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How To Be a Woman [Paperback]

Caitlin Moran
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (694 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 (694 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,878 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
277 of 291 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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464 of 507 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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I like her honesty! 23 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback
Despite a nauseating title and chic-lit cover, this modern take on feminism is fun and uplifting. It's not very philosophical or political, and it's not great literature, but Caitlin is funny, honest and brash. I like the key message - that you don't have to cake yourself in makeup, have a Brazilian and hate spiders to be a real woman; and you don't have to have hairy legs and hate men to be a feminist. Her brand of feminism is essentially being free to be whoever you are, unconstrained by gender. This is a good message for men too. I also really appreciate her honesty - talking about things like masturbation and abortion in a frank and practical way. All in all, I think most of my friends have already worked these lessons out for themselves, and this is just a fun read. But if I had a younger sister that was caving into societal pressures, I'd definitely want for her to read this.
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352 of 396 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Banal and unoriginal 29 July 2011
Format:Paperback
I bought this book on a whim, having read a couple of rather mixed reviews. In that context, I was anticipating something entertaining and mildly stimulating. I was not expecting Isiah Berlin. But even against those less-than-demanding criteria, this book disappoints hugely.

Caitlin Moran entered journalism as a teenager, after winning competitions in national broadsheets including The Observer and The Times. Tellingly, these are omitted from this largely autobiographical book, which instead has her entering journalism at 16 when she went to work for Melody Maker. No doubt this version of history is more consistent with the edgy rise from working class obscurity she seeks to portray. I'm three years younger than Moran, and used to read her columns in my parents' copy of the Times, until I left home at 18, switched my allegiance to The Guardian, and lost track of her. So it was a strange experience to pick up this book and discover that, in terms of her attitudes and prose style, she seems to have become frozen in time as that precocious 16 year old - a kind of journalistic Dorian Gray. But what was endearing in a teenager is utterly infuriating - and oddly jarring- in a mature woman. The language is relentlessly mannered, with copious use of capitals and outdated slang from the 90s. This I could forgive if the book contained a single original idea, but the content is as banal, derivative and vacuous as the prose.

Take the chapter where she bemoans the lack of suitable female role models, and bizarrely juxtaposes Philip Roth with Demi Moore, Kim Cattrall and Madonna. This is simply baffling- comparing not so much apples and oranges as apples and donkeys.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Do we expect men to do the same?
After reading this book, that is the question I will ask myself whenever I come across something that may seem sexist.
I love the open, honest, no holds barred style. Read more
Published 35 minutes ago by C.Varney
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Tacky and not for me I'm afraid.
Published 2 hours ago by Linda
5.0 out of 5 stars Have since recommended it to other female friends who understand the...
I came across this book after reading an extract in The Guardian. It was hilarious and mirrored exactly an episode in my own life. Read more
Published 12 hours ago by J
5.0 out of 5 stars it is my mission to purchase this book for every ...
it is my mission to purchase this book for every friend who has a birthday . it is a must read for all .
Published 1 day ago by redbeki
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring,
This book has really opened my eyes to, at times, extreme feminist ideals laced with humour. It arrived quickly in great condition and is a truly wonderful read.
Published 5 days ago by Jordan Findlay
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good read
Published 5 days ago by David Bagg
5.0 out of 5 stars inspirational
Never thought I'd acquire a new, over 20 years younger than me, role model - but I just have in Caitlin Moran. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Smiler
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Sent it as a gift as it was recommended.
Published 12 days ago by S.K
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
v good
Published 13 days ago by D.M. Black
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous read
This book is excellent. Beautifully written. A must read for all men and women - interesting, funny and intellectually stimulating!
Published 13 days ago by Dog Lover
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