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How To Be a Woman [Paperback]

Caitlin Moran
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (743 customer reviews)

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Book Description

16 Jun 2011

Winner, 2011 Galaxy National Book Awards More4 Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year

1913 - Suffragette throws herself under the King's horse.

1969 - Feminists storm Miss World.

NOW - Caitlin Moran rewrites The Female Eunuch from a bar stool and demands to know why pants are getting smaller.

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.



Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (16 Jun 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091940737
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091940737
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 13.3 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (743 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Spectacular! Very, very funny, moving and revealing"--Jonathan Ross

"I have been waiting for this book my whole life"--Claudia Winkleman

"I adore, admire and - more - am addicted to Caitin Moran’s writing."--Nigella Lawson

"Moran's writing sparkles with wit and warmth. Like the confidences of your smartest friend."--Simon Pegg

"Ever since I was eighteen I've wanted to be as cool as Caitlin Moran. Now this book has shown me how. Witty, wise and wonderful, this is an indispensable guide to Ladyhood. I laughed. I cried. I found out what my favourite writer calls her vagina."--Lauren Laverne

Book Description

A new way of looking at feminism from one of our funniest writers

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
284 of 300 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for women under 30 14 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback
...which I'm not, you understand. I've a decade on Caitin and grew up with the feminist debate raging about mine ears. For a while now I've been sighing heavily at how it seemed to have fallen off the cultural radar - no one seemed to be talking about it any more, let alone calling themselves a feminist. And now here's Ms Moran, putting the debate about what it means to be a woman in the 21st century not just back on the agenda, but in the non-fiction top 10. Hoo-blooming-ray! Look, there's heaps about this book that's annoying. The incessant CAPITAL LETTERS. The surfeit of screamers. Initially I felt like I was being shouted at, that the jokes weren't all funny, and this was a memoir masquerading as polemic. But unlike other reviewers who thought it petered out, I warmed to How to Be a Woman hugely. The writing seemed to calm down, become less personal, more thoughtful. So by the end I was converted. I've just been to buy a copy for my teenage goddaughter. She told me her ambition was to 'get married and go to parties' (presumably not in that order). So I hiked her by her beautiful long hair to the nearest bookshop and thrust a copy into her perfectly manicured hand. 'Read this,' I said. 'It's funny'. She may not agree with all or even any of it. But I think she's much more likely to actually read it than Germaine Greer or Simone de Beauvoir, and if it makes her think - just a bit - then I'll be pleased. And if she gains just a smidge more ambition, I'll be cockahoop. So if you've never read a book on feminism, read this one. And if you've read a few, read it too. It's contemporary, strident and wise. You'll also have a laugh, and crikey, there are a lot worse ways to spend your time.
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478 of 522 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Started well................... 30 July 2011
By Al
Format:Paperback
I'm giving this book 3 stars as an average based on the fact that at the beginning I thought I would be giving it 5 but by the end I wanted to give it just 1.

My girlfriend has been asking me to read this book for a while (for the record I am male but like to think I am as liberal as they come). Eventually I acquiesced and started reading with few expectations (I had never heard of Caitlin Moran before I picked this up). I thought the prologue was great. It was genuinely funny (even made me laugh out loud a couple of times which almost never happens), well written, and engaging. The next few chapters were just good, though I felt like it could have done with some ruthless editing of the bits that weren't quite so funny or poignant to make it great. But towards the middle of the book things started to go downhill, pretty steeply.

One of the problems with the book is that the author talks as if everything is black or white, gloriously righteous or disgustingly evil. In the beginning when she is talking about obvious things (woman should have the same opportunities as men, etc..) this is fine. It's when she gets into more debatable arguments (strip clubs= evil, burlesque shows + pole dancing lessons= fantastic), even about things that I agree on (e.g. pro-choice, aethiesm) that this starts to grate. She treats the idea that any opinion other than her own could have any validity with contempt and doesn't really put forward any cogent arguments for her reasoning (but basically devolves into semi-coherent rants over and over again- and this is coming from someone who actually agrees with the broad points she is making!!).

She talks in sweeping generalizations and sometimes contradicts herself.
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97 of 109 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was deeply, deeply unimpressed by this book. I think the main problem is it continually being touted as 'the next wave of feminism' or as some kind of modern feminist keystone, rather than what it actually is: a rather unexciting memoir interspersed with lots of "I am right listen to me CAPS LOCK" rants. If I'd expected the latter, maybe I wouldn't have felt so totally let down. Honestly, the only reason I finished the darn thing was so I could write a fully informed review explaining how much I disliked it, and why.

Firstly, the structure of the book is haphazard at best. It starts off fairly well, but once Moran moves from a fairly straightforward autobiographical account of her childhood, any sort of attempt at structure falls to pieces. It's a pretty disorganised bunch of vaguely-related anecdotes and angry rants. To be fair, it's probably quite difficult to write a part-autobiography-part-faux-feminist-manifesto and keep a good structure, and maybe I could have overlooked it if the content was good. But it wasn't.

I hate the way Moran presents her opinions. (Note: I don't necessarily hate the opinions themselves., but the presentation drives me crazy.) It's full of contradictions and dogma. She likes to tell you exactly what is ok, and exactly what is not. There isn't much middle ground. Just because HER wedding was a disaster and a waste of money, she tells you NOT to have a wedding. Right. It couldn't possibly be that her wedding didn't suit her and her husband's personal taste and needs, it is the case that weddings are stupid and you shouldn't have one. Strip clubs are WRONG. Burlesque is RIGHT. Katie Price is WRONG. Lady Gaga is RIGHT. Heels are WRONG. Leopard print is RIGHT.

... You get the idea. She contradicts herself constantly (eg.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good to start but towards the end it seems to lose its appeal.
Published 2 days ago by Trevor
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and witty
Very well written. Moran is highly amusing. A must read for anybody male or female. Funny, witty and highly entertaining
Published 2 days ago by Anjlee
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
refreshing and often very funny. Sometimes she's trying a bit too hard to be clever and funny though.
Published 4 days ago by Jussi
3.0 out of 5 stars Very funny overall. I have to say a few occasions ...
Very funny overall. I have to say a few occasions it comes across a bit 'ranty', but mostly very enjoyable. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Samantha Pallot
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, great read!
brilliant writing, couldn't put it down, all women must read this! one of our great female role models and writers
Published 8 days ago by s kirkham
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and entertaining on every page
This book has me in fits of giggles every time I pick it up.
Published 8 days ago by Arabella
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
Brilliant
Published 9 days ago by Donna
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
An interesting read.
Published 9 days ago by Mrs. S
5.0 out of 5 stars Do yourself a favour and read this book!
An amazingly hilarious approach to the serious issue of modern day sexism! You don't need to be a feminist to read it, it's funny and I am sure any woman can relate to Moran! 😍
Published 10 days ago by georgia
5.0 out of 5 stars and extremely funny.
touching and bawdy at the same time, and extremely funny.
Published 14 days ago by Ellen
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