How to Be a Woman

How to Be a Woman

by Caitlin Moran
3.7 79


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How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

The New York Times bestseller, now available in paperback—“Half memoir, half polemic, and entirely necessary,” (Elle UK) Caitlin Moran’s debut—an instant runaway bestseller in the UK—puts a new face on feminism, cutting to the heart of issues with an irreverent, transcendent, and hilarious touch.

“Caitlin Moran is the profane, witty and wonky best friend I wish I had. She’s the feminist rock star we need right now.”
—Ayelet Waldman, author of Bad Mother

“Caitlin Moran is so fabulous, so funny, so freshly feminist. I don’t want to be like her—I want to be her.”
 —Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Caitlin Moran puts a new face on feminism, cutting to the heart of women’s issues today with her irreverent, transcendent, and hilarious How to Be a Woman. “Half memoir, half polemic, and entirely necessary,” (Elle UK), Moran’s debut was an instant runaway bestseller in England as well as an Amazon UK Top Ten book of the year; still riding high on bestseller lists months after publication, it is a bona fide cultural phenomenon. Now poised to take American womanhood by storm, here is a book that Vanity Fair calls “the U.K. version of Tina Fey’s Bossypants….You will laugh out loud, wince, and—in my case—feel proud to be the same gender as the author.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062124296
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/17/2012
Edition description: Original
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 85,241
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Caitlin Moran's debut book, How to Be a Woman, was an instant New York Times bestseller. How to Build a Girl is her first novel since the one she wrote at fourteen, which doesn't count.

