Goodreads Review: The Vagina Bible: The Vulva and the Vagina—Separating the Myth from the Medicine by Jennifer Gunter

Four star review, originally posted here on June 9, 2021.

Where the hell has this book been my whole life? I listened to the audiobook, but want to buy myself a hard copy to keep on the shelf for reference, with the hope that is comes with a solid index and illustrations (folks with hard copies- does it?). This is the kind of book you should give every girl you know when she gets her period for her to dogear and keep handy for the rest of her life. In terms of reading all the way through, it’s not really the bext experience. Each chapter matter-of-factly handles a different topic, some of which are more or less entertaining than others. But it’s not meant to be entertaining; its meant to be informative. There’s a very large chunk in the middle of the book devoted to various conditions and diseases, each with their own chapter. This got very boring and repetitive. However, I 100% want to be able to refer to those chapters if/when I think I may be expereincing any of them. And honestly I couldn’t get into the menopause section (yet), but I sure as hell will be back in a couple decades for that one. But the chapters that more directly speak to me were totally clutch. I think it’ridiculous that our own anatomy is kept so hush-hush from ourselves, to the point that generations of women are unable to pass down real health advice to their daughters because they themselves don’t know what’s going on down there. This book helps clear up all the little mysterious thas has girls and women wondering “Is this normal?” We get real talk, just good hard facts.
Gunter definitely has her biases that are at times pretty hilarious. She really hates Gwyneth Paltrow, Thinx, and soap! But apparantly she loves coconut oil. She also has, I think, some ommissions. For example, we spent a lot of time talking about the safety and efficiency of various menstrual products, but never talk about environmental impacts (often cited as the reason why women might choose certain products over others). I was also left scratching my head about one common issue I was hoping to hear about but we never hit on (which one you ask? mind your own business!).
But overall this was a very solid reference that for real everyone should read, INCLUDING dudes. I wish we had a book like this for every body part, frankly. Also, bonus points for the chapter on trans people. Super informative, and goes into details that I think cis people are likely all curious about, but it would be rude to ask.


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