25.1.13

Book Club Friday: How To Be A Woman







I’ve wanted to read How To Be A Woman for a long time. It was always full price, though, and I was too cheap to buy it. Then, I just happened to be online and found a coupon for Chapters, so into my shopping cart it went! And boy, am I ever happy that I picked it up. Err…should that be “Girl, am I ever happy that I picked it up?” After all, this is a book about feminism. Or, at least, that’s how it was advertised.


Really, I guess it is a book about feminism but not in the way I was expecting. In fact, the first three chapters read like a Chelsea Handler book, but raunchier. Yes, RAUNCHIER.


But Jennie, how is that even possible? Chelsea Handler is the pinnacle of raunchiness.


Trust me. It’s true.


I wasn’t even sure that I would keep reading because it was slightly too much. But, again, I’m happy that I pushed through because the rest is fantastic.


Here’s the deal: I’m sad with the rap that feminism has been getting lately. To be frank, I just don’t get it. I consider myself a feminist because, well, I’m a woman and feminism is about women’s rights. Are things better than they were in the past? Totally! But does that mean that I’m disinterested in keeping it that way? Not at all. And when I speak with people about feminism, the most common thing I hear is that women don’t identify with feminism because they don’t hate men. Well…neither do I! Well, not all men, anyway. Some are d-bags but, then again, so are some women. Let’s just say that I’m an equal-opportunity person hater.


But I digress. Let's get back on track, shall we?


Caitlin Moran has come up with, in my opinion, the greatest way to find out if you’re a feminist. Don’t be scared, it’s not intense, but...errr...you may want to do it in private. You'll see why in a second. 


Are you ready? Here we go.


From page 75:

Put your hand in your underpants.

(a)  Do you have a vagina?
(b)  Do you want to be in charge of it?

If you answered yes to both, then congratulations! You’re a feminist.


See? What a fantastic summation of what feminism means (to me)!
No man-hating at all! Feminism isn't about being anti-male, it's about wanting to be in charge of yourself (if you're a woman, that is).


*high five for Ms. Moran*


After the gruesome first chapters, Ms. Moran settles into a hilarious and insightful groove. In particular, Chapter 10, where she discusses her wedding. I laughed so hard at points that I had to close the book to catch my breath. Unfortunately, I was on a plane while reading said chapter and the dude next to me did not appreciate my shakiness. However, if he hadn’t been such a LARGE man, he wouldn’t have been touching me so, really, he shouldn’t have been so annoyed. Who said that you can have the ENTIRE armrest and a fifth of my personal space, buddy?


But with writing like this, how was I supposed to control myself?


From page 180:

My dad, meanwhile, has managed to spill candle wax all over his shirt and has—on the advice of others—taken it off and put it into a freezer in the kitchen, to harden the wax. He is now sitting at the table in his vest and jacket, drinking Guinness, looking bleary. My sister Col has disappeared—we find out later this is because Dad told her he’d considered having her put into care after that time she store all his Disney DVDs and power tools and sold them for drugs.

“I was only joking!” he says, eyes rolling into his head. “Or was I?”


Did I not mention earlier that this is a memoir-esque book about feminism? Well, it is and Ms. Moran has led a very colourful life which she has no shame in sharing. And that’s what makes this book so great. It’s not preachy but is very much in-your-face because, well, that's how Ms. Moran rolls. And as much as there were times where I was cringing, a few paragraphs later, I’d be laughing. So, really, it evened out.


She also has a chapter about Lady Gaga, who I think is one of the greatest role models for the new crop of women who are learning…well…how to be a woman. (Do you see what I did there? Haha!) They even hung out for a night, and it’s a fab story that’s worth reading in and of itself. Gaga is a polarizing individual but she makes people think and THAT, ladies and gentlemen, opens a dialogue. Agree, disagree, it doesn’t matter. The point is that she gets you talking. Much like How To Be a Woman, as I haven’t quite shut up since finishing (not that I often shut up, anyway, but you know what I mean). 


So pick it up, people! There’s some great stuff in there, but if you’re squeamish, I’d recommend starting with Chapter 4.


Thanks to Heather and Katie for hosting!


7 comments:

Bubblymuppet said...

Sounds hilarious :) You alway seem to pick awesome books I've never even heard of!

Jordan said...

I am not a fan of Gaga whatsoever, however, this book sounds interesting! I've never heard of it or the author. Love finding new books through this link up! Thanks for sharing :)

hemborgwife said...

I am also an equal opportunity people hater! ;)

Jasmine said...

I am a total equal opportunity hater, love Gaga and am excited to but this on the top of my to read list - thanks for the awesome review!

Leanna Vera said...

This book sounds really interesting! I just put it on my "To Read" list on goodreads. Thanks for sharing your review!

Heather said...

Raunchier than HANDLER?! My eyes can't handle it.

Can't wait to hear your thoughts on the PLL series!

Sarah E. said...

Oooh love me some Mother Monster :) RAWR!

I kept seeing this book pop up on my recommendations but no one I know had read it. Now that I finally have perspective from someone I "know" - I can safely put it on my TBR list :)