One of the strangest stories last week came out of Michigan. The Republicans in the state legislature were working on an abortion ban, which itself is no surprise. The surprise came when two female legislators were banned from speaking for one day. One of the two was punished for saying the word “vagina.” She said, “I’m flattered that you are all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no.’” It was claimed that the elected official should lose speaking rights because she was being,”uncivil.”
I’m all for being civil in government and everywhere else, but I also realize that those in power get hurt mighty easily. To be specific, they get their feelings hurt by anyone who accurately describes their oppression. For groups dominated by men to make decisions about women’s personal lives is oppression in my opinion. To make talking about women’s body parts off limits is a perfect way to keep the conversation abstract and therefore irrelevant. It is incomprehensible that an elected offician should lose their first amendment rights because she made some powerful men with sexist attitudes uncomfortable.
The state has broken out in protests. The following article describes some of them. Many of the signs at the protest used the dreaded V-word. My favorite read:
“I Didn’t Come From Your Rib. You Came From My Vagina.”