(published in English as: Fruit of Knowledge: The Vulva vs the Patriarchy)
I was talking to a friend about how difficult it can be to find graphic novels written and/or illustrated by women. She mentioned this Swedish author she enjoyed but wasn’t sure if she had been translated. Fortunately, she has been translated and I found this gem on Google Play Books. What an amazing read.
El fruto prohibido (literally The Forbidden Fruit) is a cultural history of the vulva, and it’s both hilarious and infuriating. It is also well documented, and this is important because you will often find yourself thinking, “this couldn’t possibly be true!” but it is. And then some.
All through history, society (read: men) has been obsessed with controlling, politicizing and punishing women for their sexuality. In this book, Strömquist takes us through the evolution of the patriarchy’s obsession with the vulva with sharp humor and fantastic art. She touches on everything: religion, science, menstruation, ancient art, feminine products advertising. Most of the book is in black and white, except for one full-color chapter.
Please visit my blog for the full review.