Thursday, 7 April 2016

Book Review: Moranifesto by Caitlin Moran

Hello my lovely readers!

I was never really aware of who Caitlin Moran was, but after reading How to Be a Woman, I was hooked. One day, I nearly left Waterstones without buying anything, until out of the corner of my eye I saw Moranifesto and knew I had to have it immediately.

Title: Moranifesto

Author: Caitlin Moran

Pages: 448 

Publication Date: 10th March 2016

Publisher: Ebury Press

Rating: 5/5

Tea of Choice: PG Tips. Moran has a knack for making everything she writes seem like a chat with a friend across a cup of tea, albeit a heavily political chat, so a good ol' cup of tea is the perfect accompaniment. 

Synopsis: This is a collection of Caitlin Moran's pieces of writing, which have been put together to form her own manifesto. Topics range from the Olympics, Benedict Cumberbatch, and the refugee crisis, to printers, leg season, and a how to set up a global online campaign. In all, it's about making the reader look up at the world around them and realise that a) something is wrong and b) they can do something about it.

Review:

To put it bluntly: I love this book. Caitlin Moran writes in a way that is so compelling, I couldn't help but want to read on. She's also hilarious. I interrupted my boyfriend reading J.S. Mill constantly, either because I laughed out loud, or because I simply started reading aloud to show him just how hilarious she is. 

She also talks frankly about issues facing not only women, but British society, and the world. Her writing makes you want to jump out of your seat and start doing something about all the wrongs in the world *immediately*. She introduces topics that, if they didn't bother you before, they definitely will after. And this is the key: even if you don't agree with her opinions, she's still getting you to engage with issues. She even encourages you to write your own manifesto to show how you would change the world. One woman did, and then went one step further and is now a prospective candidate in her local elections. You go Tracey-Clare! 

"Fill yourself with words, choruses, and heroes, like you're supposed to fill your wardrobe with shoes, brooches, and belts"

I can see why people don't like this book. The tone in which she writes isn't for everyone and some find that because it's a collection of columns rather than a block of text, it's difficult to read continuously. I personally find that this actually makes it easier for me to read on, as finishing a column doesn't seem anywhere near as challenging as finishing a chapter.

Additionally, people comment on how Moran's feminism isn't intersectional. I can see this, completely. I also think some of the language she uses isn't appropriate sometimes. But here is exactly where one of Moran's own points becomes relevant: we spend so much time bashing women for not being perfect, for not doing everything right 100% of the time, when instead we should be focusing on what they're doing right, and helping each other along the way. After all, do we criticise men this way when they say they are feminists but slip up once? No, we do not. Let's educate each other and make feminism more of a "team sport", like Moran suggests. 

Overall, this is a brilliant read, and I will not stop recommending it to everyone. Moranifesto has contributed in a massive way to making politics mainstream, and making feminism something that is talked about with pride rather than with shame. Finally, I wish to say thank you to Caitlin Moran, for comforting me and my teenage self, for filling me with ambition, and for putting my own thoughts about my friends into words which are so much better than what I could ever have come up with:

"Choose your friends because you feel most like yourself around them, because the jokes come easy, and you feel like you're in your best outfit when you're with them, even though you're just in a t-shirt."

Have you read Moranifesto? What did you think? Tweet me @readabilitea, and don't forget to follow me on Instagram and add me on Goodreads.

Love to you all, 
Zoe