A bunch of months ago I agreed to review a book or two for a friend, who is working with a women’s magazine called SageWoman. I suppose I should’ve actually read the publication before I jumped in; its tag line “Celebrating the Goddess in Every Woman” might’ve been an indication of the books I’d be reading. But I’ve read — and written reviews of — some serious “goddess” literature and know plenty of females who embrace that whole woo-woo, moon unit view of womanhood. So how bad could it be, I thought. Well…
After my recent travels, I returned to find my little package. It was a book I’d actually chosen, based solely on the title. When they say don’t judge a book by its cover, may I further advise not to judge one by its title, either. Somehow I’d assumed that Wild Feminine would be some paean to unbridled bitchdom, to living every second as the righteous cunts we are. Uh, wrong-o!
As I started reading the Foreword, written by Sarah J. Buckley, MD, I found myself vaguely irritated. But when I began the Introduction, written by the book’s author, Tami Lynn Kent — touted on the cover as a “mix of Christiane Northrup and Caroline Myss — I was having a tough time finishing a sentence. Clearly I was so totally unenlightened that I wouldn’t be able to read this book.
Ms. Kent is an experienced “holistic women’s healthcare provider” with a background in physical therapy. I was tipped off right away that this was gonna be a real west coast, new age take on things by her immediate reference to a drum circle. Fuckin’ hippies! Anyway, suspending my judgement — and nausea — I plowed on.
Kent overshares right from the get-go. She started with her “spirit daughter” story, about her miscarriage and how she wrapped the bloody mess up and put in in her pocket, before she ceremoniously buried it in her back yard. Um, OH-KAY! That was in the Introduction. On page 2 she shared her tale of traveling while breastfeeding. Way to exclude the many women, myself included, who have not experienced motherhood. Sorry if I don’t feel your pain. Then came a series of what I can only snidely refer to as overstating the obvious. “We live in our bodies.” I live in an apartment, thank you very much! Next up, the song and dance of “the womb cycle,” wherein we learn that “the uterus contains the cycle of transformation.” Not anymore, it doesn’t! At least mine doesn’t! It was everything I could do to not chuck the fuckin’ book out the window. But she assured those of us who are no longer moon cycling or whateverthefuck that we, too, are still cycling or mooning or whatever: “Regardless of her reproductive status, or even if she has entered menopause, the energy of the female body continues to to move in outward expansion and restorative retreat in alignment with the full and new moons or personal creative and life cycles.” Huh? I mean, just listen to this shit: “As the gatekeeper, the vagina regulates the cycle of regeneration.”
But when she launched into her “pitch” about vaginal massage, I lost my shit. Mind you, there was much preamble about how present-day women are out of touch with their “root” and their inner femininity. I can completely understand how masturbation — and/or the joy of sexuality in general — would be beneficial to anyone who is feeling somehow removed from their womanhood. But once she transitioned from “self vaginal massage” to actually paying someone else — her, apparently — to spelunk in one’s twat, well, that was just too much. Is it just me or does no one else notice the parallel between this “practice” and the turn-of-the-century male physicians who would hold newly-invented vibrators to the genitalia of their female patients to cure their “female hysteria?” I felt torn between total disgust and incomprehensible unenlightenment. (Which, by the way, both spellcheck and dictionary.com tell me isn’t a real word. But I was feelin’ it!)
The talk about creativity and the womb held an appeal; I’d love to know how to better — or best — channel my creative energies. But when she compared art work and other truly creative endeavors with childbirth, she lost me. Indeed, for some, motherhood can certainly be “creative,” but one can hardly draw a parallel between a biological drive resulting in birth, often merely an accident, and a painting, book, sculpture or other deliberate act of productivity.
Even skimming the book made me angry. “Amelia came for pelvic care to address a tight knot in the muscles on the right side of her vaginal opening.” What kind of world are we living in when women actually need to go see someone because they’re experiencing tightness on the side of their twat? HolyfuckingmotherofGAWD! I mean GODDESS!
Seriously, I could go on all night. All I need to do is keep flipping the book open and there, magically, is yet another laughable quote! “Excess uterine holding causes stagnation in the pelvic space.” Is that like some sort of spiritual — and vaginal — constipation?
Here’s one last passage I’ll leave you with that sounds vaguely fundamentalist Christian to me; either way, it’s hateful: “Sexual desire should have a very specific place. It belongs between two consenting adults who ideally understand the power of their union and its potential to create new life.” So I guess that means those of us whose bodies no longer have the potential to create new life don’t have a specific place for their sexual desire. I am, quite frankly, currently experiencing a lamentable “VACANCY” in my “pelvic bowl” so if anyone out there might like to help me with that, and, ya know, fill ‘er up, get in touch. Er, I mean shoot me an email. (Whoa, I simply cannot resist the double entendres!) Anyway, I promise not to talk about cycles of any sort!