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Vagina: A Re-education

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  648 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Part memoir, part practical guide to the vagina, this indispensable book sifts through myths and misinformation with the aim of empowering women with vital knowledge about their own bodies.

For centuries, the vagina has been made mysterious, neglected, mutilated or mocked, and as a consequence few people know much about it. In Vagina: A Re-Education, acclaimed journalist
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 7th 2019 by Allen & Unwin
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Tania The first chapters of this book are dedicated to the whole reproductive system's anatomy since sometimes we might misunderstand it and give some…moreThe first chapters of this book are dedicated to the whole reproductive system's anatomy since sometimes we might misunderstand it and give some organs the name of others. Not all the book is about anatomy, but it is pretty talked about at the beginning so the reader can understand other matters later on. I've found this reading very helpful and clarifying to know what's going on down there and where exactly. I hope this has helped you!(less)

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Do I have a vagina? Yes. Do I let that define me? No.

This book is a must read for everyone, whether one has a vagina or not. Even at my current age, I'm not embarrassed to admit, that I found this book educating, and there were a few aspects that Enright discussed, that I didn't know much about. That for me, is pretty damn embarrassing, that even today, girls and women are having to turn to books instead of well-rounded open discussions, because people are too embarrassed to talk about vaginas.

Emer (A Little Haze)
I am more than my vagina. I am more than my ovaries. I need to and I want to know more about my vagina and ovaries and my sexual and reproductive health. I need to and I want to know about my hormones.
But I am more than that.
I am more than a fluctuation in oestrogen. I am more than an angry woman.
We are all more than our genitals and our gender. We all deserve a life that is not defined by our genitals and our gender. Lets stay furious until society recognises that.
Lets talk.
Lets hope.
(3.5) This book might be more accurately titled Vulva, as it is about the whole set of female organs (especially the external ones), but thats maybe a more obscure/icky as well as a less evocative/provocative word. Sex education is poor and lacking in many parts of the world, Enright argues, including the Ireland she grew up in in the 1980s. We need better knowledge about gender, anatomy (including the range of whats normal) and issues of consent, she insists. To that end, she sets out to bust ...more
Cátia Vieira
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why should you read this book?
Vagina: A Re-Education by Lynn Enright was published last March and its an incredible book! I truly recommend it to everyone out there. You know I dont say these things often but thats how enlightening this book is!

It is a fact: we know very little about vaginas and female sexuality because we live in a patriarchal society. Women arent taught to discover their body, their sexuality, their pleasure, their power. They are taught shame. When we look at the males
Portia (The Owlery Reader)
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, arcs
I want to give a copy of this to every person in my life with a vagina. And then some. It's so informative, interesting, readable, and IMPORTANT. It reaffirmed a lot of my existing knowledge and views, but also re-educated me about a lot of things I thought I knew. I learned so much and so much made me angry. It talks about biology and science in an accessible way, backs up facts with statistics and references, but also includes personal stories and anecdotes that make it engaging and relatable. ...more
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5 stars

This is a book that all girls at the age of 16 and up should read. Had I read this book at 16, I feel I would have been much better prepared for life! It is incredibly informative about a range of issues from sex education to menopause, the female genitals to periods and fertility to orgasms. It is factual yet an easy read and if you read it and don't learn a few things then I will eat my metaphorical hat. As someone with endometriosis and other gynaecological illnesses, I have done my
Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great read, very informative and also highly readable. It helpfully highlighted a number of things I had failed to considered, for example the intentional invisibility of menopause in mainstream films, television and media. While in some regards it left me wanting more information, I also think it is a book I will turn to again over the years to come.
I was lucky enough to win this in a Facebook competition run by the publishers (along with a pretty awesome tote bag). Enright covers various vagina related topics such as basic biology, sex, menstruation and childbirth. She also discusses personal stories about her own experiences and how women's bodies are and have always been controlled by men and the patriarchy. I found this very well-written and quite informative. It's certainly a book worth reading.
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An ARC ebook copy of this book was provided by Atlantic Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

An absolutely must-read for anyone who has a vagina, and I would go as far as recommending it to anyone who is open-minded and in a close intimate relationship with someone who has a vagina. I learnt so much, it is outrageous thinking that I have lived 23 years of my life not knowing the basics of what having a vagina implies. It is tremendously enriching, surprising and empowering.

Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital vital
April Leigh
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally gave this a 4... but i keep talking about it to everyone ! The sex education and fertility stuff in particular. It really is mindblowing how little we know about our own bodies once your eyes are opened to it.
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, feminist
I cannot stress enough how good and important this book was to me. I had no idea how little I knew about the vagina but also the surrounding topics of what it means to have one, like periods, orgasms, pain, pregnancy & menopause. This book covers a lot of ground and I have been singing praise of it to every single women I speak to.

Enright's writing style is superb, she blends personal accounts, with history and scientific research so well that you are thoroughly invested & entertained
Gayle Noble
Enright's book on the vagina (and the vulva, as they are not one and the same despite most people using the term vagina for the whole area) looks at why it is that so many people don't know anatomical detail or what a healthy and normal vulva looks like, and why women's health and sexual satisfaction seem to be afterthoughts. From the coy naming of the parts through the hiding or downplaying of menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause, this book spells it all out, but Enright also reiterates that ...more
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was hard to read, because its like female pleasure was mutilated, denied, rejected and women died because patriarchy/controlling women. Its written well and there were a few things I didnt know in there.

