16 years after its debut, The Vagina Monologues is packing them in everywhere, including State legislatures (photo: wikipedia)

What is it about women, politics and vaginas that don’t fit?

If ever the cliché, “Politics makes strange bedfellows,” was considered a truism, it was proven last week in the Michigan State Legislature. If ever men needed to be reminded that they are no longer masters of the uterus and inequality, it is now. But they are still masters of  19th century ignorance and bigoted stupidity.

Last week in Michigan a female member of the legislature was banned from speaking in the State House after she said the word “vagina” during a debate on an anti-abortion bill. State Rep. Lisa Brown, started the controversy during deliberations on a bill that would require doctors to ensure abortion-seekers haven’t been coerced into ending their pregnancies. At one point she said, “I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but no means no.”

Well, the audacity of the woman. To use the proper name of a female body part was simply unacceptable – by the male members. Shocked, the Republican leadership of the Michigan House of Representatives told Ms. Brown that she could not speak on the House floor that day. Needless to say, Ms. Brown was outraged. As she, and all women – and all men with an IQ over 90 – should be. She then did two things. She wrote and op-ed in the Detroit News and arranged for a reading of The Vagina Monologues on the steps of the Legislature. Eve Ensler, who wrote the The Vagina Monlogues 16 years ago, came from California to be part of the event on Monday June 18th.

Extract from Lisa Brown’s op-ed

In my comments on the House floor, I used a word that Speaker Jase Bolger and floor leader Jim Stamas are clearly offended by. I used the word “vagina.” I used that word because we were debating a women’s health issue. Vagina, by the way, is the correct medical name of a part of women’s anatomy lawmakers want to regulate. My statements were within the rules of the House and were clearly appropriate in relation to the bill we were discussing. One of my counterparts, Rep. Mike Callton, R-Nashville, said “vagina” is such a disturbing word that he would never deign to use it in the presence of women or “mixed company.” This, from a man who earned a bachelor’s degree in biology.

The Vagina Monologues

According to the Detroit Free Press, at least nine female legislators joined Ms. Brown and Eve Ensler  for a one-night stand of The Vagina Monologues on the Capitol steps in Lansing, Michigan. Ensler likened the actions of the Republican leadership of the House to “the Dark Ages.” She said, “We’re talking about the silencing of women, we’re talking about censoring people for saying a body part.” She pointed out the obvious stupidity of the men. “Half of these people who are trying to regulate vaginas, they can’t even say the word.”

They banned the other “V” word too

Not to be out flanked, the male dominated legislature went even stupider. Democratic Rep. Barb Byrum, of Onondaga, said she also was barred from speaking last Thursday because she referred to vasectomies during the debate. Wow! Let’s see if we get this? Not only won’t the men let anyone say the “V” word but they also can’t say the other “V” word. For a bunch of guys whose mind is in those nether regions, on average, every 52 seconds, they are a tad too sensitive. And hypocritical. Maybe they can’t help it, their brain seizes up and their response is visceral. The first “V” word stimulates an involuntary uprising and the second one a fear-inducing retraction. They can’t think straight. So they feign being offended under some twisted moral banner – often religious – and rally to protect ignorance, disguised as civility. They really do get their shorts in a knot for all the wrong reasons.  And ladies, you know what they’re like when they’re like that. Impossible frauds.

So all you male political Neanderthals, Grow up! No, that’s probably too hard. Just smarten up enough to know what battles to fight and what ones not to. Take a lesson from Rush Limbaugh’s “Bigot’s Bible;” you can’t win this one. Women are not only your equal, they will make the world a better place than it has been on your 5,000 year watch. Accept the reality that you are no longer masters of the uterus or masters of what you still think is your universe.