Caitlin Moran’s book How To Be A Woman is a brilliantly funny memoir type book that also includes tips on how to be a woman, good and proper. I’m in the middle of reading it right now and it cuts straight to the heart of some very personal subjects.
Witty and wonderfully direct, Moran talks about her experiences with getting furry, heavy, and other battles she waged as a woman. She was on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross and you should really listen to her. Download it. If you can’t, read the transcript.
So here is the quick way of working out if you are a feminist: A: Do you have a vagina? And B: do you want to be in charge of it? If you said yes to both, then congratulations, you’re a feminist because we need to reclaim the word feminism. We need to reclaim the word feminism real bad.
When statistics come in saying that only 29 percent of American women would describe themselves as feminist, and only 42 percent of British women, I used to think: What do you think feminism is, ladies? What part of liberation for women is not for you? Is it the freedom to vote, the right not to be owned by the man that you marry, the campaign for equal pay, “Vogue” by Madonna, jeans? Did all that stuff just get on your nerves, or were you just drunk at the time of survey?
These days, however, I am much calmer, since I realize that it’s actually technically impossible for a woman to argue against feminism. Without feminism, you wouldn’t be allowed to have a debate on a woman’s place in society: You’d be too busy giving birth on the kitchen floor, biting down on a wooden spoon so as not to disturb the men’s card game, before going back to hoeing the rutabaga field.