About mini reviews:
Maybe you’re not an audio book person, or maybe you are. I provide mini reviews of audio books and give a recommendation on the format. Was this book improved by a voice actor? Would a physical copy have been better? Perhaps they complement each other? Read on. . .
The most surprising thing about The Vagina Bible by Dr. Jen Gunter is just how long it is. I listened to the author read for hours while I was trekking along the freeway only to arrive home and pause at 44% complete. What else is there to know about vaginas??? I wondered. Later, I realized that when the author said her book was meant to be more like a reference manual and not read straight through, she meant it. If the chapter about putting CBD oil in your vagina isn’t for you, you can skip it instead of wondering what the heck other women are up to in their own homes.
Certain chapters I appreciated, such as medical comparisons of menstrual products and what happens to the vagina during menopause. One need not be menopausal to appreciate knowing what’s coming in one’s forties. Other chapters didn’t apply, though I was happy the information was included for readers, such as trans people with vaginas (both male-to-female with bottom surgery and female-to-male with the use of testosterone). Nothing feels opinionated unless Gunter says it’s her opinion. She cites medical studies and acknowledges when a study is weak or questionable, or if there are no studies done on a subject at all.
Honestly, medical terminology is used so much — there are no euphemisms such as “lady parts” or “down there” — that I felt more confident talking and thinking about my own body. Increasingly, I was aware of how guarded I am at yearly physicals when asked questions about my body and give short yes/no answers that could have been expanded on. Cis and trans women are likely to feel more empowered with The Vagina Bible. And this is a book for women; Gunter makes it known how male partners and patriarchy have harmed vaginas by convincing women they are smelly, dirty, and need “freshening up” by using bogus products (Goop is the enemy for Gunter) and removing all pubic hair.
Would I recommend the audiobook? Gunter is fantastic about reading the book, meaning she doesn’t change her volume a ton, making this peaceful, easy listening. But, two important things lead me to recommend the physical or e-book copy instead: 1) with the audiobook browsability is difficult, and 2) listeners miss out on the plentiful diagrams included, which I didn’t know about until I skimmed a library copy.