You’re Doing It Wrong

You’re Doing It Wrong

A History of Bad & Bonkers Advice to Women

It is an outrageous tour through the centuries of bonkers and bad advice handed down and foisted upon women, told as only Kaz Cooke can – with humour and rage, intelligence and wit.


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Will be available in print and audio

Every heading in this book is a lie.

Women have always been told nonsense about what to do with their bodies, health and behaviour (change shape, shoosh, do all the housework), and what we’re not supposed to do (frown, have pockets, lead a country).

The book is a laugh-out-loud frolic through nutty advice (wear a dress made of arsenic, do some day-drinking, have sex with a billionaire biker, worry about your vagina wrinkles) as well as a roar against injustice, a rallying cry for sisterhood, and a way to free ourselves from ludicrous expectations and imposed perfectionism.

Kaz’s own 30-year history of interest and experience in advice – from her newspaper etiquette column, ‘Keep Yourself Nice’, to best-selling books including Up the Duff and the Girl Stuff series – and years of archives research have culminated in a full-colour, exuberant shout of a book with 300 wacky, and sobering historical photos of objects and instructions. You’re Doing It Wrong covers sex & romance, paid work, fashion & beauty, health advice, housework, and a motherlode of mad parenting instructions – from witchcraft to beauty pageants, with a side of aviatrixes.

Using examples from generations of women in her own family (her 4x great grandmother had the first Australian pre-nup, another had a gun tied to her apron) she explains how British colonists introduced unhinged etiquette, and even made housework and contraception racist.

You’re Doing It Wrong is a head-start guide to how young women can recognise and fight back when they’re undermined and disrespected, and a vindication for older women (yep, this has been going on your whole life, and it is ridiculous).

  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781760896973
  • Published: 2 November 2021
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Pages: 352
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