Caitlin Moran talks of many “female” topics in this book : sexism, kids, relationships, expectations, feminism etc. Chapter by chapter she comes at us with her opinions, often funny – hilariously funny – but always striking a chord. This is her experience and all of her opinions of course, but you identify, you nod along, and you listen on. Whether it be about the way women are expected to be “feminine”, or the “embodiments of oxytocin” or fit a certain mould, she tells it like it is.
Moran has a rapier wit; it’s on point. It hurts to listen to some of the things she says, but they are bitingly humorous because they have fine shards of truth embedded in them. I may not agree with her on everything, but there are many, many quotes in this book that I’d like to frame and hang on walls. I will leave you with one – and here she is talking about the wedding day and its aftermath:
With stuff like this, you have to look at the men. Do they have one special day when they feel like kings of the world – and then go back to lives of quiet drudgery? No. They go off and please themselves constantly: as Germaine Greer pointed out in the The Whole Woman, they fill their spare time with pleasingly nonproductive activities like fishing, golf, listening to records, playing on the Xbox, and pretending to be goblins in World of Warcraft. They don’t have this insane, pent-up need to spend one day pretending to be Princess Diana (in the fun years, obviously. Not the throwing-yourself-down-the-stairs bit. Or the bit where Camilla came in and ruined everything).
Women, meanwhile, spend their spare time taking on the never-ending list of self-improvements or domestic tasks: housework, homework, counseling the troubled, deworming the cat, doing pelvic-floor exercises, trying to be inventive with cabbage, and exfoliating ingrowing hairs – somehow mollified by having that one “best day of their lives.”