In the end she asks some pretty tough questions about female representation. She knows that trans women are women, but wants cervix information to not just say people with cervixes but women and people with cervixes. And I see her point, but think that the further we get away from the gender
Bernard O'Leary
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm not a vagina owner myself but I am interested in lived experiences outside my own. This book is fine, I guess, but it's written in that very 2010s tone of an opinion column or tweetstorm, with lots of bombast and not a huge amount of original research.
Katie  Biscuit
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
A well researched book really enjoyed some of the sections others not so much but a really needed book and a must read.
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Although the information in this book has been shared before, this concise work brings it altogether in an engaging read. Highly recommended for everyone, but especially those that have a vagina and to consider for use to update Sex-Ed curriculum.
Adrienne | read.gram.repeat
4.5 stars! Most of us receive incomplete and dishonest sex education if we receive any at all so this book starts with the anatomical basics. Especially since a majority of women cannot identify their vulva. It discusses social issues like transgender rights. Enright also confronts taboos and misinformation from masturbation to menopause and everything in between.
If you have a vagina READ THIS. If you dont have a vagina, read it anyways because you know people with vaginas.
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is easy to read, the author is considerate to her audience and is straight to the point with no waffle.
She discusses her own personal feelings and experiences, some which are comical, others sadly aren't.

A good book that was well worth the read.

Thanks to NetGalley, Lynn Enright and Atlantic Books for the opportunity to read and review this book
Jan 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
This was an interesting book with some good points. It is interesting how male genitalia is known by everyone but the most basic of female anatomy is misnamed by almost everyone. The end got a bit boring, but there is definitely stuff to think about in here
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow every once in a while a book comes by that you think "I wish everyone would read this book", this is one of them. So so good, I found it really educational, empowering and couldn't put it down. Highly recommend.
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
"The stigma surrounding the vulva means that knowledge is not as impervious to doubt as it should be. Even when we know the facts, we do not trust what we know. There are entrie industries and systems that flourish and prosper when our knowledge about our vulvas is compromised and undermined. The cosmetic surgery industry, the beauty industry, anyone with a fear of female sexuality, anyone who can profit from that fear."

Idk I just love learning about vulvas and historical and current
'I am more than my vagina. I am more than my ovaries.'

I was very kindly given an e-ARC of this book through Netgalley, Allen & Unwin and Atlantic Books.

If you ever needed a guidebook to the modern-day vagina, this is the one that should be pressed into your hands. Perhaps this book should be made required reading in schools that get squeamish about teaching proper sex education to girls and young women. All across the world, even in the most economically prosperous societies, people with
Shakila Kamatali
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My first introduction to sex-ed (or more accurately biology class on reproductive organs) I was 11 and it was communicated to me implicitly or explicitly as something I was not meant to be curious about or take seriously as a "good girl", even if said good girl wanted to be a good student.
I learnt about the mechanics of heterosexual sex at 14 in a Mills&Boon novel (you can imagine my brain fritzing as I was trying to compute this).
It was in my 20's as I tried to navigate sexuality on my own
Kate Parsons
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"We have been far taught more about shame than about our anatomy."

I'm not even ashamed to say how much I learnt from this book. But I am ashamed that we live in a society that means I didn't know a lot of this before picking up this book at the age of 25. There are many issues which this book touches on that I could get into, but I don't want to turn this review into a rant! Instead, what I will say is that Lynn Enright perfectly balances three aspects in this book: memoir, fact and opinion. She
Zhivko Kabaivanov
Sep 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whats in it for you?

Re-educate yourself about a part of the body shrouded in confusion and myth: the female genitalia.

Half of the human population possesses a vagina. A quarter of the world menstruates. And yet, the female sex organs have long been misunderstood, ignored, or shamed. Sex education classes in school teach very little about sexual health; when they do, its likely tangled in misinformation. Even usage of the word vagina is a linguistic error what we usually mean is the vulva. And
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Please, everyone read this book
I was diagnosed with endometriosis last year in an emergency surgery. I knew what endometriosis was because I suspected that I had it for a very long time. I've been showing symptoms for the last seven years but no doctor would tell me what was wrong with me: everything seemed normal, just what I could expect from a bad period. I discovered endometriosis by googling my symptoms and I remember that night as one of the worst moments of my life. Since no doctor would believe that a 23 year-old ...more
Vanessa Princessa

I read this book thanks to Blinkist.

Final summary

The key message in these blinks:

Good sex education is compassionate and complex. It teaches students not only about contraception, but also about relationships and womens sexual pleasure. The hymen is not a seal its made up of thin folds of mucous membrane and the clitoris is much more expansive than was once thought. Sharing our experiences can help us re-teach each other and empower us to tackle the stigma and
Laura King
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
'Vagina: A Reeducation' perfectly balances scientific study and emotional appeal, global concerns and more local events, wide ranging interview and personal experience to create a collection of essays that will absolutely make a difference in the lives of the people who read it. There is absolutely something for everyone, and even the essays that may not be relevant to the reader at their point at their lives are so accessable that you leave them more education than when you started. I wish ...more
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Enrights chapters on the hymen and the socio-cultural construction of the virginity narrative is so powerful! I love that she makes a point to show that its not only minorities that have anti-women views about sex and the female body. Christian and Western ideology are steeped in the oppression of women and the dissemination of misinformation about womens bodies.

Enright also makes a strong argument for re-evaluating the way we teach sex-ed to focus not only on preventing pregnancy, but also in
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