I first discovered How To Be A Woman (2011) by Caitlin Moran back when it wasn't really available in the United States. I wanted to read it right away, but I waited until it was available at my library. Now that I've finally gotten around to reading it, it seems to be one of the most read books on Cannonball. I guess that makes my review easier. Since everyone's already read and reviewed it, I don't have much to add.
According to Wikipedia, Caitlin Moran is a British broadcaster, TV critic, and columnist at The Times. I had never heard of her before reading How To Be A Woman, but this book is more about what Moran has to say than her public figure. Moran discusses growing up poor and unpopular in Wolverhampton, England as she opines on feminism and other issues often faced by women, such as: high heels, Brazilians, handbags, pornography, strippers, and abortion. Moran has strong, clear, well-thought out opinions, and she comes at each of her topics with enough humor that even if I disagreed with her, I could still understand her point.
Moran's chapter on abortion stuck with me more than any other subject. She courageously discusses her own "bad" abortion, why she chose it, and how she feels about it now. I am very much pro choice, and I try to avoid the judgment that is often thrown at women on whether they should get an abortion or whether that abortion is really justifiable. I feel strongly that it is impossible for the government, or anyone else, to stand outside a woman's life and tell her what is best for her. And so much of that judgment tends to be centered around controlling a woman's sexuality. If a woman is raped, then it's not her fault, but if she's a "slut," she should face the consequences of her actions. I hate that. But at the same time, I can't pretend that having an abortion is easy or that it doesn't mean anything. I think about my friends who have been trying to get pregnant and how much finally having a life inside of them means to them. Moran began her own story imagining who the child inside her would grow up to be, and I was disappointed that he [her child] would never get any of those chances. Moran was very happy with her decision, and I completely agree with her on bringing unwanted children into the world, but it still sounds like a difficult process. Her husband was red-eyed, and afterwards, Mo
ran said she was going to get the best fortress of birth control in order to avoid going through that again. I don't think you can just say that abortions are meaningless medical procedures. It's a significant decision with significant consequences.I think it would be good if we could avoid the need for more of them.
Moran is smart and passionate, but she is not a social scientist. Her opinions are based on her life experiences and
intuition. If you're looking for trends, or facts and figures showing
how women have been changing in the modern world, you won't find it
here. How To Be A Woman is a thought-provoking, personal story with one woman's viewpoint of feminism. I'd definitely recommend it.