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Brown writes: "I was shocked to learn Thursday that the leadership of the Michigan House of Representatives had decided to silence me and keep me from doing my job because I had uttered the one word they couldn't stand to hear: vagina."

Rep. Lisa Brown. (photo: housedems.com)
Rep. Lisa Brown. (photo: housedems.com)



My Vagina Monologue

By Lisa Brown, Guardian UK

16 June 12

 

s a state legislator, I have spoken out often and passionately on the things that matter most to me and my constituents. I have spoken out against the defunding of our public schools and against tax increases to middle-class families. So I was shocked to learn Thursday that the leadership of the Michigan House of Representatives had decided to silence me and keep me from doing my job because I had uttered the one word they couldn't stand to hear: vagina.

Let me explain. The day before, we were debating a new anti-choice law that would over-regulate women's health clinics to the point many could no longer offer abortions. It would require doctors to make the equivalent of funeral arrangements for foetal remains, both in the cases of abortion and miscarriage; and it would hinder women in rural areas or who don't have transportation from getting early abortions by prohibiting doctors from prescribing abortion drugs by phone.

When it was my turn to talk, I explained my opposition to the bill. As a Jew, I said that I follow my faith's teaching that when a pregnant woman's health and life is at stake, it's her life that comes first. As a member of a religious minority, I understand that not everyone shares my views, and I respect that. In turn, I asked that they not force their religious views on me. In closing, I told them that I was flattered in their interest in my vagina, but no means no.

Apparently, that was too much for House leadership to bear.

The next day, I was told I wouldn't be allowed to speak on behalf of my constituents on the House floor. Thursday was the last day of session before legislators went home for the summer, and a lot of work was getting done. There were proposals on funding teacher pensions and reducing income taxes – issues my constituents find very important. But I wasn't allowed to speak up for them. Because I had dared say "vagina" the day before.

To hear some talk about it, you'd think I'd said a dirty word. One of my counterparts, Representative Mike Callton (Republican–Nashville, Michigan) said he couldn't even bear to repeat what I had said because it was "so offensive, I don't even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company." Callton, by the way, holds a bachelor's degree in biology. Imagine what he went through in anatomy class.

If he thought the legislature was a safe refuge, he's bound to be disappointed. At least three times, Michigan lawmakers have passed laws containing the dreaded V-word: once in describing body cavity searches, once in offering a legal description for birth, and another time in describing criminal sexual conduct.

Shouldn't we be able to discuss body parts if we're going to pass laws about them? Am I really to believe that my opposition is undone at the mere mention of a woman's anatomy?

I don't think so. I think what's going on is even worse. Some legislators – mostly male – will go to great lengths not to hear women's voices when it comes to legislating our health and catering to extreme special interests. They don't want to hear us, and when we speak out anyway, they try to shut us down.

I'm not about to let them stop me. I wonder if they hear us now?

 

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+230 # Barbara K 2012-06-16 11:33
Looks like Dictator Snyder's dictatorship has spread to the Legislature. We need to get these idiots out of our government. I am a Michigan resident living under this kind of repression in my state. Snyder thinks he is the King of Michigan. He takes over cities and towns, takes their assets and leaves us with the most meager means of keeping our towns going, then he takes over the towns and cities, appoints a crony to run them, and disbands our duly elected governments. What you see in the House in this clip, is a tiny part of the crookedness coming out of the Legislature here. We need lawyers to come and we need to start some class action lawsuits. The Dictator's crony sold the Pontiac Silver dome for $500,000, after the taxpayers paid $50 Million to have it built. Guess who gets it? The Crony and his friends will be making money off it. Same with Benton Harbor, Cronies took over a beach that was willed to the City years ago to be a public beach; well the Dictatorship made a golf course out of it that only the wealthy can afford to use. Who makes money off it? Not the Michigan residents. The Dictator wants to tear down the public schools and force the kids to private schools. Again, the Michigan residents won't be making money off the schools, the dictatorship would make money off the private schools. On and On, it goes. We are losing our rights nearly on a daily basis.
 
 
+190 # teineitalia 2012-06-16 12:45
I feel for you, Barbara, and the citizens of your state. Your legislature and executive branches have been hijacked by stupid men not very different from the Taliban.
 
