Friday, 31 August 2012

Bookworm: How to be a woman by Caitlin Moran

Said to be a more comedic take on the ideas of feminism and what it means today, this book caught my eye as something different.

I'd heard of quite a few women reading it and thought it'd offer a mix in my holiday selection.

Granted I've read most of it since I got back from Thailand, it has been a good commuting companion too.

I've never really considered myself a 'feminist' as such, certainly not the stereotypical idea of one at least.

Moran starts the book by going back to her childhood and how she grew up, what she was like as a little girl. I found this real life reminiscing made me chuckle and kept thinking back to silly things I'd said, done and thought when I was young.

Throughout the book there were constantly funny moments which at times made me laugh out loud.

Yet there are also points that focus on more serious issues and create a darker feel, in particular the chapter on adoption.

Each chapter refers to either a different topic, or a different time throughout the author's life. I found the book easy to read and got through it pretty fast.

However, I did find myself confused at times as to when the writing was meant in jest and when comments were entirely serious.

In addition, I'm a pretty open minded person and certainly not easily offended, but there are references and terms used in this book which are a tad inappropriate, PC this book is not. Which again in a way is refreshing as at least the writer is not afraid to say what she thinks and constantly concerned with whether she will offend or not.

My other quibble was with the overall aim of the book - was it to mock the idea of feminism, get modern women more involved in feminism or a bit of both? I couldn't quite understand.

Often Moran's writing seemed a bit over the place and points made were contradictory.

Good points
Most of the book really did make me laugh
Interesting learning more about feminism
Easy to read

Not so great
No real point made
Contradictory writing and mixed writing style
Offensive terminology and inappropriate references used

Overall I liked the book for the bits that made me laugh and I found it a refreshing change. The writing wasn't fantastic though and parts made me feel uncomfortable with the way people in bad situations were mocked or used as an example despite their misfortunes.

Give it a go and decide for yourselves

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