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The Vagina Protest Strikes Back Against the Censorship of Women
By: Adalia WoodburyJun. 19th, 2012more from Adalia Woodbury
Every now and then, something happens that takes a few days to get past the urge to throw things and drop F bombs at every misogynist I encounter. The censure of two women in Michigan’s state house was one of those moments. Rep. Lisa Brown and Rep. Barb Byrum dared to speak in opposition to the vagina obsessive Republicans who, in Michigan, like anywhere else in America are more concerned about regulating women’s bodies than jobs, the economy, or anything else.
I’ll grant that if Reps. Brown and Byrum had rudely interrupted another speaker yelling vagina repeatedly, one might have a basis to question their decorum. The fact is Reps. Brown and Byrum said what many American women are thinking, feeling and experiencing as Republicans attempt to flush our rights down the memory hole.
The basis for Brown’s ban from the house for a day was she had the audacity to drop the v-bomb. That’s right. She said vagina during a debate on legislation that seeks to strip women of rights they have had for decades. She also spoke about religious freedom. Watch her “controversial” remarks here.
Let’s face it, to the misogynistic Republican Party; women are nothing more and nothing less than vaginas. I’ll speculate that in the privacy of their male only clubs, they probably some other synonyms that are less than appropriate to include in this post. However, I digress.
Brown deconstructed the conservative’s religious freedom talking point in a way that proved embarrassing to the women should be seen but not heard crowd. It has nothing to do with the constitutional freedom for people of all faiths to practice their religion. This is about forcing conversion to a specific religion, albeit on the question of women’s reproductive rights, through legislation.
The Republican controlled State house punished Representative Brown for the simple reality that she challenged a process in which women were silenced, in the name of regulating their vaginas. She obliterated the most compelling constitutional argument conservatives had by pointing to the reality that as they profess to care about religious freedom, in reality, they seek to impose their religion on everyone else.
For her part, Rep. Bryum’s “inappropriate” conduct, was her proposal to regulate vasectomies in a manner consistent with the way Conservatives in Michigan and across the country seek to regulate women’s bodies and their relationships with medical professionals.
In other words, the conservative men in the room were offended by the idea that the government should regulate their bodies during a debate over a bill in which they seek to regulate women’s bodies.
Does anyone in their right mind truly believe the conduct of either women justified censure? This is the 21st Century. We’re past the days in which women who speak their mind are cast as shrews. As offensive as that may be to Conservatives in Michigan or anywhere else, the reality is women will not be silenced.
If they thought damage control was needed because of Reps. Brown and Byrum’s comments, one can only speculate about their reaction to Monday’s Vagina Protest. The protest included a performance of the Vagina Monologue by Rep. Lisa Brown.
The Detroit Free Press reports, 2,500 people joined to protest the censures of women who had the audacity to challenge the Republican effort to take us back to the dark ages.
For their part, backers of the censure and the bill on which Reps. Brown and Byrum dared to contribute thoughts and amendments:
Backers of the Legislation said today, as they did last week, that the controversy wasn’t about Brown’s choice of words, but her behavior, and that the legislation, approved on vote of 70-39, was not an attack on women but an attempt to protect patients from unscrupulous abortion providers and unsanitary abortion clinics.
Sure. In the name of protecting women, the Republican controlled statehouse made it abundantly clear that in their world women are to be seen, but not heard.
Featured Image from MSNBC