Brendan O’Neill in Sp!ked:
Men, I have bad news: Caitlin Moran is coming for us. She comes not to man-bash, not to holler: ‘All men are rapists!’ It’s worse than that. She feels sorry for us. ‘I’m violently opposed to the branches of feminism that are permanently angry with men’, she writes at the very start of her very bad book. Instead she pities us. She frets over our toxic stoicism, our inability to be vulnerable, our unwillingness to be open about our fat bodies and small cocks. She wants to save us from all the ‘rules’ about ‘what a man should be’. From all that ‘swagger’ and ‘the stiff upper lip’. By the end I found myself pining for some good ol’ angry feminism.
What About Men? is, I’m going to be blunt, rubbish. I knew it would be from the very first page where Moran says that ‘when it comes to the vag-based problems, I have the bantz’. Imagine using the word bantz unironically in 2023. What she means is that she’s done all the vagina stuff. She’s completed feminism. She’s known as ‘the Woman Woman’, she says, in an arrogant timbre that puts to shame those cocksure blokes who stalk her nightmares. She wrote the bestselling pop-feminist tome, How To Be a Woman (2011), which contained such gems of wisdom as ‘don’t shave your vagina’ because it’s better to have a ‘big, hairy minge’, a ‘lovely furry moof’, ‘a marmoset sitting in [your] lap’, than a bald cooch. (Emmeline Pankhurst, I’m so sorry.) So now, naturally, she’s turning her attention to men. She’s discovered there is ‘a lot to say’ about ‘men in the 21st-century’. Lucky us.