Sunday, June 17, 2012

Republicans: Women Should Remain Silient While Men Legislate Women's Rights

In Michigan old white republican men are busy passing laws concerning women and women's health.  Last week in Michigan, republicans were angry that a woman used the word "vagina" on the house floor while speaking against an anti-abortion bill.  The republicans silenced this woman and one of her colleagues and then accused her of a "temper tantrum".  These old white republican men have neither the political judgement or competence  to refrain from legislating anti-abortion bills reflecting their own personal religious beliefs and biological ignorance.  The republicans in Michigan ran on unemployment, yet they have done nothing to help the jobs situation in Michigan.  Rather the Republican men have been waging a war on women's health and a war on voters.
Not only women but husbands, fathers and uncles are increasingly angry at old white republican men telling the women in our lives what they can or cannot do with their bodies.  It's none of their business.  The republicans seem to have forgotten that women and the men who love them all have the right to vote and we will all remember the republican war on women the next time we vote, and I promise you, we won't forget to vote!

 State Rep. Lisa Brown Op-ed column (Emphasis mine)
Thursday was an important day at the Michigan Capitol. Many big decisions were being made, and my constituents sent me to be their voice at the Capitol. That is why I am shocked that Republican leadership of the Michigan House of Representatives told me that I wouldn't be allowed to speak on the House floor that day.
So why was I silenced? On Wednesday I spoke against a sweeping new anti-choice bill. This bill attempts to over-regulate women's health clinics to the point that many could no longer offer abortions. Among other things, the plan would require doctors to make funeral arrangements for fetal remains after miscarriages.  In my comments on the House floor, I used a word that Speaker Jase Bolger and floor leader Jim Stamas are clearly offended by. I used the word "vagina."  I used that word because we were debating a women's health issue. Vagina, by the way, is the correct medical name of a part of women's anatomy lawmakers want to regulate. My statements were within the rules of the House and were clearly appropriate in relation to the bill we were discussing.  One of my counterparts, Rep. Mike Callton, R-Nashville, said "vagina" is such a disturbing word that he would never deign to use it in the presence of women or "mixed company." This, from a man who earned a bachelor's degree in biology.
Isn't that something?
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. I am outraged that the leaders of the House want to rob me and my constituents of their voice in Lansing. And I am outraged that they think they can do these things with impunity.  It is not acceptable for male legislators to silence women and tell us that we can't even speak about our own bodies. And it's not acceptable for House leaders to declare that an elected representative no longer has the right to speak on behalf of her people.
The leaders of the House have shown they will go to great lengths to not hear our voices. I am going to speak out anyway. I urge everyone else who feels the Legislature doesn't hear them to speak up with me.
State Rep. Lisa Brown, D-West Bloomfield Township, represents Michigan’s 39th District in Lansing.
Progressive Change Committee has a petition demanding an apology to Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum -- and allowing them to speak again on the House floor. Click here to sign.

Click here to tell Jase Bolger that if he doesn't like it when lawmakers say the word "vagina," then he should stop legislating vaginas. Petition:
Speaker of the House: Lift the censorship ban on MI Representatives Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum
Picture via @eclectablog:
An estimated 5000 people attended a reading of the Vagina Monologues at the Michigan Capital today.  On news coverage of the event, one protest sign stood out:  "vaginas brought you into the world and vaginas will vote you out".  Perhaps, if every republican who votes on anti-abortion legislation was asked vagina pertinent questions, they might tend to start legislating jobs bills instead of women's health. 
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  1. I had not realized women weren't getting equal pay for equal work yet. Really?? I am about to have a bit of a temper tantrum myself.

    I guess that's why nobody is allowed to discuss salary.

  2. Nationally, women who work full time are paid just 77 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. It's much worse for Latino and Black women, 66 cents or less. Here is a chart breaking it down by state.
    The Paycheck Fairness Act barred retaliation against workers who disclose their wages. Republicans blocked it. Children, spouses and fathers of underpaid women are just as angry. Thanks for commenting Mya.