So, There's This Thing That Happened

It's a sad thing when a state that wants to "inspire a new generation of dreamers" has made national headlines for it's attack on women's rights.  Should the new Pure Michigan ad look something like this?  Does this now reflect the nature of our state?

Image link here.  (Sorry to redirect you, but I wouldn't want to infringe on anyone's copyright).

I'm not one for voicing my personal opinions on politics or religion.  Mostly, I avoid these topics because I know not everyone agrees and I don't usually feel the need to defend my viewpoint.  My opinions, such as they are, have been molded by my experiences and further developed by research and various other forms of education. While I'm open to engaging in a respectful dialogue on any topic, I am not open to argumentative trolls.  Therefore, I tend to avoid voicing my position on these matters on my blog.  It's just easier that way. 

But sometimes something happens that makes you realize every voice matters.  

Last week it was announced that Michigan Democratic Representative Lisa Brown was banned from speaking on the House Floor after daring to utter the word "vagina" during her speech on a controversial anti-abortion law.  According to NYDailyNews, this action against Brown was taken "because she had 'failed to maintain the decorum of the House of Representatives.'"  

It's tempting to hope she did more than simply name a part of the female anatomy.  Maybe she threw in a cuss word or two?  Flipped someone off?  Threw a punch?  Asked to meet another representative out in the parking lot for an old-fashioned beatdown?  

Not the case.  According to The Detroit News, her use of the word vagina was offensive.  To prove it, they quoted Representative Mike Callton, who went on record stating, "It was so offensive, I don't even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company."

While I understand vagina might not be a word you want bandied about the dinner table, it's not an offensive word.  It's an anatomical word used to describe a part of the female anatomy.  Using it during a debate on an anti-abortion law seems to be perfectly reasonable to me. It's not offensive in that context.  The use of the word should not be used to silence anyone, especially a woman speaking out in favor of women's rights because it smacks of oppression.