Described as “a canvas on which to explore feminist rage”, the Vajournal is a diary aimed squarely at women. A place to record thoughts, emotions and experiences (both positive and negative), it addresses the relationship that women have with their bodies, periods and sex, as well as more thorny issues such as mansplaining and everyday sexism.
It’s easy for these kind of titles to come across as either glib or po-faced, but with the use of appealing illustrations and witty texts, author Isabella Bunnell manages to keep things playful. There are sections encouraging examination of personal thoughts and feelings – from a list of everyone you’ve ever wanted to sleep with, to pages asking you to examine what makes you anxious, or what actions and thoughts might cause you to undermine yourself.
Then there are pages to record external experiences and how these in turn have made you feel: these include backhanded compliments, casual sexism and how women are portrayed in movies and on TV.
In a year of anger and frustration over sexual harassment and a wide lack of equality for women, the Vajournal could hardly be a more timely title. It will certainly act as an interesting time capsule for feminism too – in ten years’ time, will some of the questions asked by the Vajournal still be necessary? Let’s hope not.
Vajournal by Isabella Bunnell is published by Cidada Books, priced £9.95; cicadabooks.co.uk