Silencing women, a new Republican value
If you haven't heard the Michigan State representatives have revived the dying story of the Republicans' continued war on women. In this case Reps. Lisa Brown of West Bloomfield and Barb Byrum of Onondaga were banned from speaking by the Republican leadership. It turns out in a debate about new restrictive abortion laws, Brown, who voted against the abortion regulations, told supporters of the bill: "I'm flattered you're all so interested in my vagina. But no means no," referencing the proposal.
Byrum was gaveled out of order after she protested when she wasn't allowed to speak on her amendment, which would have required proof of a medical emergency or that a man's life was in danger before a doctor could perform a vasectomy.
Both were silenced, not allowed to speak, to represent their constituents in a draconian and unconstitutional attempt to silence women once again on the issue of women's health. (In a twist, Brown's debate was going to bring up her Jewish heritage which demands abortions if the birth of the child would likely take the life of the mother so disallowing that debate would also be a violation of her 1st amendment religious rights and those of a Michigan Jews by the GOP leadership). It continues to be remarkable to me that anyone could look past this idea that women should sit down and shut up when it comes to their own bodies, not even allowed to say the anatomical name for part of their genitalia. Again, if you haven't read Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale go and get a copy now.
If the GOP decides this is okay that women can simply be silenced for asserting their opinions then let us show them outrage. My friend Emily Suess is promoting a campaign to show the Michigan GOP that vaginae (yes the correct plural form) are not dirty, that women should be allowed to speak for their district and that we will no longer sit back and allow the staunch male conservatives to try to control women's bodies while not being able to use anatomical terminology when speaking of it. (Google transV and West Virginia). Stand up and be counted in the easilest way possible. Use twitter and social media to make your point. But let's go further. Attend GOP town halls and ask every member of the party if saying vagina should get you silenced. Question candidates and representatives if women's bodies should only be spoken about in euphemisms by men. It is time to stand up to these people. Even if you disagree on abortion and frankly I respect many people who have a different view than I, this issue is bigger than an abortion debate. Stand up for women and their rights. We don't want to go back to the 19teens again and I don't think most American do not either. Let's make sure that we don't just like the right wing noise machine control this debate. Women's voices must be heard, let's make sure the GOP remembers that.