- Title Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body
- Author Sara Pascoe
- Year 2016
- Genres Non-fiction, Feminism, Biography, Humour
Women have so much going on, what with boobs and jealousy and menstruating and broodiness and sex and infidelity and pubes and wombs and jobs and memories and emotions and the past and the future and themselves and each other. Here's a book that deals with all of it. Sara Pascoe has joked about feminity and sexuality on stage and screen but now she has a book to talk about it all for a bit longer. Animal combines autobiography and evolutionary history to create a funny, fascinating insight into the forces that mould and affect modern women. Animal is entertaining and informative, personal and universal - silly about lots of things and serious about some. It's a laugh-out-loud investigation to help us understand and forgive our animal urges and insecurities.
This is an interesting read because it’s not your standard comedian-writes-memoir book but instead a stream of consciousness from someone who clearly has a lot of thoughts and research to share on a particular topic - that topic being the human body, particularly female. That topic then stretches to include consensual and non-consensual sex, bodies growing and changing, and of course the more general feminism and equality that comes with the territory.
There were things I knew and things I didn’t, facts and statistics from scientist and professionals alongside personal stories and thoughts from Sara herself. I found the juxtaposition of those things thought-provoking and interesting. Here’s a fact, now how do we feel about it?
The jokey and conversational style gives a relaxed feel to the book, so it’s not too lectury despite definitely trying to teach us something. And I appreciated the conclusions that Sara came to - that we need to approach things with more empathy, and that society’s attitude, laws and education needs to adapt. In fact, one of my favourite lines from the book was:
I’m not attempting to be the last word in a conversation, I just want to be part of it, and then I’ll sit back and listen some more.
We should all do more of that. Overall, a good and thoughtful read, as long as you’re open-minded enough to give this a proper go.
Rating: 5 / 5