By Rawlein G. Soberano
GERMANTOWN, MD (July 2, 2012) — A strong rush of female pride resonated from the capitol lawn on June 18 in East Lansing as more than 2,500 people came out in support of women lawmakers in their performance of “The Vagina Monologues.” Republicans just can’t stop themselves — they keep pissing off overwhelming amounts of women — who feel more empowered by fighting back against the GOP hatred of women.
Eve Ensler, founder of The Vagina Monologues starring Ensler herself came out with the MI state legislators, all Democrats, e.g., Lisa Brown, Barb Byrum, Rebekah Bauer, Gretchen Whitmer, Stacy Erwin Oakes, Dian Slavens, Rashida Tlaib, Vicki Barnett Joan Bauer, Ellen Cogan Lipton and Maureen Stapleton. It was likely the first time such topics as orgasms, menstruation and the C-word were ever broadcast over loudspeakers at the state’s legislative hall. This event was dictated by a controversy involving Republican (the majority) and Democratic lawmakers over a woman’s choice and reproductive rights.
It all began when Rep. Lisa Brown, D-West Bloomfield, a Jewish-American state lawmaker, mother of three, who objected to the GOP overreach which is becoming irrelevant to mainstream America. She was barred from speaking the next day for using the word “vagina” during the debate on the abortion bills that were under discussion. If enacted the bill would require abortion providers to question women whether they are being coerced into ending their pregnancies. “I’m flattered you’re all so concerned about my vagina, but no means no.” Republicans justified the ban because they wanted to spread their brand of religion. Anyone who disagreed was accused of being lacking in decorum, even though the correct terminology should have been “censorship” no different from the modus operandi of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Yemen.
She was also accused of wanting in maturity that was required of a legislator, said the State House speaker (James Bolger). Looking at what he said and did, she made it clear that the immaturity was on Mr. Bulger. This GOP conspiracy brings back bad memories of the McCarthy days. I hope people in Michigan and other states, where the GOP constitutes the majority in the legislature, are taking notes. Come election time, you need fresh faces among your lawmakers. Republicans have been a disappointment for allowing religious and political extremists, like the Tea Party, take over the GOP in 2010. Just look at the gridlock and paralysis they have brought to the US Congress which resulted in nothing or very little done.
It takes a courageous person to come forward and fight the enemies of common sense legislation. She pointed to a package of abortion bills (abortion is banned after 20 weeks and studded with new regulations for abortion providers) would violate her Jewish beliefs and that abortions be allowed in cases where it is required to save the life of the mother. They did the same thing to Rep. Barb Byrum, D-Onondaga, who was not allowed to introduce an amendment to the abortion regulations bills, banning men from getting a vasectomy unless the sterilization procedure was necessary to save the man’s life.
Vagina is a legitimate medical term. There are not that many words Rep. Brown could have used in its place. It is sad that Michigan Republicans are so squeamish when it comes to the reality of everyday issues. And there are the implications of the new GOP “smaller government” that gives them the right to control women’s bodies and the government telling them how to live. Sometimes, one wonders what words are they comfortable with, e.g., wee wee, pee pee, down there, privates, et al.? Americans are so annoyingly backwards and prudish.
Republicans have no problem legislating women to undergo trans-vaginal ultrasounds against their will. Yet a duly elected lawmaker who actually has the platform speaking about a bill that only affects other citizens who have vaginas is verboten. They say as they walk to work, “A hole, a hole, it’s off to work we go!” For some bizarre and unexplainable reason, they are so fixated on the vagina. They want to punish Rep. Brown for using “vagina” in her speech. What happens next time; should she be caned? I guess a third offense will require that she be stoned to death. The vagina is the whole contraption in order to get to the uterus. She’d probably have been forcibly escorted out if she said “vulva” instead.
Republican men are obsessively talking about vaginas, abortion, forced ultrasounds, et al. It is all right for them to tell women what to do with their bodies, but women can’t even utter the body part that these men want to control. The GOP has many women supporters who use their right to free speech by shutting up, taking care of the kids, having a warm meal on the table when the man comes home with lipstick in his shirt-collar and not making any fuss. The only way they will leave every woman’s vagina alone is when women are allowed to make their vagina into a “corporation.” Republicans love corporations, and they will even throw money at corporations. Instead of wanting to govern women’s vaginas, they will be happy to give vaginas tax cuts and/or tax-payer funded government subsidies. And they will have the imprimatur of this activist Supreme Court. Morons!
What is unfathomable is the reaction of Republican women voters. They are not only voting against their own self-interest, but also against their daughters, their granddaughters and so on. Our mothers and grandmothers fought for women’s rights and then GOP women are ready to throw it all away. Maybe they believe they are inferior to men and should walk three steps behind them. Maybe they believe their place is to be submissive to their men, no questions asked. Or maybe they’re just plain stupid. Republicans clamor there is no war on women. Just their vaginas and free choice, access to contraception and a way to get justice from discrimination and fair wage laws and violence against their gender, and legislative representation.
Michigan’s only hope is that women (and men who do not espouse extremist ideas) take control of the legislature (and the same with other lawmakers from states across this country where the GOP constitutes the majority) because their male counterparts have folded their tents and ran away from standing their ground. Cowards!
Remember the Republicans are a breed of their own. I know because I came from that crowd during the Reagan era where someone then would feel like a pariah and out of place in today’s Republican Party. I even got a political appointment (Department of Education and SBA). Compromise was not a dirty word then. They hate almost everyone these days — women, gays, intellectuals, Arabs, blacks, Latinos, Muslims, the poor and anyone else who is not male and white. They are the new GOP (Government of the Pig-heads = the stupid and stubborn).