FGRLS Book Club: Menstrual Health Day Special

 This week, we have the author of Period and all around menstrual health expert, Natalie Byrne, taking over the FGRLS Book Club. Ready to feel educated, empowered and in control of your vagina? Then keep reading. 

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Illustration by Natalie Byrne

The educational system has let us down severely, with little to no mention at all about periods, sexuality or female pleasure. So people have been stepping up to the plate on their own accord, to create books as an educational tool to fill this gap in our schools. Vaginas have historically been a topic of mystery and shame, but the writers in this list are tackling that head-on with their minds, their pens in hand and with a passion for equality & vaginas.

1. Period by Natalie Byrne

Ok, so it may be a little arrogant to put my own book on this list, but nevertheless, I really believe in the power of my book. I worked so hard to create something that was fun, simple and engaging. Period is everything you need to know about periods, Period. Aimed at 11 to 13-year-olds, it’s a book that crosses generational boundaries, and has had some amazing reviews and feedback from people of all ages. It’s conversational and informative but engaging and funny – filled with illustrations. 

2. The Gynae Geek by Dr Anita Mitra

I’ve been following Gynae Geek for a while now, and I was obsessed from day one. Dr Anita Mintra has used the internet to share all her wisdom as a Gynaecology Specialist, and to debunk gynae-myths. Covering everything from STI’s, to contraception and stress, her book has got it all, and it’s a great trustworthy resource to have on your bookshelf. I loved the ‘knowledge bombs’ sections, where Dr Anita lays out facts using bullet points, throughout the book.

3. Vagina: A Re-Education by Lynn Enright

image via twitter.com/lynnenright

This book is a memoir, personal essay and academic investigation; all wrapped up into one piece of work. Written with such empathy and humanity, it’s really easy to read and accessible for slow readers such as myself, (and after hearing Lynn Enright read a passage at the last FGRLS CLUB event, I read the whole thing in her beautiful Irish accent.) I could not put this book down. I laughed, I cried and I finished the book knowing more about my body and the world around me. I especially loved the way Lynne was always keen to acknowledge her privilege and to consistently touch on minority groups, by bring in the facts and the numbers. Don’t just buy this book for the beautiful cover, buy it because it’s wonderfully written, informative and written by a true ally.

4. Vagina by Naomi Wolf

Am I a bad feminist because this is the only book of her’s I’ve read? Ok, I’m sorry, stop looking at me like that, I swear I will read more! This book is HUUUGE, it’s like the feminist yellow pages. BUT everything in here is so well researched, and let us just say Naomi spills the tea on all the science that has been withheld from us. Including research from back in the day, when scientists found that females orgasming actually boosts their creativity – they hid the research because publishing that would go against the system that society thrived on, you know the keeping women as secondary citizens thing. It’s not a light read, and not one I’d recommend taking on your next beach holiday, but you will be glad you have some cold hard facts to bring to the table the next time someone ignorant challenges your knowledge of the vagina.

5. Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio 

I had to try and hide the cover of this book when I used to intern and get the bus with the school kids, but it’s well worth a read, not just for being that divisive person that’s reading a book with a big bad swear word on the front. This book is incredibly informative, and for being so heavily researched its such an easy read, which I put down to Igna’s incredible humour. The research is intertwined with many of Igna’s own experiences, and you really get to know the woman behind this book. Cunt gives women back the word, with power and force.

Follow Natalie HERE. 

Check Out Our Other Book Clubs HERE.


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