Friday, 18 November 2011

How to Be a Woman

        To clarify, How To Be a Woman is not about applying red lipstick, putting on some killer heels, icing some perfectly cute cupcakes and attracting men with your feminine mystique. This is a guide to laughing at the absurdity of our culture and embracing feminine strength. And it's really, really worth reading.

You may have noticed how this book is categorised as 'HUMOUR/FEMINISM.' Although this may seem a contradiction to some people, in the eyes of the gifted comic writer Caitlin Moran, she manages to make you laugh and open your mouth in shock as you think to yourself, 'Did she really just write that?'

How To be a Woman follows Moran's experiences in 'becoming' a woman, from her 13th birthday, when she's chased and teased for being fat, to the present, where she is a successful columnist hanging out with Lady Gaga and having to do fashion shoots for her columns. Tough life, I know.

Feminism is still as much of a dirty word as it ever has been. It still suffers from the stereotype that feminists are annoying women who can't stop complaining. Moran demonstrates that a feminist can be your cooler friend with a wicked sense of humour and life experience. She's had time to articulate how a lot of women feel: that the social expectations for women are ridiculous, so just laugh at them and get on with your life, as you probably do.

The book generally has the feel of overhearing her conversations with her best girlfriends after a few drinks and then reading her diary afterwards. But it's not a groaning emotional journey that you'll tire of, as she uses her life to explore formative experiences in any woman's life. For example, she writes about getting through the awkward stage when women want men to notice them, marriage, fashion, and having children or not having children.

I'd really recommend this book for yourself and as a present for your best female friends. It might be slightly graphic for your Mum though.

Please let me know if you have any book recommendations for me. I'm typically at least a year behind in reading anything that other people might have read. And I like rockstar biographies.


  1. Oooh this book does seem pretty awesome :D

    I don't know any non-fiction books, but if you're willing to read some classics, I highly suggest Edith Wharton's shot stories for really good and funny stories with a keen insight on her society! She's one of my all-time favourite writers!

  2. 'The Age of Innocence' is a classic story of what people in Edwrdian times couldn't say. You'd probably enjoy Alice Munro, a great Canadian writer who looks at everyday life with a keen eye.