiiii looooooved thiiiiis sooooooo muuuuuuuchhhh omgggggggg.No but really It s the thing everyone says, but this book is full of so many omg i feel that way too over and over and over again I felt so understood and so together with Caitlin Moran and was so thankful to have this collection of frank and honest thoughts on being a lady today Some people might even use the word empowering.


  5. says:

    If you have even slight feminist beliefs, or if you are a woman who wants your eyes opened, sensibilities shocked, and then laugh your ass off, this is the book I read Bossypants, which I love, but Caitlin Moran s strong feminist words were so inspiring to me, and just MADE SENSE I might not have agreed with everything, but I was certainly amused and entertained the whole time Definitely an auto biography worth reading, dude or gal And it s really dirty in parts, she talks about things you NEVER thought people would bring up Too good


  6. says:

    Much as there is to quibble over a strictly academic handling of feminist thought, if your introduction to feminism began here chances are you will be tempted to think that a jocular disdain for transpeople and tch tch ing sympathy for women outside the sphere of Europe and America could be pardoned in the light of light hearted banter Caitlin Moran has a chatty, teenager ishly snippy voice and she made me collapse into a helpless fit of distinctly unflattering, full blown guffaws often than what I had foreseen But still make sure to take this mash up of pop culture commentary, criticism, and opinions on gender rights issues with a pinch of salt Better still take this as a memoir and a lengthy, one sided rant and little else For example if you are reading this with a pre supposition of Ms Moran s capacity for empathy, your eyes may glaze over lines like the following in a desperate hurry to get to the funnier or relevant bits These tight, elasticated partitions across the mid derriere are, in terms of both comfort and aesthetics, as cruel as the partition between India and Pakistan That s just her comparing the bodily harm inflicted by thongs to a profoundly sensitive subject which caused and still continues to cause tremendous emotional trauma to people on both sides of the border here What galls me is she probably has no idea of the nasty bit of British imperialist policy which planted and lovingly nurtured the seeds of this politico religious strife in the first place Also, for someone so intent on teaching young girls to respect and love their own bodies, she seems too unforgiving of Victoria Beckham s bare, bebunioned feet Apparently she doesn t want toes that look like thalidomide pasties There s also the troubling statement which makes it clear that for Ms Moran, fat is when you don t look human sized Now what human sized means is open to interpretation My best guess is to be Caitlin Moran sized is fine to be, say, Melissa McCarthy sized or Victoria Beckham sized is not.In any case, she is replacing one set of body image standards with another which defeats the very purpose of her proclamations.There are also multiple attempts at third world culture shaming Let me quote one instance one misguidedly thinking that Katie Price is a good businesswoman despite the fact that she has to rope her kids into her business to make money something I always associate with desperate Third World families. Since when did family businesses become a Third World thing And what does this even mean From what I see a good majority of the developed world s millionaires, billionaires and gazillionaires have been selling exclusive images of their newborn progeny to the highest bidding tabloid for years now, many roping in their kids to pose as models to promote their fashion labels and what not Finally as a coup de gr ce, let me mention the jokey correlation forged between the shrinking nature of female underwear through the years and the gradual break up of the Empire It was at this point that I realized the publishers should have specifically stated on the blurb that Moran s brand of feminism humour is not directed at former colonies or women of colour.This review is probably exceeding the length that I had originally intended for it to fit in but my point is there are problematic remarks galore in Moran s faux empowering babble and what I quoted is merely the tip of the iceberg To know the rest, check out some of the extremely well written 1 star reviews here All people or situations at the butt end of her jokes seem to invite comparisons with those related to a sexual or religious or ethnic minority What I found most disturbing was this total disregard for hurting the sentiments of a reader who may represent any of these minorities Barring these complaints, however, this is a passably readable autobiography I found myself agreeing with her thoughts on the tyranny of adhering to notions of feminine beauty, high heels, uncomfortable innerwear, obsessive hair removal, botox, plastic surgery, porn, strip bars, sexism at workplaces, motherhood, abortion, relationships and miscellany But then we already know the basics of feminist theory don t we So long story short, read this when your dreary daily schedule is in desperate need of a shot of humour or when at the end of a tiring day you can summon up the intellectual energy for nothing graver than this Do not read this in the hopes of enriching your repertoire of feminist perspectives For that you have your Beauvoirs and Kate Milletts and Angela Y Davis es and Susan Brownmillers.


  7. says:

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  8. says:

    Has an appalling case of unpacked privilege Dropping tranny and retard in this book is just the tip of her shitty iceberg.Newsflash feminism that doesn t advocate for ALL women is no better than patriarchy.


