How to Be a Woman

Caitlin Moran

How to Be a Woman

There’s never been a better time to be a woman: we have the vote and the Pill, and we haven’t been burnt as witches since 1727. However, a few nagging questions do remain… Why are we supposed to get Brazilians? Should you get Botox? Do men secretly hate us? What should you call your vagina? Why does your bra hurt? And why does everyone ask you when you’re going to have a baby? Part memoir, part rant, Caitlin Moran answers these questions and more in How To Be A Woman – following her from her terrible 13th birthday (‘I am 13 stone, have no friends, and boys throw gravel at me when they see me’) through adolescence, the workplace, strip-clubs, love, fat, abortion, Topshop, motherhood and beyond. 3.8 out of 5 based on 9 reviews
How to Be a Woman

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Society, Politics & Philosophy, Sex & Sexuality
Format Paperback
Pages 320
RRP £11.99
Date of Publication June 2011
ISBN 978-0091940737
Publisher Ebury Press
 

There’s never been a better time to be a woman: we have the vote and the Pill, and we haven’t been burnt as witches since 1727. However, a few nagging questions do remain… Why are we supposed to get Brazilians? Should you get Botox? Do men secretly hate us? What should you call your vagina? Why does your bra hurt? And why does everyone ask you when you’re going to have a baby? Part memoir, part rant, Caitlin Moran answers these questions and more in How To Be A Woman – following her from her terrible 13th birthday (‘I am 13 stone, have no friends, and boys throw gravel at me when they see me’) through adolescence, the workplace, strip-clubs, love, fat, abortion, Topshop, motherhood and beyond.

John Crace's Digested Read | The Guardian

Reviews

The Observer

Miranda Sawyer

Before we start, let's be clear: this is a great big hoot of a book. There are lines in it that will make you snort with laughter, situations so true to life that you will howl in recognition. It is very, very funny. So, you could read it just for that, for the entertainment value. However, if you are female, and particularly if you are a female under 30, then, tucked around the jokes, Moran has provided you with a short, sharp, feminist manifesto.

26/06/2011

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The Independent on Sunday

Katy Guest

While this book will inspire moments of righteous fury in all but the most cowed fashion-magazine victims, its overriding achievement is to make feminism seem unthreatening and forehead-smackingly simple.

03/07/2011

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The Evening Standard

David Sexton

Caitlin Moran is a brilliantly funny writer, who doesn't really need all the noisy capitalisations, italics and exclamation marks she favours to make an impact. You can just put this book in front of people and watch them start snorting in 15 seconds. She pushes it all further than you expect, with formidable confidence and invention — and she's as ruthless and explicit about her own life as about everything else she tackles ... A must-read for all humans, this.

23/06/2011

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The Scotsman

Lee Randall

Hysterically funny … I found her notably eloquent about being fat … If I had my way this book would be issued to every teenage girl along with her first box of tampons.

28/06/2011

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The Guardian

Nicholas Lezard

I had never come across Caitlin Moran before: she writes for the Times, which perhaps accounts for the lack of politics in the book. This absence is very much a dog not barking in the night; I wonder whether it was a deliberate decision not to alienate her readership, or genuine indifference. Not that there is any dreadful rubbish in here: it is, quite simply, a book that might as well have been subtitled "common sense, with some very good jokes".

06/03/2012

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The New Statesman

Helen Lewis-Hasteley

Moran's book is unapologetically aimed at women like her, who read celebrity magazines and can't wear high heels and worry about whether having children will wreck their careers. That is no bad thing. I am squarely in her target demographic, and I loved reading a book about someone like me, rather than a mythical superfeminist who regards wearing lipstick as a mark of unforgivable capitulation to the patriarchy. I wish, however, that some of her attacks — on the media's obsession with knocking successful women by calling them fat/frail/unlucky in love because a photographer has taken a single unflattering picture, for instance — had been carried further.

04/07/2011

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The Spectator

Charlotte Moore

... older readers may find that the details of Moran’s menstrual and masturbatory history bring out their inner Victorian aunt ... But nevertheless this is a valuable book. Moran wants to convince the coming generation that cripplingly high heels, pubic waxing, a blind adherence to designer labels, £21,000 weddings, and boyfriends who see it as their mission to undermine your confidence, are all inimical to a full, happy life as a woman. If she succeeds, she’ll have done us all a favour.

16/07/2011

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The Sunday Times

Daisy Goodwin

I agree with pretty much everything Moran believes in, from a woman’s right to choose to a woman’s right not to shave, but her belief system doesn’t strike me as radical. Maybe it does need restating all over again for the Wag generation, this time with jokes; but Moran is not a ground-breaking Germaine Greer de nos jours. The most original and for me successful parts of the book are where she tones down the rhetorical gymnastics and writes about her extraordinary childhood growing up as the eldest of eight children in Wolverhampton.

03/07/2011

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The Times

Germaine Greer

A good deal of the argument in How to be a Woman is with someone called Germaine Greer or Goddess Greer, who bears a fitful resemblance to myself. This straw woman tells women to taste their own menstrual blood (I didn’t), went off sex in the Eighties (more correct to say that sex went off me), opposed the election of a transsexual lecturer at “Newnham Ladies College” (there was no such election) and so forth. More disconcerting is the way that Moran revisits themes that I have written thousands of words about, and even made TV documentaries about, the C-word and pornography for two, and restates my case in pretty much the same terms, with not the faintest suspicion that anyone has ever said any such thing ever before.

11/06/2011

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