Vaginas aren’t dirty, even in Michigan

From The Guardian UK:

A Michigan politician was banned from a debate after saying ‘vagina’ in a discussion about women’s health. Whatever next?

Naomi McAuliffe
, Friday 15 June 2012

What’s the worst thing you can call female genitalia? I’m guessing Jeremy Hunt just popped into your mind. Yet for Michigan state representatives, the most offensive thing you can say when debating the issue of abortion, is “vagina”. In a debate on a bill that would restrict abortion in a number of ways, state representative Lisa Brown finished her opposition speech with: “Finally, Mr Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but no means no.” She was subsequently banned from taking part in a debate on the school employee retirement bill.

Apparently, when discussing a medical procedure, it’s not really appropriate to use medical words. Well not about lady bits anyway. It makes me wonder what euphemisms would be acceptable. “Will the representative get his hand out of the otter’s pocket?” “Can the honourable gentleman refrain from trespassing in the lady cave?”

Delicate little flower, representative Mike Callton, reacted to Brown’s quim quip with: “It was so offensive, I don’t even want to say it in front of women.” Well thank you, Mike, the last thing I want is an informed political debate about my genitalia that involves the correct anatomical words.

This comes a month after a woman was thrown off an American Airlines flight for wearing a T-shirt bearing the legend: “If I wanted the government in my womb, I’d fuck a senator.”

But while both statements may prove that the pro-choicers have the best jokes, what these clampdowns on legitimate freedom of speech demonstrate is that the tactic of the anti-choice movement (euphemistically called “pro-lifers”) to airbrush women’s bodies out of the debate on abortion. To be against abortion, you need to get round the uncomfortable fact that women and girls’ bodies must play host to your ideological opinions. You need to focus on the foetus and not an actual human being surrounding it.

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