Okay, okay, enough already with the vagina. Even I, with my newfound comfort level around the correct for term lady-parts, am getting a little tired of the jokes. (Though, I must say, my favorite from this list of “Vagina” alternatives has GOT to be “God’s Stab Wound.”)
Something I hinted at in my previous post, “Vaginas to the Left, Vaginas to the Right,” was that I am borderline compulsive about seeking out opposing viewpoints from which I can learn, and from which a real discussion can be cultivated. In my satirical exploration of why Michigan Rep. Lisa Brown’s comment sent her colleagues into orbit, I also joked that perhaps Republicans were hurt by the implication that they were being compared to date rapists.
Well, heidi-ho, it appears I’ve hit on something. I searched the interwebs for a Republican response to Rep. Brown’s comments, and had a very hard time finding anything in my favorite news outlets, MSNBC, Huffington Post, and CNN. The only thing I could find were discussions of whether or not the word “Vagina” was uttered improperly in the State House’s debate. Truly, that irritated me, but that’s a rant for another time.
In desperation, I turned to Fox News. Not surprisingly, they focused a little more seriously on Republican response. I still found a heavy emphasis on the decorum aspect of Rep. Brown’s parting shot. “‘I ask all members to maintain a decorum of the House, and I felt it went too far,’ Republican Floor Leader Jim Stamas told The Detroit News. He scratched Brown and Byrum from the list of speakers.” I also, though, found this: “Rep. Lisa Lyons, R-Alto, said Brown’s comments were “disgraceful” and her “no means no” remark seemed to inappropriately compare the anti-abortion bill to rape. The House approved the bill on a 70-39 vote.” (Both of these quotes came from an article I link to here.)
What do you know about that? Here, my friends, is where this embarrassing episode can cease being fodder for late-night comics and turn into a real discussion about a very simple question I have. This was, obviously, a bill about limiting access to abortion, among other things. From this point forward, I will frame the debate, not in Democratic/Republican terms, but in Pro-Choice/Pro-Life terms. I know Pro-Life Democrats and Pro-Choice Republicans, so leaving political party affiliation out of this seems fair to me.
If we take the highest road, giving the leadership who censured Rep. Brown the greatest amount of credit, I can almost buy that the implying support for the bill was comparable to date rape was, indeed, disrespectful and an affront to decorous behavior. Here is my question, though.
Would that same leadership have penalized a Pro-Life member of the House for implying opposition to the bill was comparable to murdering babies?
If the answer to that is “No,” I’d like to ask a follow-up question.
When did being compared to murderers become more decorous than being compared to date rapists?