The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Women Silenced

Jun 18, 2012

The sexism behind attacks on abortion rights blazed into the limelight when male Republican House leaders Jase Bolger and Jim Stamus muzzled two female Democratic lawmakers after they expressed their indignation over anti-abortion legislation.

During debate on the bills, state representative Barb Byrum ironically tried to introduce an amendment to make vasectomies subject to the same regulations as abortions.

Representative Lisa Brown argued for her colleagues to discontinue legislating based on personal religious views (good luck with that!) and concluded her arguments by stating: “I’m flattered you’re all so concerned about my vagina. But no means no.”

The depth of reactionary views in Lansing was revealed by Republican spokesperson Ari Adler’s paternalistic email issued to the entire Capitol Press Corps, denigrating the women’s arguments, stating:

... there are two representatives not being recognized on the House floor today because of their actions yesterday.... I would urge you not to become too distracted by temper tantrums.

Lisa Brown responded in a letter to The Detroit News:

I spoke against a sweeping new anti-choice bill.... These lawmakers, predominantly men – have no problem passing laws about my vagina. But when I dared mention its name, they became outraged. You know what? I am outraged, too. I am outraged that this legislative body wants to dictate not only what women can do, but also what we can say.”

Misogynist House Members need to leave the Dark Ages and learn about anatomical language. A performance of the 1996 play “Vagina Monologues” will be staged on the Capitol steps on Monday, June 18. If angry women in Michigan had any say in the matter, offending legislators would be strapped to front row seats.