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How To Be a Woman
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on 20 September 2015
There are very few things that leave you feeling profoundly different inside in the way that this book did for me. Page by page I felt like the curtain was being lifted on the world I have lived in my whole life, and once the final page had turned I was a completely different person. I was, like a lot of people, put off by the reputation of feminism, and never really thought it to be relevant to me, but this book has really changed my mind. Feminism is presented in a down to earth, funny and light hearted way, there is nothing hateful or vengeful about what Caitlin is saying, it is in fact really uplifting. As a woman in a man's world it can often feel hopeless, and that equality and respect is an impossible dream, but Caitlin leaves you feeling positive and optimistic, and I dare anyone (male or female) to read this book and not feel empowered and passionate about equality. I have a 5 month old daughter and hope that she inherits a world more like that which Caitlin envisions.
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on 17 February 2016
Extremely quick delivery, within two days. Looks new, far better than I expected it to be. Very explicit, funny, honest. Most women will recognise at least some part of themselves in here and it gives the odd laugh out loud chuckle.
I even had to stifle a sudden giggle, which turned into an explosive snort, while reading on the train home. Moran pulls no punches and can be very 'in your face' with emotional and bodily descriptions but offers keen observations on life. I read Moran's 'How to Build a Girl' first and enjoyed it enormously. Had no problem lending it to my 16 year old niece but I'd be a little more uneasy sharing 'How to Be a Woman' partly because we aren't all as precocious as Moran would have us believe she was at the same age. All in all a good fun read, not too taxing.
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on 12 May 2014
I bought this on a whim, having not read anything like this before but seeing it recommended as one of the funniest books to read and having won book of the year from some awards. I wasn't sure what to expect but I did not expect what I read. This is the most honest book I have read, it can be blunt and to the feminist point. If you don't want to be hit round the face with feminism until you stand on the chair next to Caitlin Moran shouting "I am a strident Feminist" then this book isn't for you. If however you are open minded, fancy a laugh, or would like a fresh opinion on feminism then I would definitely recommend you this book.

For the opinionated take this with a pinch of salt, you are after all reading someone else's opinions.
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on 19 June 2016
This was a second copy as I always seem to be lending mine out. This selection of stories and thoughts from Caitlin Moran is mainly funny, sometimes poignant, and one of those reads where you find yourself telling the person next to me 'Listen to this bit! That's me, that is!'. People seem to love or hate Caitlin Moran, and if you're more of the latter then this won't really change anything for you; however for those who enjoy her work or are just discovering her, this is a must-have. I think it should be issued to every girl (and probably the boys) as soon as she turns 13.
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on 14 May 2013
At this this book made me laugh out loud. I could relate to loads of what the author said. However, her style of writing is a big like that of a teenager and very much LISTEN TO ME!!! I found this a bit irritating and immature. Might be a good 'starter' book on feminisim for young woman. A 'further reading' list would've been useful for readers wanting to find out more about feminism, not just read Caitlin's personal brand of it. Although she went into (sometimes excruciating) detail about some topics, others were completely omitted. For example, how did a working-class girl with no friends end up working on a magazine in London?? It would've been great to know how that happened as it would give other working-class women from outside the capital hope that all the jobs aren't just handed out to rich kids...
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on 28 April 2014
I purchased this for my wife, having heard Caitlin Moran deliver a witty and engaging promotional interview on Radio 4. The snippets my wife shared with me while she read it were enough to convince me to buy a copy for myself and I wasn't disappointed.

The autobiographical side works far better than the feminist side in my opinion, and herein lie the many highlights. Moran's older sister displays a tremendous array of put-downs and one-liners that frequently had me in stitches, and there are some great stories about, in particular, pubic hair and red wine spillages (unconnected, I might add).

If you're looking to be entertained by a genuinely funny and clever writer, this is definitely worth checking out.
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on 25 May 2015
I really enjoyed this book and have been thinking for the last couple of days of how my review would read. I found it hard to get into with the autobiographical content on her childhood but a couple of chapters in, I found it most intriguing and found the content resonated with me. Subtle sexism, comments made that you have to stop and think about, all made me reflect on my own experiences.

How as a woman, that is nearly leaving her 30s, there is sometimes a feeling, some pressure of fitting into a particular ideal and/or behaving in a particular way. However, Caitlin hit the nail on the head right at the end of 'how to be a woman' and with my 40th birthday approaching at the end of the year, I find I give less f**ks about what others think. Truly, the more I navigate through my life the more I love and value quality people and experiences.

Overall a good book from a writer that aligns with my own views and it's great to read which I will recommend to friends and family!
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on 3 July 2013
I am writing this some time after having read the book so will not comment in great detail - more about the impressions it has left with me. I was urged to read it by a friend. Caitlin Moran is roughly half way in age between myself and my three daughters, so I was interested to see what a book that seemed to have spoken to the younger generation might say to them and to me too. I read it, then passed it on to them.
My point of view is of someone who would call myself a feminist, definitely, but have seen my daughters massively turned off the term by what they regard as a po-faced, lugubrious, kill-joy, man-hating etc etc feminism, though they are perfectly able to see that in a world context, with all the issues for women out there, feminism is still a necessary force.
I enjoyed the book's light, experiential approach and it provoked excellent conversations, raising subjects humorously in a way that made sense to all of us. I liked the way Caitlin uses her own experience and writes about every day things (one of my daughters, on the strength of that book, went out defiantly to buy 'sensible' knickers instead of the uncomfortable snips of underwear so many girls seem to endure in the name of cool. So that could only be a good thing.)
This is no theoretical academic polemic, thank goodness, nor is it meant to be. Caitlin's honesty regarding her body, clothes, her attitudes to childbirth, abortion etc are all valuable and refreshing as well as accessible.
The book does not claim to cover everything - it is largely for western women. But thank goodness for someone opening up the conversation again. As Moran says, (I paraphrase) - 'which bit of women's liberation is it exactly that doesn't seem like a good thing to you?'
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance - we all need reminding.
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on 19 January 2012
I have always been a firm believer that the 'humourless feminist' is an oft-peddled sexist trope so I was thrilled to be proved right by this book which made me laugh, and laugh, and laugh. I was cringing with embarrassment and empathy throughout her depictions of growing up, falling in love, working, etc and I agree with a lot of what she says about feminism and feminist issues. The problem for me is that I think in places the book is TOO personal (e.g. Her burlesque = good, stripping = bad spiel seemed based on no research or knowledge) and I also think it's slightly disingenuous. How did a socially awkward home-schooled girl become an award-winning journalist? How did she get her first job? This is glossed over which I fond frustrating, and odd, given how personal other sections are. Overall though, smart, sassy and made me snort with laughter regularly.
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on 12 August 2016
I was sort of meh about this one having absolutely loved How to Be a Girl, I think it's a wee bit misleading to name the books so alike when one is fiction and one isn't ( no, I'm not stupid, I know the difference, I think I just hoped it might be funnier because it was of a similar name). Anyway, okay as these things go but I'm not a fan of autobiography really so maybe you shouldn't have asked me.
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