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How To Be a Woman Paperback – 1 Mar 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (1 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091940745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091940744
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (807 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"I adore, admire and - more - am addicted to Caitin Moran's writing" (Nigella Lawson)

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

"This might just be the funniest intelligent book ever written .. Moran's work packs a feminist punch in a way that Germaine Greer and an entire army of female eunuchs could never do, because she writes about things we've all done, thought, and said - but not quite so eloquently...the book everyone will be talking about" (Stylist)

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

"It would almost be unkind to call this an important book, because what it mostly is is engaging, brave and consistently, cleverly naughtily funny, but actually it is important that we talk about this stuff" (Katy Guest Independent on Sunday)

Book Description

A new way to look at feminism from Caitlin Moran, one of our funniest writers

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

291 of 308 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Rayner on 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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492 of 536 people found the following review helpful By Al on 30 July 2011
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Miss A G Thompson on 27 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback
I went into this book with very mixed opinions. On the one hand, I had my dad’s birthday present from his work and got told to buy him some books, and maybe one for myself, I had heard a lot of about Catlin Moran’s book from other feminist friends, and was on the fence as to whether to buy it. So I did…and it sat on my shelf for a good few months. The reason why is what follows:

There was an internet twitter incident not long ago, where Moran tweeted a comment about young adult literature, which was thoroughly slammed by Patrick Ness and other authors. She essentially made a comment that there are no gritty or “mature” themes within YA literature. This made me feel quite annoyed by her. So as you can see, I put the book off because I was so on the fence about whether I actually wanted to read any more of her opinion.

However, I finally picked this book up, and I’m glad I did. For one thing it certainly lessened my dislike of her. The thing about memoirs and such, and even articles and reviews, is that you need to remember it is one person’s personal opinion, and just because it is their opinion, does not mean it is right or wrong indefinitely and that they are saying “yes this is what you should all believe”. It is just a case of “Well this is what I believe or think about this”.

This book follows Caitlin’s journey through being a young girl in a cramped household, to going through puberty, learning what the hell periods are, how the work place is for women and all “the patriarchal bulls***” which happens along the way. My god, I spent my train journeys laughing while I read this book- in a good way, I mean!

The only other book like this I have read so far, is Tina Fey’s “Bossypants”, another great feminist memoir which had me in fits of laughter.
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