Book Review: How to Be a Woman

by BUST Magazine


It sure isn’t easy being a girl, but Caitlin Moran’s got some pointers in her book, How To Be A Woman. In this part-memoir, part-rant, the TV critic and columnist for The Times in London takes us on a journey from puberty to motherhood. With each chapter title, she exclaims like a little kid, “I start to bleed!” “I get furry!” But don’t be fooled, this book is about more than periods and pubic hair.

Yes, Moran does her fair share of reminiscing, but she’s really looking to start a larger conversation about womanhood. She has a tendency to go on tangents, but when she stays on point, her arguments are hilarious and spot on. When questioning why there is such a lack of passion portrayed in female-friendly porn she asks, “In a world where you can get a spare kidney, a black-market Picasso, or a ticket to ride into space, why can’t I see some actual sex?” She urges women to rethink Brazilians and go “vagina retro,” and makes a good argument for why Batman might be more of a feminist role model then say, Hillary Clinton. Moran even explains the real test to decide if you’re a feminist: “Do you have a vagina and do you want to be in charge of it?”

This isn’t a self-help guide, and Moran’s not really telling you how to be a woman. Instead, she’s giving you permission to laugh: at ourselves, at her, and at anyone who thinks there’s only one way to be a woman.

($9.59 at

By Shannon Carlin

anna-paquin-cover-smallThis review appears in the June/July 2012 issue of BUST Magazine with cover girl Anna Paquin. Subscribe now.

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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