The Gate to Life
by Grit Scholz
Pure femininity! Discover the holiest place of a woman. In this illustrated book women and men marvel without any shame at the variety of shapes and colours of the vulva, also lovingly called yoni. All pictures of the vulva are contrasted with a form from/of nature: whether shell, flower, tree bark or butterfly.
Cast curious and healing glances at the gateway to life. Discover the womb of the woman in its individual beauty.
Female genitals – I have never seen the yoni like this before!
“Das Tor ins Leben” is the first work by Grit Scholz and was the decisive impetus for founding the LebensGut Verlag. The book is offered in two different versions.
In these it becomes clear that the yoni (vulva) of every woman is unique. There is no standard, only diversity, as in the nature of human beings themselves. A book by women for women, which encourages and enlightens, because it illuminates a body part that has been taboo for many centuries. To make women aware of how different and wonderful the female genitals are.
Let me start by saying this:
There are a number of words that describe the female genitalia, starting with vagina, vulva, yoni, cunt, pussy and many more. In conversations with women, it turned out that some of them invented words themselves because the existing ones seemed inappropriate. Because many women do not feel comfortable talking about their genitals with a word that triggers obscene or unpleasant, inappropriate associations.
I chose the word yoni because it is the word I personally like best and it has an old tradition. In this tradition the female genitals are revered as sacred, which I would like to remind you of as often as possible.
Why I made this book…
The aim of this book is to give a broad public a different view of the female genitals (the vagina, the yoni). This should be outside of pornographic, medical, religious, power-related or humiliating representations.
This is done by means of photographs, photomontages, creative and artistic inclusion of images of nature and painting, as well as other graphic means. It should show the beauty, diversity and uniqueness of the yoni. The magnificence of creation and respect for the miracle “life” are the background of this book. This book project wants to support women in their processes of self-discovery and self-knowledge.
We invite men to look closely with a respectful and open mind and, through the way it is presented, to take advantage of the opportunity to look at it in a value-free and curious way. Here lies the chance to direct their gaze purposefully and calmly. This can create the space to look at this legendary, hidden part of the female body, the yoni, with different eyes and thus escape the social tendency towards secrecy, perversity and stupefaction.
Children and young people should also have the opportunity to see and understand through these images. The point is not to be sent into the same old battle of the sexes as so many generations before. In this way, feelings of guilt can dissolve, which arise from ignorance and taboos during lonely attempts at self-exploration.
Read more in the book.
For her book project, Grit Scholz photographed 65 women between the ages of 18 and 75. Her aim was to create images that allow a purposeless view of the variety of shapes and colours and that have no sexual background. Therefore she related the pictures to motifs from nature.
Most of the women photographed, like Grit Scholz herself, have long been dealing with their femininity, their shame, their fears and insecurities.
They exchanged ideas with other women and thus developed a wonderful and loving relationship with their yoni. These women would like to share their experience of inner healing with others.
This should enable a feeling of respect and reverence as well as a loving and respectful treatment of the female sexual organs.
For men, the subject of “female genitalia” is just as important as for women. A man who is not capable of loving and fearless handling of the yoni transfers this dissonance into the partnership.
During a photo exhibition with pictures from the book, Grit Scholz got into a conversation with one of the male visitors. He was very insecure. He had the feeling that he had to like all the pictures. But this was not possible for him. He explained that he was attracted by some of the pictures, but felt repelled by others.
He was visibly relieved when Grit told him that she was not interested in overcoming the natural resonances that exist on all levels. She said that these images were no different from photographs of faces or smells and voices. You feel attracted to some of them, but with others nothing happens or you are repelled.
This book is an invitation to become aware of this and thus to recognize the root of resonance or dissonance. This is usually based on very personal experiences and experiences that shape us.
About Grit Scholz
Grit Scholz was born in Leipzig in 1965. Today she lives in Elsteraue in Saxony-Anhalt. The mother of two daughters works as a freelance graphic designer, author, photographer and process consultant.
