{Review} How to Be a Woman

how to be a woman

I was so excited that How to Be a Woman was available at the library, I can’t even tell you.

The apparent impact of the Our Shared Shelf bookclub on the reading world is that the book that is chosen as the selection of the month disappears from all book sources immediately, never to be seen again. I feared How to Be a Woman would simply vanish into the ethers, never to be seen again if I didn’t get it right away.

So when I realized I had accidentally requested my hold at the Fairfax library, halfway across town where I had JUST BEEN half an hour before, I must admit I despaired. Standing in the holds aisle at the Los Feliz library, I nearly gave up.

But, my knight in shining armor appeared in the shape of the librarian, who told me he thought that book had just been returned to the branch. He’d go take a look in the back. He searched for a good twenty minutes, with the help of a second staff member, and I could not believe it, but they found it.

I knew this book was going to be good right at that moment.

Thank god for Caitlin Moran, who has bravely gone where no feminist has gone before.

She’s right that for a long time, women simply haven’t been represented in many areas of the arts and in public life. This is both because we weren’t participating in these areas, but also that we were too scared to, even though it was hypothetically permitted.

I am very much in favor of us participating and the progress this book has made, simply by being written by a woman who is funny, warms my heart.

Yes, we can be funny! This is less shocking now after Tina Fey began playing Sarah Palin and once stand-up has been steadily adding really funny women to its rosters over the past decade and a half. I am so grateful. This book has helped pop culture like Bridesmaids did a number of years after- simply by showing that things can work just as well when women are the focus.

I laughed so hard I cried all my mascara all over my face on a cross country flight back to LA. I think I scared the guy in the seat next to me with my convulsions.

It is a gift, this book. No- it isn’t perfect, but I prefer it that way. It’s human and honest and fair. And it isn’t man hating either. It simply questions the status quo where, in my opinion, it deserves to be questioned.

This is a definite yes from me. For any woman. You don’t need a specific life situation to enjoy it, but it is good if you’d like a laugh or to dig into feminism in a book that isn’t an academic approach.

I hope more writers follow her lead and take on the topic from this angle. I can’t wait to read more of her work.

Anyone else read How to Be a Woman? Thoughts? Comments? Read any of the rest of Caitlin Moran’s books? Do share in the comments.

Further Exploring

  • April 20, 2016 - 08:43

    Dal - This is definitely on my list! I’d get it from the library but I usually end up paying more in fines than the books actually cost! Maybe one for next month’s book club??ReplyCancel

    • April 22, 2016 - 18:48

      Caroline - Might be a great one for the book club… hmm. I had picked a novel for May based on the survey I took and was thinking memoir for June. Shall we do it? I was also considering Patti Smith’s M Train, which I have been dying to read. Another idea would be to have each person pick their own memoir by a woman who inspires them and share what they learned. Oooh. I think that might be it. You saw it happen right here, lady!ReplyCancel

      • April 25, 2016 - 12:00

        Dal - Go with what feels right for the group ~ if they want a novel then go for it! Be a good one for June. Yeah, like the idea of picking own memoire and sharing it with group, we’ll get introduced so many other inspirational people that way.ReplyCancel

        • April 25, 2016 - 17:30

          Caroline - Excellent! I’m excited about the next novel… and I think choose your own memoir June will be exciting. 🙂ReplyCancel

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