  9. says:

    Quite an uneven reading experience, a fault I largely blame on the marketing of this book How to Be a Woman is touted as basically Feminism now with jokes And that s a concept that I could get onboard with I would consider myself a feminist, I would consider myself moderately amusing at times, and I would consider myself a fan of Caitlin Moran s white streak in her wild mane a bit reminiscent of the 90 s version of Rogue So, yes, let s do this I want to feel empowered as a woman, I want to laugh, and I want to rewatch the X Men cartoons on Netflix This was reaffirmed when I heard an NPR interview with Caitlin Moran She spoke intelligently about a variety of topics facing women and was very humorous in doing so She sounded like someone I would like funny, self deprecating, and smart.So did the book live up to my expectations Not so much The main reason is that instead of a funny feminist manifesto, the book is basically a memoir that should have been titled How to Be Caitlin Moran Not that that is a bad thing as I still find Moran likable, but I generally do not like memoirs I was expecting a book of ideas And there are wide swaths of Moran s life that I simply can t relate to Other than the chapter I Am a Feminist , there s surprisingly little feminism in the book other than sprinkling the term strident feminist in some seemingly incongruous places such as But what am I wearing, now As a strident feminist, how am I dressed 202 in the chapter I Get Into Fashion As though there s some sort of feminist dress code It may be simpler to split this up into what I did and did not like about the book, so without further ado What I Did Like About the Book1 From the chapter on feminism, Moran presents a simple test for discovering whether or not you re a feminist So here is the quick way of working out if you re a feminist Put your hand in your underpants a Do you have a vagina and b Do you want to be in charge of it If you said yes to both, then congratulations You re a feminist 75 She makes the point that almost every woman in the Western world is a feminist, whether they like being associated with that dirty word or not Even women who say they re not feminists are enjoying the fruits of feminism as there was a time when a woman wasn t allowed to have an opinion, let alone express it Being in charge of one s reproductive rights is a much larger issue than that of abortion Deciding for yourself if you want to have one child, fifteen children, or none at all, thank you very much, is a right women haven t traditionally had before Being able to say enough already is certainly a right women should be thankful for as so many women who came before us dropped a kid yearly, preferably sometime between clearing away the breakfast dishes and making supper.2 Moran s funny, unapologetically irreverent take on everything I didn t always agree with her views, but admired that she had the daring to say them If there s one thing you can t claim, it s that she s inauthentic.3 Her chapter on marriages Weddings have become a ridiculously high priced event that generally makes everyone involved miserable.4 The extremely honest chapter about her own experience with abortion Agree or disagree with abortion, so many make up their mind without having lived through it or, you know, asking the women of a society what they think Reading about it from a personal level brings up some interesting points for thought and reflection.5 Moments like this This is the first time I ve really been out in the world and met adults Previously, all my socializing took place on the dance floor and in the bathroom of the Raglan, a tiny dark pit populated by fringed, boot wearing teenagers essentially a playpen with a bar Our innocence was obvious it shone in our faces the same way our teeth glowed white under the UV light Yes, people were having sex, and fighting, and spreading rumors, and taking drugs but it was essentially like tiger cubs knocking each other around, claws velveted We were all equal There was no calculation or recrimination Everything was forgotten after a nap 117 I just like that.What I Did Not Like About the Book1 Dear GOD I did not like all of the FREAKING UNNECESSARY CAPITALIZATION that made me feel like I was reading an unhinged TEENAGER S DIARY And for the love of all that is punctuation, would someone please remove the exclamation mark from Moran s keyboard Early in the book, I thought this was just an affectation meant to show how the teenage Moran thought and felt however, it continued, unrelentingly throughout the entire book Every single chapter title ended with an exclamation 2 There were some squirm worthy moments I did not enjoy reading about Moran s early experiences with menstruation I did not enjoy the suggestion that one should taste one s menstrual blood I did not enjoy the suggestion that one should name one s vagina and one s breasts Granted, I m the type of person who perpetually lives in fear of TMI Caitlin Moran clearly does not.3 The suggestion that Lady GaGa is a feminist and should be placed upon a pedestal To me, a feminist icon should be one who presents ideas GaGa strikes me as someone who is reaping the benefits of feminism, but not adding much new to the conversation She is definitely a polarizing lightning rod, but in the realm of image and sexuality She definitely confronts and shatters stereotypes, but beyond that adds little to the conversation 4 The fact that there s so little feminism in a book supposedly about feminism.Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder


  10. says:

    Because life is too short to feel guilty about not being a perfect woman Let s get real.Caitlin Moran is wicked funny and painfully, awkwardly truthful in this book Rather than harp on the theoretical implications of modern feminism, Moran skips the arguments and says simply, Feminism is having a vagina and wanting to be in charge of it Ding ding She manages to address the horrors of childbirth and the joys of parenting, the conundrum of naming of vaginas, and the unnecessary discomfort of women hiring domestic help all with a deft hand and abundant use of italics As an added bonus, you ll learn a fair amount of confounding British slang A girlfriend gave me this book, and I continue to pass it forward I wonder what amazingness would occur if every girl received this book on her 15th birthday We could all save ourselves so much time, effort and angst Read this book now, then give it away No one has ever claimed for a moment that childless men have missed out on a vital aspect of their existence, and were the poorer, and crippled by it Da Vinci, Van Gough, Newton, Faraday, Plato, Aquinas, Beethoven, Handel, Kant, Hume, Jesus They all seem to have managed childlessness quite well.


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download How to Be a Woman, read online How to Be a Woman, kindle ebook How to Be a Woman, How to Be a Woman c90c1d87f0bb Though They Have The Vote And The Pill And Haven T Been Burned As Witches Since , Life Isn T Exactly A Stroll Down The Catwalk For Modern Women They Are Beset By Uncertainties And Questions Why Are They Supposed To Get Brazilians Why Do Bras Hurt Why The Incessant Talk About Babies And Do Men Secretly Hate Them Caitlin Moran Interweaves Provocative Observations On Women S Lives With Laugh Out Loud Funny Scenes From Her Own, From Adolescence To Her Development As A Writer, Wife, And Mother