“Gateway to Life” deeply impressed me
By chance (is there such a thing?) it came to me and I am still very moved by the topic and the extremely appealing structure of the book. It consists of two parts: First there is a personal and social introduction in several languages and then comes the picture part. The order of the two parts is significant. The second part is therefore separated in such a way that I really only looked at it after I had devoted myself to the introduction.
How do I see myself as a woman? What image do I have of my body? How does my own image of myself influence my mental and physical well-being? These are all very exciting questions that the book raises and the best thing is: It gives impulses to find the answers within myself. In the meantime I have passed the book to my (adult) daughter. May it get into the hands of as many women as possible!
“Gateway to Life” is a clear appreciation of the feminine.
In photographs that create awareness of the diversity of form and provide deep insight – to women as well as to men. The vagina can be seen here in its natural splendour and beauty in over 200 variations, which are presented in this illustrated book with a fine sense for the pure and natural.
Such pictures and insights of the “gate” which every human being has passed coming on earth are, as far as I know, unique. If you are curious to see how many faces these gates have and how they find their expression everywhere in nature, such as the bark of a tree, the curves of a blossom or a dried up river bed, then this book is a “must have”.
In some pictures, the nature shots even remain more mysterious than the vulva. And raise questions: What is this fruit? Is it even a fruit? And which blossom actually looks like this? Artful, how aptly each vagina is reflected in the images of nature. Thank you for this book and the courage of the women who dared to reveal themselves to “being looked at”.
“Gateway to Life” provides a valuable contribution to becoming a woman.
As the child of Catholic parents who belonged to the generation that has not yet been enlightened and growing up with four elder brothers, a medical education at school of no less than 90 minutes, I am amazed how I have managed to get a healthy body awareness through self-discovery and self-knowledge.
Well, it was a long and difficult path and I am grateful to the few men in my life who helped me to do so. On the other hand, the number of those who harmed or inhibited my body consciousness is significantly greater.
I would like it to be different for my daughters and therefore welcome books like “Gateway to Life.”
It makes a valuable contribution to enlightenment, to becoming a woman and to removing taboos from the subject. If I were a mother of a son, it would also be close to my heart that my son should mature into an attentive man and sexual partner who has respect for femininity and life.
The preface shows similar experiences of becoming a woman, which speak from my heart and are also well known to some women. Many of my friends can confirm that they have felt bad or wrong at least once because of their genitals. In women’s rounds the shame comes up every time. But that does not need to be!
There is an urgent need to promote the tabooing of the female genitals in the general public. What do you see, apart from pornographic, bleached, corrected and photo-reworked vaginas? How are our children to be led to a healthy body feeling and a healthy sexuality, if they only get to see such pictures and look completely different themselves?
This leads to irritations of their self-image, they feel wrong and disgusting. What do you hear, apart from degrading, inappropriate, power-related or obscene auditions? They are already so entrenched in our language that some young people don’t even know the medical terms, let alone benevolent terms like “yoni”.
The other extreme of the belittlement of the vagina, which is often taught to children, (“Mumi/Mumu”) is just as alarming, because the seriousness and the eye level in the conversation about one’s own body are lost. As long as terms like pussie or cunt are used in books and female editors don’t even notice or dislike it, much more literature like “The Gateway to Life” is needed.
If you mention something like that in a conversation or in a review, you’re immediately considered an extreme feminist, which I don’t think I am, but I take it as a compliment in this case. The narrow-mindedness of sticking to it and not correcting the texts, even if one is even the father of daughters, shows, similarly to pornography, the brutalization of our society.
In such an environment there is a need for a turn, a contra, a loud and a quiet stop … artistically, aesthetically, attentively and lovingly, loud and quietly … everywhere and as often as possible.
For me, an equal, attentive approach to femininity is important, because the long road to a self-determined, respectful life as a woman cannot be taken for granted.
The “gateway to life” belongs on every table in waiting rooms at gynaecologists, in every educational lesson, in every well-stocked bookstore, in every educational conversation with daughters and sons, in every practice of sexual or couple therapy (one hears that some of the husbands do not know what their wife looks like in the genital area) and everywhere where one wants to and can loudly and quietly take a new direction.