Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body by Sara Pascoe

I took advantage of the Answer Me This! Audible offer last month, and when I was browsing the website, this was the first thing that caught my eye. I like Sara Pascoe, and I like feminism, so this was a no-brainer.

The book is about evolution, and how that affects the way the female body works now, and how it affects our behaviour. It’s fascinating. And that’s coming from someone who straight up doesn’t understand science. I have a BA for a reason. Like I do not get science, at all. None of it. I’m sure it’s very interesting if you understand it, but I don’t and I’m not interested.

But Sara Pascoe manages to make sense of it to me, to get me to understand evolution in a far more in depth way than my general, rudimentary understanding of the concept, which is mostly based on that film about Charles Darwin that Paul Bettany was in. She’s funny and clever and uses her own anxieties to humorous effect, but also to make insightful, interesting points about being a woman, being a person. (I suspect that if you were a science person, you would not think this book is at all science-y, but I’m an idiot so don’t judge me.)

It’s a very unique book, in that it’s part anthropology (I think that’s what you’d call it), part memoir, part political commentary, part comedy, and those things are all blended together and feed into each other, making each other better. You have to admire Sara Pascoe’s skill in doing all of those at the same time.

A note on the audiobook – Sara Pascoe narrates it herself, and I really liked her narration. She comes across really likeable and the tone she takes in explaining the science is just like a friend who actually understands this shit explaining it to you. All the same, I don’t think I’ll be renewing my audible subscription, I already listen to more podcasts than I can keep on top of so I don’t need to add to it.


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