Thoughts on Caitlin Moran’s ‘How to be a Woman’ / Defining myself I
Similar to many other females at my age, I’m trying to work out who I am. Currently, I’m at the weird crossroad, between girl and woman, teenager and adult, education and the real word. Most the time that’s fine; I kind of enjoy the freedom of not having a determined plan, the world is my oyster as some would say. But with my penultimate summer holiday before graduation/grown up life coming up, I’m trying to whittle down a few of my possibilities.
One thing is for certain: I am a feminist. It seems daft that in the 21st Century I feel like I have to shout it out there but, alas, lad culture has almost vilified the idea of feminism until it becomes a type of woman who ‘can’t take a joke,’ and is hormonally unstable. I decided to couple my feminist beliefs and slight confusion as to what I’m doing right now, and borrow a copy of Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman. I guess I was hoping for some witty pointers, or an inspiration on the direction I want to take (i.e. a guide how to become Caitlin Moran, I am quite a fan).
Whilst I’m only halfway through, there’s a niggling question that’s always at the back of my mind, every page turned, chapter completed, this little niggle is there, repeating itself. And the question is:
WHY DID THIS BOOK HAVE TO BE WRITTEN?
Not, why did it take so long, or why is this so brilliant, but why did it have to be written and published, ever?
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should not read it, I feel the exact opposite and believe it should be compulsory for absolutely everyone, in the world, ever.
No, I’m trying to channel is my disgust that we are part of a culture, that in the 21st century, still needs to identify the disparities between the genders. For an example, read www.everydaysexism.com, seriously, this is ridiculous.
Nearly everyone who has read Caitlin Moran’s book should agree with me in that it is not revolutionary, it is not new, nor is it different. It is logical. Simple as that. Everything in it is just kind of… obvious. Every single point has me nodding like a bobbing head dog; these ideas should be innate in all of femalekind! So why do we need a writer to address this? Why did all these problems of sexism not disappear after Germaine Greer? Or Simone de Beauvoir? Or Emmeline Pankhurst? Joan of Arc? Whilst I may not follow some of these women’s ideas 100%, I still respect that they were women and just did what they wanted (to put it in a really basic way).
This post doesn’t really have much direction, I guess you could call it a rant, or just a vague stab at trying to address the problems of patriarchy. But I genuinely want to pose the question, why does society still need revelations from the world of women? It’s been more than 90 years since we were granted the vote, and we have been populating the planet for as long as populace has existed, so why, still, are women circumscribed by the fact that they are a woman? Why do men still feel this superiority over us? Why can’t we just be?