Do You Call Yourself A Feminist?

Self on 01.07.13
Contributing Writer bio

Photo: doviende/Creative Commons

Do you call yourself a feminist? Apparently only 29% of American women and 42% of British women are comfortable describing themselves as such. This is a major problem, according to British writer Caitlin Moran in her recent bestseller How To Be A Woman. She is calling for a new conversation about feminism and the need to redefine a word that is absolutely necessary for women today. Moran believes that the feminist movement did a lot for women initially, but has fallen short of its full potential because the patriarchy still mostly runs the world: “We need the only word we have ever had to describe ‘making the world equal for men and women.’” 

How To Be A Woman is hilariously funny and had me laughing out loud with almost every page. I’ve read so many paragraphs aloud to my husband that he’s practically heard the entire book by now – it’s that good! Moran tells the story of her own painful adolescence, trying to figure out the many complexities of womanhood as portrayed through books, media, movies, and the porn industry. She doesn’t shy away from controversial sexual topics that make even the most liberal of us squirm uncomfortably and she assesses each one with an unfaltering, deliberate scrutiny. Her opinions on everything from strip clubs and abortion to masturbation and vaginal waxing are sensible, enlightening, and very provocative.

This is a must-read for the modern woman. As a stay-at-home mother, I have struggled with the contradiction between considering myself a strong feminist while perpetuating a gender role that is viewed by many as patriarchal subjugation. This book has renewed my conviction that it is possible to be both a feminist and a stay-at-home mother, while providing reassurance that what I thought and felt during those painful teenage years was perfectly normal. As shocking as Moran can be at times, this book can only inspire us to be better, more understanding parents to our children, as well as more productive members of this society that needs feminism more than ever. 

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