In 2011, the London Times columnist Caitlin Moran published “How to Be a Woman,” a book that combined personal essays with an outline of the state of—and need for—feminism today. The book was a best-seller in England, and, by the summer of 2012, in America as well, thanks in large part to Moran’s brutally funny approach to a serious topic. “What do you think feminism IS, ladies?” she writes, after stating that only twenty-nine per cent of American women describe themselves as feminists. “What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? ‘Vogue,’ by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good shit GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF SURVEY?”
Moran’s latest book, “Moranthology,” a collection of her columns for the Times, has just been published. She recently answered some questions on feminism, writers who have influenced her, celebrities, and sex; an edited version of the exchange appears at newyorker.com.
(Photograph: Adam Lawrence)