For everything our houses of government are, they are bodies governed by rules. Specifically, governed by their respective rules of order, which mandate certain standards of decorum for our elected leaders when they are in view of other elected leaders. These rules aren’t fast and loose, either, which is why over here, our elected leaders have a proud history of beating the sh*t out of each other on the floor of Congress as opposed to the more traditional approach followed in the UK, which, during specific times, parties are allowed to obtain the floor and publicly and respectfully refer to representatives of the opposition as f***ing dumbasses.
Rep. Lisa Brown of the Michigan legislature clearly has little grasp on the more technical aspects of her job, and as such, is now a feminist icon, charged with transforming an idiotic moment on the House floor, wherein she spoke a sentence of questionable decorum that happened to contain the word “vagina” into a national cause celebre for women’s studies majors across this great nation who, took a moment away from braiding their armpit hair and avoiding making a contribution to American society, to use her predicament as a way of hammering home the idea that white men everywhere would like to get them pregnant and chain them to a stove in a house with a white picket fence, a dog, and no access to Sylvia Plath.
Rep. Lisa Brown, a Democrat from suburban Detroit, was silenced after Republicans who control the chamber said she violated decorum. While speaking Wednesday against a bill requiring doctors to ensure women aren’t coerced into ending their pregnancies, Brown told Republicans, “I’m flattered you’re all so concerned about my vagina. But no means no.”
Brown, of West Bloomfield, and another Democrat were told they couldn’t speak on the floor Thursday when the House spent hours considering legislation before a five-week recess. Rep. Barb Byrum, of Onondaga, said she was benched after referring to vasectomies.
The “horrific attack on women’s rights” that Ms. Brown felt it appropriate to use crude terms and a cheap public relations ploy to oppose, ended up passing, and will now require Michigan’s abortion providers to carry liability insurance, get licensed and be subjected to the regular requirements attendant to such licenses, screen women for signs of coercion before providing them with abortions, and would prevent them from prescribing medication over the phone or disposing of fetal remains in generic trash receptacles. The most shocking part of this bill is, obviously, that it wasn’t in place before, considering that these clinics perform medical procedures. But it’s cool. I can totally see why we would want someone prescribing a medication that rips out the lining of your uterus over the phone. No biggie (The other response to this legislation, BTW, was to propose a ban on vasectomies, because cutting off a person’s fertility is totally the exact same thing as getting an abortion or something).
Also, I’m outraged. Or something. Mostly, I don’t give a sh*t because, and this is key, this is in no way legislating my vagina. In fact, my vagina can still do whatever the f*** it pleases, as long as the people providing services to my vagina maintain an adequate amount of insurance and an approach to medicine that is slightly above the standards of a third world country. Plus, as far as I know, if this legislation were preventing abortion somehow, that would involve your uterus and not actually your vagina. But whatever. I wouldn’t be doing this story if every female on earth had common sense. You’ve seen the shoes we buy. You know the problem.
And notice I’m saying the word “vagina.” Because that’s what it’s called, and generally speaking, no one actually gives a sh*t if you say the word. Even dudes. Because this isn’t 1912 and basic human anatomy is still part of fifth grade biology and we’re all adults here and we can totally say vagina as long as the context is appropriate. Or most of us can. If you happen to be Joy Behar or Roseanne Barr and then, people really don’t want you to say “vagina” because they don’t want to think about the fact that you have one. But back to the point.
As weird as this all was originally, the response has just made it a pink circus of insanity.
Apparently, because she was censured for being, for lack of a better word, a vagina herself, implying the Speaker was interested in hers and using language typically associated with rape (thanks Planned Parenthood!), Rep. Brown and her compatriots in every “womens rights” nonprofit with a C4 status and a bright pink website simply assumd that the reason people responded the way they did to her inappropriate comment was because they clearly hate all vaginas. Or, in the alternative the actual word “vagina.” Obviously this is the only logical explanation. They’re even dragging Eve Ensler out of whatever commune was desperately in need of her ambiguous feminism and vaguely threatening sexual fantasies to perform the Vagina Monologues on the steps of the Michigan Capitol in a scene directly out of 1992.
It’s certainly a convincing approach if they’re going for “feminism ran out of ideas around the time Phish stopped playing the college circuit.” Notsomuch if they want me to think about more than whether I feel like writing a blog post with the word “vagina” in it fifty times, like I’m a three-year-old who just discovered my parents’ euphemisms were not the correct scientific term. This is like the adult, well-funded requirement of holding your dress over your head and screaming for your friends to take a gander at your princess Pull-Ups. So, respectfully, I think we can all agree that, whatever Rep. Brown happens to have, she should put it back in her goddam pants and continue her work of fighting an uphill battle against strawmen, or strawwomen, or straw penises or whatever haunts her nightmares.