10 Lessons in Feminism from Caitlin Moran

By Emma Dahlgren

This summer, I read Caitlin Moran’s book, How to Be a Woman. At first, I thought it was super weird because within the first few chapters you find out more than you ever needed to know about her first period, first pubic hairs, etc. However, the book is amazing in the way she tells an autobiographical story intertwined with her feminist viewpoints, showing how she came to her conclusions about sexism and feminism. I was really influenced by some of the points she made, so here are a few I would like to share with you:

1. Sexism isn’t so obvious anymore, it’s become sneaky so people can get away with it because you don’t know if they’re being sexist or are just stupid. Because of this, instead of thinking about sexism, we should just be calling people out on their bad manners. Let’s just all work on being polite to each other, and if someone’s not, then tell them that they were rude, not sexist. They can argue about whether or not they were being sexist, but if you point out their rudeness, there’s not much to argue about.

2. Our sexist world has decided that women are not allowed to have hair on their bodies, and we spend way too much of our time and money trying to remove it. Instead of spending money on a bikini wax, I think I’ll just choose to look like a full-grown woman. When it comes to hair removal, do whatever makes you happy/confident, but remember that you shouldn’t have to get anything ripped out just to feel “normal”.

3. Porn isn’t inherently bad, but the way it’s made right now is sexist and gives men/boys unrealistic expectations in relationships. Women can enjoy porn too, but it has to change a little first.

4. Fat is the worst thing you can be. Except not really, so an insult about how fat someone is shouldn’t carry as much weight (no pun intended) as it does. As Caitlin Moran puts it, we should all just be “human shaped” and anything beyond human shaped, where you are obsessively toning yourself to perfection, is kind of bullshit.

5. Women being seen as inferior is not based on man’s deep hatred of women, but on the fact that we are technically the weaker sex. Therefore, since the beginning of time, women have been seen as the “losers”, and men, the “winners”. We’ve spent so much time being prejudiced against, that we haven’t really done anything to prove that we are just as good as men until very recently in history. So let’s get on that, ladies.

6. Strip clubs are just gigantic metaphors for misogyny. It is not fucking empowering to women. Recently, articles have come out saying how girls are stripping to pay their bills to attend college, and somehow that’s supposed to just end the whole argument. Girls with brains are doing it, so it must be okay. But if girls really have to resort to stripping to pay for college, and boys obviously don’t have to do that, then that’s an issue in itself and needs to be resolved.

7. You do not have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on your wedding, and it probably will not be the best day of your entire life. Don’t freak out about your wedding. Just ask yourself, is it more important to me that I marry this person, or is it more important that this wedding is the most amazing thing people have ever seen. If you choose the wedding, you might need to take a closer look at your priorities.

8. There are many pros and cons to having kids. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. You have inherent worth just by being a productive woman. You don’t have to have a baby, but if you want to, then that’s great because it can be super fulfilling. It’s your choice.

9. Abortion is also your choice. If you think that you won’t be able to love a child the way they should be loved, and if you can’t give them the good home they need, then don’t have the baby. And you don’t have to feel guilty about it, either.

10. Women don’t want to take over the world with feminism. We just want our share. We don’t want men to go away, and they can basically keep doing exactly what they’re doing. We just want a chance.

I hope this post makes you think about your own beliefs, and I also hope it has inspired you to read Caitlin Moran’s book. It is honestly one of the funniest books I have ever read, and so informative.  Thanks for reading!

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