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  • Writer's pictureJulia Gillis

The Vagina Monologues Book Review

This is obviously an essential read & I feel ashamed I have not read it before. It’s the book all women should read before they turn 20 (possibly even younger.)

I was shocked to see that this book’s first publication date was 1998! I thought it had been released in the early 90s at the latest. But these were the years the uproar began years before it’s publication when only parts of it had been written as spoken monologues to be delivered as a play or theatre show. I was born in 1989, so it became common feminist literature by the time I was in high school in 2002. The shock value alone should have put it on my reading list during that point in my life. Unfortunately I was too busy being a victim of many societal issues brought up in this artistic literary exposé. My vaginal 'cumming of age', as it was & still is for most girls, was grossly mismanaged, mishandled & misogamized. (I know this isn't a real word but it shuld be.)

The format of the book is perfect for the subject, delivered as a mix of short stories, grouped statements laid out in poetic form, some simply just free….read & interpreted in whatever pace or tone you like. Often I found it interesting to read the same lines repeatedly, placing emphasis in different places to change their impact or suggestion. She offers preamble to some of the ‘chapters’ giving context & back story. She does a great job of mixing the fun material with the morbid tales, keeping the possibly triggered reader from becoming the kicked horse.

That’s all good & well - but let’s celebrate & dance with the elephant in the room - vagina. Cunt. vulva. Labia. Pussy. Clit. 

Periods. Birth. Rape. Sex. Masturbation. Hair. Medical Exams. Scent. Mutilation. Orgasms. Exploration. Wetness. Getting what you want. Getting what you don’t want. Ignoring it. Honoring it. 

Being misinformed. Feeling alone. Not connecting with it. Feeling deeply one with it. 

All of the many things that involve vaginas that many people still don't explain to the people who have them.

I had the marvelous pleasure of completing this entire book in a day. I shamelessly laid this book in my lap during take off and landing for the 2 flights required to delivery my daughter back to her dad on the west coast. I held it up & cracked its spine, with the big red word VAGINA on it’s cover causing my fellow plane seat row mates to avert their eyes. I devoured a quarter of the book at a time while not being allowed to have my tray table down for my lap top work. 

I have heard a lot of stories from women, about their vaginas. I have often & openly talked about vaginas for many years. My personal vagina blossoming has happened in layers. My own learning has happened in layers. 

Both the pleasure & the power. 

If I were to point anyone in the direction of where to start getting these things for & with their vagina - this book is a great starting place. Also - if men are going to learn about vaginas, they should learn about them from women & they should read this book. 

As always the important thing is to talk. My mom & my aunts & my female cousins, we never talked about our vaginas. We never talked about sex. I was lucky to have a best friend in high school who was all about making vagina talk ‘a thing’ - though teen girls need groups of great role models, of which we had few - if understand our vagina's.

The book lives up to the hype & possibly is 

one of very few that over delivers.

As so often do our vaginas; 

for others, usually, 

when we wish they didn’t 


for ourselves, 

just when we need them too.


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Julia is a Holistic Health Consultant, holding a Double Diploma in Community Support & Addictions Work, is a Certified Transformation Specialist, Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach & a Lvl 2 Reiki Practitioner. She specializes in Trauma Informed Practice & Resiliency Coaching and Holistic Pregnancy & Postpartum Health Coaching. 

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