Sara Pascoe, Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body

Hello lovely blog followers! I’m sitting here, here being my living room in my house at uni with a Yankee Candle burning and James Blunt blurting out of my laptop speakers because I’m a middle aged woman who doesn’t work effectively/properly in the evening.

I’ve also just finished reading a book, which is genuinely one of, if not the best non-fiction book I’ve read in a long time. I’ve discussed it in passing on a few blog posts, yet now I’ve finished the book, I feel as if I can justifiably give the book the credit that it has so rightfully earned and deserved.

Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body is a book by comedian Sara Pascoe, known for her sets on femininity and sexuality. She’s discussed how all women should have to do Page 3 modelling as though it’s jury service, but this is a major step up. Animal looks at the evolution of women in humanity and how we attribute mental qualities to men and women which have moulded and affected the way we, as a female species, regard ourselves today.

To the blurb, the book aims to tackle the following:

“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.”

Animal aims to be entertaining as well as informative, discussing personal anecdotes of Sara’s life, as well as the general claims surrounding the issue of womanhood. Whilst Sara is silly about a variety of topics, there are some harrowing moments which left me gasping and sympathising with Sara. Whilst I could not share experiences of self harm, anorexia or abortion, I found myself imagining what I would do if I was to be in situations such as those. I would not have been able to deal with the issues in the confident manner that Sara did, nor discuss them so openly in a book for the world to know.

Sara Pascoe 2

Whilst I don’t want to discuss the book in full detail, so as to not spoil the book should you wish to read it, I feel I must disclose some points.

The way that Sara writes is so approachable. From the offset, I felt that I was reading spoken word opposed to a book which was too intellectual for me (most of the time, this happens with my degree). Sara tackles topics, which have been passed in briefing in seminars in such a manner that I understand everything.

Sara is also great at bringing in analogies of her own in order to get points across. Whether it be the glow-worm, the Fuhrer or her obsession with Take That, her personal tone to the text allows myself, a young female to perfectly engage with the anatomy of the human body. The stories are genuinely hilarious too, and I had many a time laying in bed before I went to sleep, reading the book and giggling to myself about discussions of penis sizes.

I also learned plenty of things. Topics such as female dymorphism, why we as girls always find ourselves attracted to the fuckboys of the Western World or our cultural and social attitudes towards sex come up aplenty, and you find yourself appreciating the standards of British society considerably more than what you did before you started reading the text.

Sara Pascoe 3

Where Sara doesn’t shy is in her own opinion, and I need to take this on board in my own writing. She presents her own ideas so clearly, yet in such a fun way, through the use of trumpets and maps and pretending she is a lecturer or teacher, that her vocalising her opinion comes across as fun, and not in a daunting manner. The trumpets appear many times throughout her book, in a sarcastic and sassy way which has been perfected.

Sara’s book is just wonderful, so much so, I actually gave it a 5 star rating on Amazon. It’s currently number 1 on the ‘Women in History’ chart and ‘Feminist Thinking’, plus it comes with a bibliography of the books she read to gain her knowledge. HELLO if I do a dissertation on feminism and female attitudes to the self, I’ve already got a HUGE list to get going with. #loveuSara

On June 2nd, I’m going to see Sara Pascoe perform Animal live at Uni! I’ve got a 3 hour exam on the same day, but I know that this will provide the perfect respite. I’m hoping to potentially meet Sara at the stage door after so she can sign my book, cause you know, a signed copy of something is always cool.

Thank you so much Sara, for providing the world with a book which is a joy to read and learn from.

Hope you enjoy too,

Sophie x



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