Monday, April 25, 2016

Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body by Sara Pascoe Book Review

Animal the Authobiography of a female body by Sara Pascoe book review I always enjoy seeing Sara Pascoe on my TV screen. She's witty, interesting and rarely fails to make me laugh. So when I saw she was writing a book and a book on feminism no less I couldn't wait to read it. As a subtitle 'The Autobiography of the Female Body' really suits. This book looks at many different aspects for what it's like to be a woman. Sara looks at evolutionary and physiological reasons for things like monogamy, falling in love and breakups, sex, why our bodies have developed over the years and how our hormones affect us. Sara looks at these issues from a modern and social perspective too and peppers in her own experiences and anecdotes. This book doesn't shy away from issues either, covering things like rape, body image and eating disorders, female genital mutilation and a drawing of female genitals.

This book obviously covers serious issues but it is done with a humorous touch. Sara had me laughing out loud at times! Her anecdotes are hilarious and also so personal and private. Sara speaks about her abortion and while I couldn't say it's refreshing to hear someone famous talking about their own personal abortion experience (as refreshing just doesn't seem like the most suitable word), it is important for people to talk more openly about abortions so it isn't such a shameful taboo. After her procedure, Sara chats to the girl in the bed next to her, who is from Ireland and I ended up highlighting this sentence 'I hope the law in Ireland has changed by the time this book is published so it's me that seems outdated rather than their legal system'. Unfortunately it hasn't changed yet but hopefully with the Repeal the 8th Campaign we're on our way here in Ireland to better future for women.

Sara acknowledges that this book isn't perfect. In the opening chapter she says that she knows that what's she's writing 'is about the experience of growing up in a female body and with the physiology of a female body, and this excludes the experiences of many women'. She points out throughout the book with footnotes that a lot of what said is hetro and cis-centric. Feminism has a lot of intersectionality with things like race, sexuality and gender idenity and this book doesn't address a lot of this. But as Sara says she's 'not attempting to be the last word in a conversation' she just wants 'to be part of it'. And I think it's a solid addition to this conversation. It's made me think and I've highlighted so many passages in this book to revisit and reread. I think this book would be a great starting point for younger readers wanting to know more about feminism as the tone makes it easy to read and Sara makes it easy to connect with her as a narrator. But it's a good read for any age to pick up and I really recommend you do.

This post continues digital advanced reading copies from NetGalley. I am under no obligation to post reviews and all opinions are my own.

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