More Than a Woman by Caitlin Moran comes nine years after her bestselling How to Be a Woman which I, and many of you, absolutely loved. Can she pull it off a second time? Yes, I think so! More Than a Woman is a slightly more serious book and has fewer scream-out-loud-laughing moments (or perhaps it’s me) than its predecessor but is still very funny. Life for Moran, as for most of us, has got a bit more serious with age. She too has got wiser with time and has some very worthwhile reflections around womanhood, parenting, feminism and marriage that are not only entertaining but ring true. Perfect comfort reading.
Whereas in How to Be a Woman, Moran discussed that pros and cons of genital shaving, here we’re on to ‘maintenance shags’. Having turned 45, Moran is definitively in a different stage of life, and that’s what’s great about this book. It’s like having a friend growing older ‘next’ to you. She talks about teenage parenting, ailing parents, being a working mum, marriage, ageing, sisterhood, eating disorders (a moving chapter based on her own daughter), beauty ideals, clothes that don’t fit anymore, why you can have Botox and still call yourself a feminist and lots more and manages to be both sincere and entertaining.
Moran’s genius is in her practical approach to feminism. There’s nothing academic about it, but she’s clearly thought about the issues, from both side of the gender divide, and comes up with some clear-sighted and thought-provoking observations, also from the male perspective. Why are so many men starting to feel left behind? What does it feel like to walk down a street at night and automatically instil fear in the woman walking ahead of you?
Reading Moran’s books is like chatting to that empathic, clever, funny, well-meaning friend who comes up with all the right advice, at just the right time. And, yes, going to John Lewis ‘to touch all the folded towels’ might be the solution to one of your trickiest problems. You’ll need to read this book to find out which one.
More Than a Woman by Caitlin Moran is published by Ebury Press, 288 pages.