Book Review: How to Be a Woman

moran_how to be a woman

Part memoir and part guide book, How to be a Woman by Catilin Moran was recommended to me by some clever woman on NPR. Moran takes a refreshingly realistic approach to feminism in the modern world, combing through her own uniquely-female trials and tribulations. Moran’s topics range from personal anecdotes regarding her first bra, into deeply personal self-realizations about sexism, and shockingly honest accounts of her pregnancies.

Most remarkable in the book is Moran’s take on the subtle standards of femininity in this modern world: she addresses the unspoken assumption that women are “losers” – that is, unequal to our male counterparts after years of physical inferiority and therefore oppression – and goes so far as to suggest that in today’s world, a woman’s most crushing enemy is, tragically, other women.

This culture of intra-sexism is troubling. Perhaps motivated by the first-world demand to remain forever young, taut, and beautiful, an upsetting competitive atmosphere has settled among the fairer sex, be it in the workplace, at the bar, or within social circles. Moran proposes a return to an age in which men aren’t necessarily seen as a common enemy, but in which women can once again support one another’s desires to be strong or sexy or intellectual or tough.

Here at helloluvvy, we see this “female vs. female” attitude as adjustable. The only way to understand this phenomenon is to study it, and by doing so study ourselves. This very theory is what lead me to writing this first book review. How to Be a Woman is bold and witty but also striking in its accuracy; any woman who has ever given thought to her place in the world as defined by her gender will appreciate its candor and humor.


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