Wednesday, December 25, 2013

How To Be a Woman

My goal is to read 100 books by the end of 2013.  I just finished book 91.

How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

Summary (via Goodreads):
Though they have the vote and the Pill and haven't been burned as witches since 1727, life isn't exactly a stroll down the catwalk for modern women.  They are beset by uncertainties and questions: Why are they supposed to get Brazilians?  Why do bras hurt?  Why the incessant talk about babies?  And do men secretly hate them?
Caitlin Moran interweaves provocative observations on women's lives with laugh-out-loud funny scenes from her own, from the riot of adolescence to her development as a writer, wife, and mother.  With rapier wit, Moran slices right to the truth - whether it's about the workplace, strip clubs, love, fat, abortion, popular entertainment, or children - to jump-start a new conversation about feminism.  With humor, insight, and verve, How To Be a Woman lays bare the reasons female rights and empowerment are essential issues not only for women today but also for society itself.

My Opinion:
I love hearing all sorts of opinions, as long as the person sharing them realizes they're just opinions and it's okay to agree/disagree with them.  When opinions are presented as facts and anyone who disagrees is ridiculed, I'm done.  If I want to be preached to, I know where to go; I don't need it to sneak up on me in a book.
While some chapters were better than others (I especially liked "I Am In Love!"), my overall opinion is that I just read a 301 page sermon.
Although her intentions seem to be good, I don't think the author is as doing as much for feminism as she thinks she is.  Giving up the list of stereotypical "do's and don'ts" is a great idea; the problem is that she then inserts her own list of "do's and don'ts".  I admit my instinct was to begin naming the expectations of hers that I disagreed with but that's hypocritical and unproductive, so I will just say the way her opinions were presented led me to feel extremely judged when I disagreed with them.  Since most of the women I know may have similar disagreements, I can't recommend this book to them; feeling judged is extremely unpleasant.

Quote from the Book:
"But the problem with battling yourself is that even if you win, you lose."

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