How low can you go?
Last Thursday in my home state of Michigan, Democratic Congresswoman Lisa Brown was barred from speaking on the House floor, after making a crude reference to her female anatomy during a speech. Brown had been speaking against a House initiative to ban late-term abortions after the twentieth week of gestation, when she said, “Finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no’.”
A spokesperson for Michigan Representative James Bolger explained later that she had been banned for failing to maintain decorum.
And fair enough. It’s easy to imagine the uproar among feminists, had a male Representative spoken in Congress about his own reproductive organs. He’d have been quickly shunned as vulgar and ill-mannered. Apologies would have been demanded by the aggrieved females.
Lisa Brown has no plans to quietly take to her seat, however—nor do Democratic women plan to let the issue die. On Friday, the Dems—supported by controversial playwright Eve Ensler—hastily crafted plans for a presentation of “The Vagina Monologues”, a highly sexualized play centered around women’s gender issues, on the steps of the state capitol in Lansing. The play has been criticized for its graphic portrayals of sexual encounters, rape, masturbation, and lesbian sex acts. The Michigan congresswomen’s performance will be held Monday, June 18, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
According to a new website, VAGINAS TAKE BACK THE CAPITAL, Ensler will join at least 16 Democratic congresswomen in the performance. Local and state activists and actors have signed on to perform in the play, as well as 16 Democratic politicians. Politicians who have signed on to perform in the play to date include Sen. Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor), Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing), Rep. Barb Byrum (D-Onondaga), Rep. Stacy Erwin-Oakes (D-Saginaw), Rep. Dian Slavens (D-Canton Township), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), Rep. Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield), Rep. Vicki Barnett (D-Farmington Hills), and Rep. Joan Bauer (D-Lansing). The webpage promises that more will be announced soon.
Senator Whitmer, the highest ranking woman in Michigan state government, was quoted in the group’s press release: “I want my two daughters to know that their Mom and countless other women stood up for them as they grow into the next generation of strong women.”
Whitmer’s, Brown’s and the other women’s daughters will know: (1) that their mothers were willing to resort to vulgar political theatre to achieve immoral political goals, and (2) that they, the daughters, were fortunate to have been born at all, since their mothers were willing to kill a developing fetus even after viability in order to protect their own selfish interests.