Michigan State Representative Lisa Brown was banned from speaking on the House floor Thursday, when she used the word vagina in her remarks addressing a proposed bill that would place extreme restrictions on abortions and clinics in Michigan. Brown began her opposition to the bill by stating “Mr. Speaker I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina but no means no”.
The gag order placed on Representative Brown by her Republican colleagues speaks volumes to what conservatives think about a woman’s body—it’ dirty, needs to be regulated, and silenced.
Check it out here:
Brown isn’t alone in her thoughts of why there is so much interest in vaginas yet very little education about them.
We claim in this country how important education is except when it comes to women’s bodies and reproduction. Maybe that’s why Michigan Republicans thought vagina was a bad word—they didn’t know any better.
There are 26 states in this country that require abstinence-only education. These “health” classes not only teach abstinence from sex but also abstain from teaching about sexual and reproductive health—essentially anything that really matters.
In 2007 a federal report showed that abstinence-only programs have “no impact”. If Republicans want to talk about wasteful spending and programs that “don’t work” then they need to look no further than these faux health education programs. Don’t take the federal government’s word for it, just look at the teen pregnancy numbers in abstinence only states like Mississippi and New Mexico—both states boasting over 50 teen pregnancies per 1000 girls between 15-19.
A gag order on proper health education hasn’t stopped teens from having sex and silencing clinics like Planned Parenthood by slashing funding and issuing ridiculous restrictions won’t stop abortions either. It will however place undue burden on women especially those who are poor that have no other place to go to get cancer screenings, mammograms, and other preventative medical tests done.
We like to point fingers at oppressive cultures that keep women from schooling, voting, and obtaining any type of leadership yet look at the restrictions we place on women in this country. We deny proper health care and call being a woman a “pre-existing condition”. Women make 70 cents to the dollar of a man. Fifty-two percent of the voting public is women yet we only make up 17% of those in congress. What’s wrong with this picture?
Sure, women may not be stoned to death in this country for having sex but we sanction government run humiliation. Remember the “magic wand” legislation from just a few months ago that would have women undergo unnecessary and evasive ultrasounds before having an abortion.
Conservatives need to understand that women are people not just parts. We are more than our uterus and breasts. Our bodies are not to be silenced or entered without our consent. Unlike the 5 female Republican Senators who voted against equal pay for equal work last week, the rest of us will not just fall in line, keep our mouths shut and let conservatives have their way with us.
I stand with Rep. Brown. My vagina has put up a sign and it reads: No Republicans Allowed!