|That's trademarked. Wow.|
I'm sure you have all heard the story by now. Two female Democratic Representatives in the Michigan House were silenced because in the midst of a debate about a horrifying anti-abortion bill that republicans are trying to pass. Rep. Lisa Brown said:
I'm flattered you are so interested in my vagina, but no means no.
In turn, she wasn't allowed to speak on the House floor the next day, which just happened to be the last day that the House was in session, before its long summer break.
She was debating a bill that would criminalize all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, without exceptions for rape victims or in cases where there is a severe fetal anomaly. There may be a narrow exception permitted in the case where the mother's life is at risk- but that has to be determined by a physician who- let's face it- will obviously be terrified to commit a procedure that could be labeled as criminal. Even the most sympathetic doctors are not going to want to go down that road.
As for Representative Byrum, she believes she was hushed for her use of the term "vasectomy." Apparently, these are some queasy, penis-having, vagina-hating men- with some delicate constitutions.
The official excuse as to why they were silenced is this; They behaved in a way that disrupted the decorum of the House. That's what Ari Adler, a spokesman for the House Majority Leader said. Translation- that wasn't very ladylike, ladies. Ladies don't use the word, vagina. And ladies don't get visibly angry. Yes, I know we are making you have rape babies, but really- do you have to get your panties in a wad? You must be PMS-ing. Don't bring up the snippety-snip of the man bits, and in the future, when referring to medical procedures that happen in your nether regions- can you just say lady box, va-jay-jay, hoo-ha, or vee-vee? I mean really- have some decorum.
Decorum? Give me a break, dude. I don't think that means what you thinks it means. Decorum refers to appropriateness of behavior or conduct. In other words, decency. This ridiculous bill that is being proposed is the biggest example of disruptive decorum, ever. Reacting to it is just- human. Those women were silenced for having opinions. They were silenced for giving a shit about their own bodies, and wanting to hold on to their basic human right to control said bodies.
But most importantly, they were silenced because they could be. Because a male dominated House gets to choose when a woman speaks, even if she is a professional peer. Because a male dominated House gets to decide what a woman does with her body. And if they get to decide what she does with her vagina, then they damn sure get to decide when she talks. It makes sense, really. Why would we expect anything more?
I love the use of the word "tantrum" in referring what took place with Byrum. Silly little woman, don't raise your voice! Yes, everyone is blatantly ignoring you- but you should be happy just to be here. We're humoring you. We really don't give a shit what you think! Don't worry your pretty little head about all of this complicated legislation. Shhhh!
I hate to be the champion of the obvious, but vagina is not a bad word. It is an anatomical term. But I guess if you hate women, it stands to reason that you would also be troubled by the word, vagina.
Vagina. Vagina. Vagina.
We will not be silenced, assholes. Stop fucking with us.
Now those are bad words.