Synopses & Reviews
Self-esteem and self-empowerment are vital for a rewarding and fulfilling life and are often bolstered by belief systems and societal views. But what if these systems or views prevent us from truly accepting ourselves because of miseducation or taboo? Such is the case for most women and the vagina, an organ so vital to our very existence, yet shrouded in secrecy and shamefully hidden.
In Maritza Breitenbach's The Cookie Book, she sets out to dispel taboo and promote female self-empowerment through her artistically beautiful and historically rich exploration of the human vagina. Fun, easy-to-read and light, The Cookie Book is a "must-read" for young adults and women of all ages just learning about or ready to take ownership of their own hidden treasure. The Cookie Book also details important rites of passage from tot to teen, pregnancy and childbirth to menopause.
Inspired by her love of research and her own inability to talk about the vagina with confidence and ease, Breitenbach found women embarrassed and anxious about its appearance, aroma, general function, among others issues. Breitenbach believes when we view our vaginas as a source of pride and wonder rather than something of which to be ashamed, we empower ourselves beyond question in the most essential part of our being.
The Cookie Book is filled with rare and interesting historical snippets and has over 100 color photographs and illustrations by famous painters such as Picasso, Rodin, de Goya, among others, all designed to encourage women to share information with friends and loved ones. The beautiful artwork, historical facts and cartoons promotes communication, which Breitenbach says is essential to liberating women and the vagina from taboo and bringing ownership back to every individual that has one or loves one.
10 Things You Probably Don't Know About the Vagina:
1. Female infants lubricate vaginally in the first four to six hours of life
2. The absence of a biological father through separation or divorce is known to bring on early menstruation
3. Famous painter Rodin did an illustration of the vagina titled "Sex of the Female"
4. A scent called "Vulva"--fashioned after the vagina's aroma--can be purchased from Germany and is said to drive men wild
5. Clockwork-powered vibrators were invented in 1734 and used in asylums by doctors hoping to curtail hysteria
6. Napoleon Bonaparte preferred the unwashed smell of Empress Josephine's "Black Forest"
7. What a woman eats can affect the scent of her vagina
8. Masturbation has a wide range of health benefits
9. In China a vagina with all its hair removed is known as a "white tiger"
10. The average vagina has a pH of 3.8 to 4.5, and maintaining pH is important for overall vaginal health
The Cookie Book has invaluable information for every women as they journey through life--from infancy to adolescence, being a lover and a mother, to menopause and beyond. It explores the vagina's anatomy, aroma, function, the effects of puberty, sexual intercourse, pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. Young adults and women of all ages (even men) can gain insight into the mystical hymen, g-spot, masturbation and the history of contraception
as well as learn how to avoid, recognize and treat vaginal infections and sexually transmitted diseases.
Although based on medical research, The Cookie Book is light, entertaining, fun, and accessible to all women, regardless of academic background. This is the perfect woman-to-woman, mother/daughter, father/daughter gift.
"This approachable, borderline cutesy paean to all things vagina takes a playful and educational approach while discussing issues of terminology, anatomy, cultural concerns, hygiene, grooming, disease, and stage-of-life changes, targeted at a novice audience that may be shy about frank discussions of bodies and sexuality. Appealingly illustrated with classical and contemporary paintings of nude women, lovely portraits, and brightly colored displays of every conceivable vagina euphemism (flowers, cookies, fruits, seashells), the book fails its subject matter by omitting actual genital photography and helpful, anatomical diagrams, leaving the reader to figure out the colors, shapes, and structures of the vagina or the identification of STDs from the text descriptions. In many cases, Breitenback's choice of material undermines her desire to reduce shame and fear, putting focus on topics like virginity proof practices, female genital mutilation, and cosmetic labiaplasty even as she rails against them, or focusing on the fear of episiotomy during childbirth while omitting information about the natural elasticity of the vagina, and taking an outdated sex-negative attitude in her discussion of STDs. As a handbook that could form the jumping-off point for a women's group discussion, this might be an effective enough tool, but the gaps in information make it an inadequate choice for self-enlightenment." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Maritza Breitenbach: Maritza Breitenbach lives in South Africa with her three children and completed her Master of Philosophy degree in Applied Bio-Medical Ethics at the University of Stellenbosch. Her love of research and long-held passionate desire to dispel misconceptions that hamper personal growth, happiness and self-image, inspired this book. Maritza is a sought-after public speaker and holds light, fun and noninvasive workshops inspiring women to enjoy and celebrate the most intimate part of their being. In her spare time Maritza runs a small business and enjoys adventure sports, socializing with family and friends, and trading on the Stock Exchange.