How to Be A Woman

How to Be A Woman

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
Rate this:

The New York Times bestseller, now available in paperback--"Half memoir, half polemic, and entirely necessary," (Elle UK) Caitlin Moran's debut--an instant runaway bestseller in the UK--puts a new face on feminism, cutting to the heart of issues with an irreverent, transcendent, and hilarious touch.

"Caitlin Moran is the profane, witty and wonky best friend I wish I had. She's the feminist rock star we need right now."

--Ayelet Waldman, author of Bad Mother

"Caitlin Moran is so fabulous, so funny, so freshly feminist. I don't want to be like her--I want to be her."

--Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Caitlin Moran puts a new face on feminism, cutting to the heart of women's issues today with her irreverent, transcendent, and hilarious How to Be a Woman. "Half memoir, half polemic, and entirely necessary," (Elle UK), Moran's debut was an instant runaway bestseller in England as well as an Amazon UK Top Ten book of the year; still riding high on bestseller lists months after publication, it is a bona fide cultural phenomenon. Now poised to take American womanhood by storm, here is a book that Vanity Fair calls "the U.K. version of Tina Fey's Bossypants....You will laugh out loud, wince, and--in my case--feel proud to be the same gender as the author."

Publisher: New York : Harper Perennial, 2011.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
ISBN: 9780062124296
Branch Call Number: 305.4 M793


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Sep 17, 2017

I found there to be way too many Britishisms that I could not figure out from context - also, many Page 6 names that meant nothing to me so the comparisons (or whatever the reference was) made no sense to me. Also, for some reason, I thought the humor was too raw, smarmy, something off-putting. I am by no means a prude, but it seems that Brits are really really into toilet humor - and in underclothes. I found most of these essays to be too long and they became boring. I could not stay involved in descriptions of 'knickers', names for genitalia, adolescent sexual questions and fantasies that dragged on and on. I recognize that I am in the minority of readers, but this review is primarily for the aid to my memory when I try to recall if I read this book and what I thought of it. I left it after reading half of it and skimming the remaining chapters.

Jun 14, 2017

Truly excellent. Part autobiography, part examination of the many issues that women face. It's sweary, it's casual, and it's intelligent. I love her. One book and I'm totally sold. So, yes, you will find Caitlin Moran's name when you look for modern feminists, and this book on feminist lists of important texts. But there's nothing dry or difficult about this book. She covers huge topics with lightness and humour. Put it on your "Must Read" list.

Jun 02, 2017

What a joy. I'd ignore all those picky reviewers, we need more of this woman!

Marlowe Dec 06, 2016

Like Moran suggests at the end of her book, perhaps this wasn't so much a how-to work on womanhood, but a study of personhood; "as the years went on, I realised that what I really want to be, all told, is a human. Just a productive, honest, courteously treated human." We journey with Moran through her life thus far, exploring key elements that have made her the woman she is today - and as a woman, though the stories are unique to Moran, the lessons and sentiments are universally female. We have all yearned for love, acceptance, power, and understanding, finding them elusive and often disguised. Moran's wit, humor, and honesty are endearing and meaningful. I highly suggest searching out a video of Moran, so you can get a sense of her, and her amazing voice.

athompson10 Sep 14, 2016

Funny, sometimes crude and graphic. Amusing writer with some points to make.

Jun 05, 2016

I didn't find this book particularly original. Yes, the topics Moran discusses are important, but none of her perspectives were new or revelatory to me. I might have still enjoyed the book if it was well-written, but the writing style also really got on my nerves. I quickly got tired of reading SENTENCES SPELLED OUT IN ALL CAPS LIKE THIS, an overuse of exclamation points, and the use of text/IM lingo like "roflment" and "tbh" that just made me wince. There were a couple of humorous bits and thoughtful observations tucked in among all that, but taken as a whole, the book just really annoyed me. Would not recommend.

Apr 09, 2015

Excellent book , a must read for everyone male and female .Funny, insightful, educational .Wish I'd had this book at 16 .Thanks Caitlin.

Mar 26, 2015

Couldn't finish it ... OK, but not the greatest writer. I think viewing some of her interviews online is a better use of time.

FindingJane Oct 24, 2014

Ms. Moran is a funny, ribald and strident feminist (her words). But if that were all she had going for her she’d be no different than dozens of other ballsy ladies who’ve written just how much more fun it is to buy clothes that fit their sagging bodies instead of going to the gym obsessively.

Ms. Moran instead uses her considerable intelligence to dig deeply into the question of why exactly women haven’t produced great composers, architects, painters, etc., on the same scale as men. She points out in scathing terms why it’s not liberating being a pole dancer or stripper and reveals—surprise!—that high-heeled shoes can’t be worn by anybody, even the models who are paid to sell them.

She can state with equal conviction why a woman should or should not have children and support both sides without coming into conflict or wearying the reader with heavy-handed polemic. Some of her English colloquialisms can produce head-scratching perplexity (what exactly is a Womble?) but she’s English; accept it and move on.

Her viewpoints are refreshing, thought provoking and laugh-out-loud funny. Her photo on the back shows a slightly heavy-set woman with a rumpled cardigan over a polka-dotted dress, heavy leggings and pull-up Frye boots. She looks just like an ordinary gal and her book makes her sound like somebody you’d want as a friend, the kind who’ll help you with the kids and then go out with you to the pub to get roaring drunk. Where was she when I was growing up?

Aug 07, 2014

I am a man. I read this book. It inspired me to remember I have never had a discussion with a woman about what it is like to be a woman. On page 11 she indicates women don't even talk to women about being women.

I thought it was excellent and being so funny quite accessible. I think I will read it again some time soon.

As for those worried about her crassness and her as a poor role model it seems to me women are crass but they hide it behind their "good girl" facade. As far as "role model" give her a break - did you not read the part about her upbringing? How would you have made out if you had grown up in her circumstances. She survived and became quite successful - that speaks for itself. I think your concerns are overblown. Plus she is not expecting to be a role model and is actually quite self-depricating if you can actually read it without your filters. I recommend it heartily even if just because it is SO FUNNY. Read it.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

Jan 15, 2013

taylrmari thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

MomoT Nov 20, 2011

MomoT thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at MCPL

To Top