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How to Be a Woman 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 79 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a terrific, provocative and thought provoking book on feminisim and all things, "woman," in general; however, it is not for everyone's tastes. ***If you are easily offended by four letter words on a broad, or body-specific basis--you'll probably want to stay away. Moran is an intelligent, articulate writer, but she gleefully embraces her vulgarities, even defending her use of one particularly offensive word. While the language can be blunt, it simply comes across as being HER, her personality and her view of womanhood; for me, it did not come across as a blatant attempt to be shocking--it's just who she is, her experience. I found it alternately appropriate, funny and question-raising; I had no problem with it--but some readers might. ***As Moran is English, based in London and the book was originally published there--there are many references to British personalities, pop culture and every day life that some readers will not be familiar with. If it's bothersome, be prepared to do some Googling. ***A feminist-treatise, this is also a memoir; Moran is "no holds barred" on her personal revelations. At times, this reads as "TMI" with raw, humiliating, cringe-worthy recounts of her coming of age: as one of 8 kids she relates, with brutal honesty, the traumas of being welfare-poor to the point her hand-me-downs included her mother's old underpants and the stifling lack of privacy. ***Her sister, Caz, emerges as a prize scene-stealing supporting character--some of the best lines are from her ***Moran is a wickedly funny, highly intelligent writer and thinker; don't assume because this book is funny, it's not serious. It tackles everything from body image/hair/functions, to sex, marriage, kids and abortion. It is a perfect read for discussion with your closest friends as Moran talks about these subjects in intimate ways that many of us wish we could emmulate. I find her views refreshing and bold--and comforting: it reminds us that being a woman--struggling to come into our womanhood--is traumatic, often gross, humilating and heartbreaking. Yet Moran reminds us we are not alone in our "female" struggles and ultimately, to find joy, in who and what we are. Not for everyone's taste, but for those who jump in--I think you will enjoy the ride--this is a worthwhile read that absolutely needs to be discussed, laughed over, and debated.
SC_Paula More than 1 year ago
Caitlin Moran's How To Be a Woman is wildly funny and at the same time a great introduction to a modern idea of what it means to be a feminist. To quote the author, "a. Do you have a vagina? and b. Do you want to be in charge of it? If you said "yes" to both, then congratulations! You're a feminist." Moran tackles everything from menstruation to masturbation, hair removal, underwear size, and abortion in a very honest and hilarious fashion. As a side note, I learned about this book when Caitlin and Jenny Lawson aka The Blogess (who is also ridiculously funny and the author of Let's Pretend This Never Happened) interviewed each other.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an unapologetic feminist rant, wrapped in an entertaining autobiography. It treats some very important issues with thought-provoking comments, but also is peppered with a good deal of humor. There are some really important take-away messages that nicely summarize the situation for women and our place in society. I really liked how she suggested that asking simple questions could help assess important problems like harassment and oppression/inequality: "is that polite?" and "are the men doing this?" There is a lot of strong language that may be off-putting to some readers, and as the author is from the U.K. there is some usage that may be unfamiliar to US readers. In addition, there is quite a bit of slang that may be unfamiliar to readers who are not as steeped in popular culture, but it does not interfere with the reading of the book (and can be entertaining to look up). This is the sort of book that our daughters should read and consider, but it might be better (depending on the daughter's age) if we didn't know they were reading it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For me, this book was a revelation. It didn't move anyone out of my "top ten" list, but I hope my daughters read it when they are 18ish. they are strident feminists at age 6 and 9. ya know....because that's how all kids are strident feminists. which is the exact thing about this book that causes me to call it a revelation. feminism isn't something you aspire too, or want. being a feminist isn't something you become. it's the opposite of feminism that's unnatural and enforced on us by people that don't have our best interests at heart. we are all born with the tools. they get taken away. this book helped me realize that I don't want those tools taken away from my kids. for that reason, I think *you* should read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everyone, male or female, should read this book. Funny, fierce, and relevant as hell. The cover says it's a British Bossypants, but its much funnier, and more important, than that. Mixes memoir, humor, and polemic in a wonderfully readable way. Yeah, if you're squeamish and too precious for profanity it probably won't be your cup of tea. But women's bodies and lives are messy and real, and the way women's bodies and lives are cheapened and commodified, especially by the pronography industry, deserves to be called the bull**** that it is. Caitlin Moran comes across as someone you'd love to have a pint or two with down at the pub.
kd-did47 More than 1 year ago
No, it's not Jenny Lawson - she's a different kind of funny. This has some similar moments BUT is more of memoir/polemic. Happy to see feminism is alive and well in the world. Definitely worth reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hilarious, she hits the nail on the head with her witty and somtimes sobering insights!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Moran is hilarious and accurate about the journey to being a woman. I find myself giggling at her childhood stories as i think back to my own experiences when growing up. Love love love!
enigmaticblue More than 1 year ago
I very much enjoyed this book. It was funny and smart, and I wish I'd read it when I was 18, and still wondering what it meant to be a woman. This isn't a how-to guide; it's an honest memoir and a hard look at what society tells us being a woman is all about.
Charlize_Manson More than 1 year ago
As a young woman who is just starting to make her way in the world and figure out what it really MEANS to be a woman, this book made a perfect gift for me. While it is definitely not for everyone,and not an feminist manifesto like most people had hopes for, it';s a very honest, anecdotal memoir that taught me a lot about things no woman in my life ever really bothered to teach me. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gee I wonder if i can learn Something from this book guess ill have to read an d find out
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One woman's funny and honest (sometimes painfully so) account of her experience as a woman. If you are on the prudish side this book is not for you.
StaticGirl More than 1 year ago
Funny, intelligent and relate-able.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure what I expected when I bought this book, but it wasn't what I got. Throughout most of this book, I was either shaking my head sadly, giggling madly or sighing in relief because I wasn't the only one who has gone through that situation.
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DebSimon More than 1 year ago
I had the misfortune of reading the first chapter, then deleted this book from my Nook. Although 'How to Be a Woman' had good reviews, and categorized as humorous woman's biography, it's certainly not humorous. To summarize what I read: It is about growing up in a clinically dysfunctional family; and young child's bazaar, obsessive compulsive, non-typical sexual behavior which began at age 13. There should be a label on the cover of this book noting that it is x-rated.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
knobren More than 1 year ago
This book is more-or-less an autobiographical account of how Caitlin Moran discovered what going through adolescence and into married, childbearing years has meant to her as a woman.  She gives plenty of funny anecdotes about her youth and young adult life.  Ms. Moran uses these anecdotes to discuss her views of feminism covering a variety of topics from sexuality, personal hygiene, institutionalized sexism, the extra costs of women's clothes, shoes, haircuts, hygiene products, etc., being expected to have kids, parental duty sharing, abortion, etc.   There is a fair amount of crude language.  Furthermore, American readers may not be aware of who some of her pop-cultural references are or know that "fags" are cigarettes in Britain or some of the other vernacular.  Also, I think that younger women are more likely to relate to Ms. Moran's musician references and personal grooming topics.
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