What I Am Reading: Hilarious Travels Edition

Jan 12 2013 Published by under What I'm Reading


Caitlin Moran: Champion of pubic hair

The last 3 days involved a trip to San Antonio including some airport time. To make the time go faster, I downloaded How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran, a Brit described as a mash-up of Tina Fey and Chelsea Handler. The description is apt, and time just flew!

In bits beginning with her 13th birthday, we hear of Caitlin's roots as the eldest of 7 or 8 (you lose track after a while) home-schooled children in subsidized housing to her budding discovery of womanhood and feminism.  She discusses all aspects of womanhood, including shoes (I disagree; there are comfortable walkable heels) and vaginal maintenance. Another chapter addresses her girl-crush on Lady Gaga, the best description of the appeal of the Monster-in-Chief I have read. In addition to chapters on falling in love and childbirth, another addresses her abortion. She provides a powerful prochoice viewpoint that everyone should read.

My favorite chapter involves sexism. She gets a publishing job with a music rag in the 1990's, and describes her difficulty recognizing sexism. When it's "Sleep with me or get fired" or "If you really want that promotion, you'll provide some benefits," it's easy to see the issue. Things tend to be more subtle now, and often not recognized for several hours. Your having tea a few hours later, and you suddenly realize that a comment earlier that day was sexism. What do you do now? Some issues are so subtle, they aren't even lobbed at you; they just extend like an invisible force field that prevents you from moving on. This led to my favorite quote in the book, one I shamelessly shared with any friend, acquaintance, or stranger who would listen:

It's difficult to see the glass ceiling because it's made of glass. Virtually invisible. What we need is for more birds to fly above it and shit all over it, so we can see it properly.

Looking for a fun read? Inspirational stories? And you don't mind profanity, drug use, and wanton masturbation? Find a copy of this book fast; you'll ROFL till you wet your pants (as a nephrologist, urination is a good thing) and be given food for thought as well.

One response so far

  • KK PhD says:

    I agree! This book is a great travel reading. I bought it for my sister and decided to 'read a bit of it' on the flight to see her, and ended up devouring it. I was sad to give it up!

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