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18 February 2013

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I for one am glad you decided to go ahead and write about this because you remind me of one of the things I really liked about this book. I really liked how complicated and personal it was. I agreed with her about some things and not others. I felt some of her views were idiosyncratic, and her arguments were sometimes ragged around the edges. But it made me think about how my own opinions are sometimes a little ragged and sloppy and very much affected by my background and circumstances. (My views on abortion, for example, are like that. Both the act of abortion and the prospect of making it illegal elicit in me a feeling of revulsion. Complicated is the right word.)

This post wasn't boring or overlong! I agree with your title, being a woman is complicated and this book is kinda complicated, too. I really like Caitlin Moran and the funny bits in this book were very funny. And there were a lot of them. But there were also some extremely serious chapters (the abortion chapter, the chapter about the abusive boyfriend). Ultimately, I decided to treat this more as a memoir of Caitlin's life. And wow, she really puts it all out there.

I plan to read Moranthology soon. I am hoping that is more of the funny stuff, because that's what I am looking for from her.

I'm really glad you wrote about this book, so next time you think about whether to write long about a conflicted book, I say do it.

I read this book awhile ago, and although I had a reaction to the Abortion chapter I don't think I wrote about it explicitly when I reviewed the book (which I think maybe was a mistake). I'm not necessarily anti-abortion, but I've always thought it should be an extreme choice, a choice of last resort. Moran's choice just felt so out of the norm of how I expect people to talk and think about abortion that I didn't know how to react exactly.

But I also think that's part of her point, that we have to talk about sticky things and, as you say, continue to have a conversation. So, I'm glad to wrote about this as part of your thoughts on the book.

Wow. I'd heard some mixed things about this book, but now I've definitely give it a chance. However, I won't be continuing reading this blog. Anti-abortion? Sure bet I'll never be taking your opinion seriously ever again.

I never made it to the strip club chapter which is too bad because it sounds like a good one. I gave up after she wrote about tasting her menstrual blood. I am glad I quit though since we just celebrated the first birthday of my niece (3rd child and an OPPS). It is real hard for my sister. Both parents work full-time, not enough money to cover all the bills, never enough sleep and a 3-year old not happy at all that none of the birthday gifts were for him, but they make it work. They have to an abortion was never ever an option.

"Next time I face this dilemma of whether or not to bore you with an overlong post on a book I'm conflicted about, I'll decide against, I promise."

I do not concur! This was a great post. Hey, if we can't disagree with ourself (so to speak) about the value of a book, how can we disagree with others? It's nice to have a reminder that it's okay to be conflicted. There's a little too much of people being absolutely sure that they're right going on already in our world.

And I'm right with you on the abortion issue and the war issue. I suspect a lot of people are, but the media doesn't recognize gray areas, it seems to me, so we may never know about the others who think like us.

The media is probably for abortion and for war.

That's just a guess. I try not to watch the media.

CR! This book met a need, providing a new way to think about strip clubs. I have tried to see them from your point of view in the past. Of course, I always just thought they were creepy, but then I read Gig, which you suggested, and I recall a section in there that just made the whole thing seem...well, the simple word for it is SAD, for everyone seems so desperate.

So glad to see the post. No sun and no CR - how can we photosynthesize?

SWG,
Well, yes, some of the early chapters did contain TMI--I didn't really need to hear so much about her discovering masturbation, but that's just me. I did wish she'd moved some of the more sensible chapters--like the one on not spending tens of thousands of dollars on your wedding--up just a bit in the narrative, but that was a small squabble.

Happy birthday to your niece and I certainly wish your sister's family good luck and lots more sleep soon. Oh, and a couple of raises for both of them. :)

Maria,
Well, sometimes I don't like to dish too much on personal issues or deal-breakers and how much they can affect my reading tastes. But periodically I do think, yes, it's a good reminder that all of these issues come into play when reading and "conversing" with these authors. I did already make the choice once not to blog on this sort of issue--I had the exact same reaction, almost, to Ayelet Waldman's "Bad Mother," for the exact same reason.

It's a good point, also, to remember that a lot of times we still don't know what others believe. More conversations, less war, I say.

I started this book, but didn't get even as far as you did. I found it somewhat entertaining, but nothing I wanted to put several hours into. Oh well. By the way, I'm anti-war and anti-abortion too...it does make it hard to vote.

Firmly pro-choice (but anti-war) over here. But I think I will skip this book anyway (I kinda already knew that strip clubs are sad, sad places). I have heard all kinds of good things about her other book Moreanthology, but figured it would be too British for me to "get".

Don't apologize for unloading. It is after all, your blog and I think your followers like you for your unvarnished opinion. I know I do, even if I don't always agree. Some bloggers seem to operate under the "if you can't say something nice" protocol about books they review, which does their readers a disservice, I think.

Of course, it is a little different with fiction, but I occasionally have guilt issues with reading books from authors who seem to be "not nice people"; VS Naipaul and Orson Scott Card immediately come to mind.

Firstly--I'll post about this too, but thanks to everyone who posted comments and didn't initially have them show up. For some reason my software was stripping everyone out as spam. Stellar--it lets all the spam through (I have to delete it) and marks as spam everyone's real comments. So sorry about that.

Ruthiella! HA! When I worked in a public library, I would jump through hoops not to recommend Naipaul or Card. They're both excellent writers but nasty people.

Remind to write a book called "Confessions of a Failed Southern Librarian" with this tidbit included.

Teresa,
I'm glad I wrote about it too. The comments have been so educational. I agree there was a lot to like here--I really liked Moran's forthright style and of course I love the British sense of humor. And I love that she tackled stuff straight on--we need more of that, even if it is messy and complicated.

Pinkybooks,
I agree, when Moran was funny, she was really funny. And perhaps the book needed the serious stuff to make you appreciate her approach even more. Do pop back in and let us know what you think of Moranthology if you read it!

Kim,
Thanks for commenting! I'll have to pop over and see what you had to say about this one. I think any decision not to talk about certain chapters here is a valid one too--for instance, the abortion chapter was just such a small part of the book as a whole. You always have to make choices about which aspect of a book to talk about--or whether to talk about a book or not. As noted before, I had a similar reaction to Ayelet Waldman's "Bad Mother" and just didn't have the energy to get into it. Huh. Maybe I have more energy now, or I always felt like a bit of a coward for not reviewing the Waldman.

Celine,
Hey, if this makes you pick up the book, I'm okay with that. Pop back in and let us know what you think of it. And I'm okay with your not taking me seriously too--I'm used to it. When you're fairly leftist with this one very non-leftist opinion you get used to people thinking you're slightly cracked.

Oh Donna,
I'm kind of glad to hear it, I feel less alone. At least you understand my voting dilemma. And I understand starting this book and not finishing it--I almost didn't make it past the first few chapters, but eventually she really did have some interesting things to say. I'm still mulling over the strip club stuff. I told Mr. CR about that part of the book and he told me about one of the few times he had to go to such a club as part of a bachelor party--and he said, "She's right, they do just feel like really sad places."

Ruthiella,
Yes, conversation would be dull if we all agreed on everything all the time, wouldn't it?
Yeah, the "nice author" dilemma. J.D. Salinger always gives me pause, too. (And I must confess I've never read Naipaul or Card--never even had the interest, and after Naipaul picked on my beloved Diana Athill I knew better than to go anywhere near his stuff.) But again: to each their own. And frankly if we only read nice people we wouldn't have much to read, I fear (including this blog! :) )

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