I blitzed through this book in two sittings – Caitlin’s style of writing is so similar to my own way of speaking that it genuinely felt as though I was reading chapters of a diary I had long forgotten I’d written.
Her easy wit and outlandish humour shine throughout the book, while hitting hard on larger feminist issues (as well as more trivial ones), to the point where I found myself laughing out loud and exclaiming, ‘Same!’ every few minutes or so.
From page two of the book, I hastily grabbed my nearest notebook and pen, to jot down phrases and sentences that either tickled me or struck a particular chord …
Something that made me chuckle, and made me feel a bit better about myself, was Caitlin’s attitude towards ‘bitching’:
“When did feminism become Buddhism? Why on earth have I, because I’m a woman,
got to be nice to everyone?”
I’ll be honest: I love having a good gossip and a bitch – over cocktails, if possible – and I’d always felt bad about it, as a feminist.
But Caitlin’s rational argument has silenced my inner critics – there is an expectation that women should be kinder, sweeter, and generally more saccharine than men.
So my gossipy, bitchy nature is simply a subconscious act of feminism!
Now to totally contradict myself: one part of the book that I didn’t enjoy was the 8-page tirade against Katie Price.
Part of me was gleefully giggling while reading this section (the part of me that laughed when I was shown a video of my three-year-old niece falling off a swing), but another part of me felt it was unnecessary, and… mean (the part of me that still cries at The Lion King).
Bitching over cocktails is one thing, but publishing a book with a lengthy segment tearing a specific person apart? Harsh.
Overall, I did enjoy reading this book, and consider it fundamental reading for any feminists out there – male, female, non-binary, and however, you identify.
My key takeaway is that I now have a new feminist role model, to add to my ever-growing roster: Lady Gaga.
Here’s another brilliantly-phrased thought to leave you with, and to tantalise your tastebuds:
“It’s difficult to see the glass ceiling because it’s made of glass.”
How to Be a Woman is available at October Books and at all good bookshops (RRP £9.99)