How To Be A Woman, Chapter 2 Review

I started reviewing Caitlin Moran’s book How To Be A Woman and its individual chapters on my other blog a while back. Then things and life got in the way and I got sidetracked and stopped the reviews. But I’m back and here is my Chapter 2 Review of How To Be A Woman. On my other blog you can find the Prologue Review and Chapter 1 Review if you want to play catch up.

Photo by Carol Marks

In Chapter 2, titled I Become Furry!, (Lord help me get past these first few chapters) Caitlin decides to share with us about, well, women’s body hair. I promise ya’ll, it calms down and gets a little more serious and to the point (but still funny) in Chapter 4.

Nonetheless, let us carry on with the Chapter 2 review. Apparently Ms Moran comes from a very close knit family where they all change clothes in front of each other. It is in the opening of chapter 2 where she has just taken a bath, wrapped herself up in a towel, and then saunters out to the living room where everyone is gathered watching television in their very small home, and it is here that Caitlin changes into her night gown. This is where it happens, where her whole family notices that the 13-year old Caitlin Moran has finally sprouted pubic hair. And then goes on to point it out to everyone else in the room, announcing Caitlin’s beginning signs of womanhood.

She doesn’t tell us why, except maybe for inclination that she doesn’t want to grow up, but she vows to take care of this whole pubic hair mess the next time she takes a bath. She steals her Dad razor and, well, the cycle begins.

After this bizarre humorous story is introduced to us, then Caitlin starts in with telling us that this is one of the first preoccupations of womanhood – HAIR. She deduces that decisions must be made out this (what to do with all of our hairs) so that we can signal to the world who we are, or what type of woman we are, or something like that.

Hair in the wrong place: legs, underarms, upper lip, chin, arms, nipples, cheeks, and across the sundry contours of our pelvis. Against this hair, lifelong wars of attrition are waged. It informs the ebb and flow of the day-to-day life – the scheduling of events. Sometimes, the entire course of a woman’s life.

The above quote is from page 42 from How To Be A Woman, Chapter 2

Photo by Carol Marks

She goes on to talk about the timelines of hair management when it comes to things like sexual encounters (trying to get the timing down for a proper waxing before a potential sexual encounter) and then there are things like self-tanning and the timing of a when a wax will be needed. So you see, there is a lot of thought that needs to go into the whole business of our body hair.

While Caitlin tries to make fun of societies stance on pubic hair, she does have a great point and I think this is where I finally have to say that I agree with her and the first inkling that I, too, just might be a feminist.

I know, seems kind of silly to start proclaiming myself a feminist over pubic hair. But it is just the beginning. For the record, I don’t care what you do with your body hair but what I do care is what Caitlin talks about later in the chapter about how we have succumbed to the notion that having a child’s vagina makes us a sanitary human being.

Why do we women fall under the spell of what society and mainstream media portrays? This is what, to me, Caitlin wants us to think about and ask ourselves. “The industry-standard pop-video crotch shots of girls in bikinis make it very, very clear: there should be nothing there.” And so we women go right along with it.

All I have to say about this is –  go get the book and then go to page 44 and look up paragraph three (where she refers to a Brazilian) for Caitlin’s response, and right on it is! I have always thought the same thing but Caitlin was brave enough to pen it in a book!

Of course, later in the chapter she talks about pornography and body hair. I’ll just let you hash that one out for yourself. You can probably surmise what that is all about and I’ll just leave you to do so.

Next Monday is Chapter 3 – I Don’t Know What To Call My Breasts!

What are you reading?

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