I’ve just finished reading Caitlin Moran’s marvellous book How To Be A Woman. It’s funny and discusses a lot of questions that modern, Western women are asking. I recommend reading it if the fact that women earn less than men annoys you and also if, to quote Caitlin Moran, ‘you have a vagina.’ But my favourite quote from the book is her view of feminism:
‘….Greer uses the words ‘liberation’ and ‘feminism’ and I realise – at the age of 15 – that she is the first person I’ve ever seen who doesn’t say them sarcastically, or tempered with invisible quote marks. She doesn’t say them like they are words that are both slightly distasteful, and slightly dangerous, and should be handled only at the end of tongs, like night soil, or typhus.
Instead, Greer says ‘I am a feminist’ in a perfectly calm, logical and entitled way. It sounds like the solution to a puzzle that’s been going on for years. Greer says it with entitlement and pride: the word is a prize that billions of women, for the span of human history, fought to win. This is the vaccine against the earlier pioneers’ failure. This is the atmosphere that would sustain us all in space; the piece of equipment we’ve all been missing. This is what will keep us alive.
…The word feels more exciting than swearing. It is intoxicating. It makes my head swim.’
A woman’s sword is her tongue and she does not let it rust – old French saying