Pussy: A Reclamation (A review by Tara Elizabeth)

Updated: Jul 5

“The only thing that makes a relationship work is a happy pussy”


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It's all about pussy.





When Melissa started reading this book she kept telling me, "You HAVE to read this!" she would quote and send me passages from it, she wasn't wrong, it's been an incredible confirmation of the path we're on and of my own personal journey.


I started reading it half expecting to be a little bored; after all, I have a pretty solid relationship to my femininity, to other women, and to my pussy. I myself have a history of abuse, self discovery, and empowerment; having partied in the early 2000's in NYC with Cake, I felt like I already knew what it meant to be empowered. What I found though was so much context, relevant history, information, and inspiration.


Mama Gena, our author, Regena Thomashaur, is the patron saint of all things pussy and femininity. She is the founder of Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts, and a trailblazer for the movement of feminine ownership and empowerment, and I'm so glad I picked this book up.


In the opening chapters of Pussy we follow Mama Gena as she tells her story of self discovery. She opens with the child she once was, questioning the structures around her, looking for a story she KNOWS exists, but isn't shared. She knows, as a young girl, as did I, and I'm sure you did too, that the Goddess has been hidden. Mama Gena talks about looking in sacred places like churches and historical sites, while I looked in the book shack at my Grandmother's Long Island antique shop at dusty old Playboy magazines full of glamorous, free spirited women. We were looking for freedom, we were looking for an archetype, we were looking for permission, ownership, love. Aren't we all looking to belong, to make sense of it, to feel seen, to feel safe, validated, even celebrated! what a concept! I wanted that, and Mama Gena was looking for her own version of it too. Maybe you know what I'm talking about?


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Through a series of abusive, traumatic experiences, she is compelled by the nagging feeling that something is missing, that we're all suffering for it, and that we don't have to. This book is the map of her quest, the wisdom she has cultivated from it, the lasting impact her journey has, and practices you can do to find your own way forward.


Let's back up, why "Pussy," why that word? I bet it makes you blush a little, maybe it's hard to say? Does it feel vulgar? Does it turn you on?


Personally, I always loved the word, to be honest, it's kind of cute, it gives me permission to use the cat heart eyes emoji when I'm turned on, it rolls off the tongue, it feels both tender and strong, just like... a pussy. I like the look in the eyes of the other when I use it; I like to help women reclaim it, I like to make men reckon with themselves over it. Pussy, it's a great word and it's time we owned it all the way.


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Mama Gena makes the strongest argument for the liberation of THAT word, and the power we wield as we use it and unpack all the "taboos" around being a woman. The culture of being a woman has been desecrated, dismantled, and stolen, replaced by the stale, repressive, possessive, fear mongering ways of the patriarchy. Notice, I didn't say man, men, or masculinity? This isn't about blaming men, it's about healing them. Healing them with pussy, but only after we do that work on ourselves.


But first we need to get to the root of it all. What has been stolen from us? And for just how long? When we don't even know what we're missing; it's best to start within. How does the culture of today make you feel? Yes, feel. That word alone begins our study.


Feelings are the often maligned, comprehensively dismissed, routinely undermined counterpart of thoughts and logic. Feeling runs the depths that thinking only skims. Feeling is chemical, it's natural, it's primal. Feeling is the feminine.


When feeling meets thought, emotions are born. Emotions are the inward sensation and outward expression of chemistry & memory. Feeling and emotion challenge thought and logic, here is where our trouble begins.


We all have feelings and emotions, we all have feminine and masculine energies, we all have the capacity for the rational and the emotional, yet emotions, feelings, are discouraged, disregarded, and trampled over by the brutality of pure "logic." Untested logic is the masculine run rampant. Pussy illustrates how the war on feeling is a war on the feminine and the embodiment of femininity is, of course, most often, in female form.


To be a woman means to be under constant scrutiny, it means to measure every word, every step, every desire, it means to shrink, hush, and demure; but yet, why?


Why has society asked us to be small? Conditioned us to ask for less, suppress our needs, ignore our desires, and reject our incredible bodies? Why does our culture demand that women be of sacrifice at every turn? Mama Gena so skillfully unpacks these questions with relatable stories, anecdotes and research.


As the book progresses, the reader is given "goddess homework," these tasks are meant to increase "cliteracy" (what a cheeky term!). Cliteracy is all about learning pleasure, and unlearning all of the maligned, patriarchal conditioning that keeps women suppressed, miserable, and defeated. Centered on women, yes, but of benefit to all, YES. Empowered women, women driven for pleasure are an oracle for the health, well being, and happiness of all.


Our book explores the power of sisterhood, in fact, this entire ode, is about that relationship which has been manipulated and exploited by the patriarchy to keep women at odds with one another, in competition (for what!?) and ultimately separated from the collective wisdom and support inherent in the genuine bond between women. This is a book about the collective power of pussy, not just the singular magnificence; as we learn to accept, love and celebrate ourselves, we become free to accept, love, and celebrate the other. Mama Gena addresses the courtesan lifestyle, the way in which women corral around one another in ceremony, support, and decadent celebration. It's like school for being a best friend, and it's pure magic.


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Mama Gena goes on to address romantic relationships and the different styles in which a woman with excellent cliteracy might enjoy them. There is no one right way to have a romance, especially when you let your pussy call the shots; she knows.


This little hand book is a revolution for some, and a refresher for others. It's message is bold, smart, thoughtful, daring, and mundane too. How do we not know this already!? Mama Gena helps invite permission around things that seem taboo, she affords regard around anatomy we're conditioned to reject, she issues a battle cry in the war for sovereignty and pleasure. I'm with her, and the love letter she's written to the warm, wet wisdom every woman has access to, but few embrace.


Pussy is God(dess), now you know.


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