VAG: A Re-education

Shocking, brilliant, important. A fine addition to the feminist canon. – Emma Jane Unsworth

For the first time I feel like I PROPERLY understand my vagina! I wish I had read this 23 years ago! – Scarlett Curtis

From earliest childhood, girls are misled about their bodies, encouraged to describe their genitalia with cute and silly names rather than anatomically correct terms. In our schools and in our culture, we are coy about women while putting straight men’s sexuality front and centre. Girls grow up feeling ashamed about their periods, about the appearance of their vulvas, about their own desires. They grow up without a full and honest sex education, and this lack of knowledge has serious consequences: the number of women attending cervical screening appointments in the UK is at a 20-year low while labiaplasty is the fastest growing type of plastic surgery in the world.

Vagina provides girls and women with information they need about their own bodies – about the vagina, the hymen, the clitoris, the orgasm; about conditions like endometriosis and vulvodynia. It confronts taboos, such as abortion, miscarriage, infertility and masturbation. It tackles vital social issues like period poverty, female genital mutilation and the rights of transgender women. It is honest and moving as Lynn Enright shares her personal stories but this is about more than one woman – this is a book that will provoke thousands of conversations. We urgently need to talk about women’s sexual and reproductive health, about our experiences of sex and pregnancy and pain and pleasure. Vagina: A Re-Education will help us do just that.

This vital, honest and empathetic look at vaginas (and vulvas, and why we muddle the two) is a must read for all of us…thorough, fascinating and kind. * Grazia *
Vagina is an eye-opening read, it will make you angry at the torture and shame that has been inflicted on people with vaginas. * Sunday Independent (Ireland) *
[A] warm and essential future classic…I can’t recommend it enough. — Alexandra Heminsley
Intelligent, searingly written, brave and generous, this book holds a mirror to many things. Far from a reductive take on genitalia, Enright tackles the stigma, lies, misinformation and squeamishness that persist in holding us all prisoner in a male-dominated world. It’s the vagina’s special power to make and remake that world for the better. Everyone, regardless of what lies beneath, should read it. — Olivia Sudjic
Absolutely incredible. It’s educational and informative while also managing to be a fierce rallying cry for women. — Louise O’Neill
By turns witty, humane and moving, Vagina: A Re-Education is a memoir, a guide and a polemic. Most importantly, it’s a rousing manifesto for women everywhere, and Lynn Enright is a brave and brilliant writer. I only wish that it had existed when I was young. — Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett
Beautiful, well-written and fascinating – for the first time I feel like I PROPERLY understand my vagina! I wish I had read this 23 years ago! — Scarlett Curtis, author of FEMINISTS DON’T WEAR PINK (AND OTHER LIES)
I absolutely loved VAGINA: A RE-EDUCATION. A re-education is right. I feel like I know my body a million times better after reading this book. It’s an unflinching and beautifully composed blend of memoir, personal essay and academic investigation. It has the lyricism of the best kind of creative non-fiction, the rigour of passionately curated research, and the heft of timely and much-needed body-focused feminism. I want to give this book to every fifteen-year-old I know, including my former self. You think you know your vagina: think again. Shocking, brilliant, important. A fine addition to the feminist canon.

I feel very glad this book is going to be in the world. […] It’s awesome.

— Emma Jane Unsworth, author of ANIMALS and HUNGRY, THE STARS AND EVERYTHING
Vagina is the clear-eyed, empathetic, political book I wish I’d had at 17 instead of my useless sex-ed textbook; my 37-year-old self is so glad to have it now. — Jean Hannah Edelstein, author of THIS REALLY ISN’T ABOUT YOU

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