 
+154 # Smiley 2012-06-16 13:28
They're not just stupid, they're criminal
 
 
+48 # doneasley 2012-06-17 00:48
Smiley, all of this comes from a party that claims to be so RELIGIOUS and so PATRIOTIC. What's happening in MI is part of a nationwide criminal conspiracy. I can't believe this is not an ongoing national story. The GOP - excellent at conspiracies - is striking while the iron is hot, and while we sleep! They will never again control so many state governments. Add that to the fact that nationally they control the House and can - thru the stupid Filibuster - stymie any action by Dems in the Senate. If, God forbid, Romney is elected, there's no doubt he'll take enough senators on his coattails to control the Senate. Then EVERYTHING will be in place to complete their evil conspiratorial plans. They're years ahead of the Dems in that respect. Congress will then write the extreme legislation laid out for them, and Romney will sign it. Grover Norquist has said they don't need an idealogue for president, all they need is a guy with "enough digits to hold a pen", and he's SERIOUS! The ALEC organization (check 'em out), with backing from the Koch brothers and other major corporations, has laid out the agenda and they're following it to the letter. While they're banging on the front door of Justice, the Criminal Karl Rove and his Crossroads buddies are banging on the back.

White men see their power eroding. They've openly attacked minorities for years. But the biggest mistake they've made is attacking women - all women. And now, even the nuns are against them.
 
 
+37 # doneasley 2012-06-17 02:07
Response to Smiley - Part 2.

Every piece of legislation the GOP touches has an ulterior motive. What do you think Bush's No Child Left Behind was all about? Now we see that "Non-Performing " public schools are being closed and replaced by CHARTER SCHOOLS that get those public funds and allow the idealogues to teach their philosophy. In Texas, GOP politicians have modified standards for their historical textbooks, presenting Republican political and economic philosophies in a more positive light. Looks like NCLB is now No Child's Behind left.

They're attacking unions to the extent that they want all states to become Right To Work states. The purpose: The right to work at minimum wage. Gov. Mitch Daniels did that in Indiana. And since GOP governors have more control over public unions, that's where they're attacking with a vengeance - Wisconsin, Ohio, New jersey. They also want to privatize EVERYTHING! Purpose: Their business cronies can profit. In AZ, GOP governor Jan Brewer is calling for more private prisons. Turns out she and/or her advisors have ownership in private prison companies. AZ just passed a "breathing while Latino" law, allowing police to stop and demand papers of any "suspicious" folks. In all GOP-controlled states - most notably FL - they're suppressing the vote, and on, and on, and on.

This EVIL is like a cancerous cloud slowly creeping over America. It's at crisis level in MI, and it seems no one with any clout cares.
 
 
+7 # Barbara K 2012-06-17 20:03
Smiley and all: I thought you might be interested in this YouTube about "HOW TO COMBAT STUPIDITY":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nw3zNNO5gX0
 
 
+1 # MJnevetS 2012-06-19 04:55
Thanks for the link. It's an eye opener of how to get the public motivated to do the right thing!
 
 
+79 # Barbara K 2012-06-16 13:51
teinetalia: Thank you. I've been trying for the past 2 years to get the media to notice what is happening in Michigan, I guess it just finally had to come from a great Congresswoman to reach the eyes and ears of the media, and wow!, they took notice ... at last.
 
 
+140 # Alice W 2012-06-16 13:04
Eve Ensler and a group of female Representatives , including Lisa Brown, are doing the 'Vagina Monologues 'on the Michigan capital steps in Lansing on Monday at 6pm. This will be a huge rally. Stand up. There's a Facebook page on it.
 
 
+19 # Barbara K 2012-06-16 19:01
Here is a url for a change.org petition to sign for the ERA if I can fit it all into this box. lol

http://www.change.org/petitions/support-gender-equality-pass-the-equal-right-amendment-three-state-strategy-h-j-res-47
 
 
+33 # X Dane 2012-06-16 19:12
Barbara. I am well informed about the issues you mentioned. I saw Lisa Brown on TV, via MSNBC. and you and I "talked" about the contribution Rachel Maddow makes.

Now I am worried that they are trying to silence her. She has not been on TV for several days, and neither has Ed Schultz or Chris Matthews. They all speak out about all the unfair goings on.

Maybe the owners of the station want to silence them before the election? I may sound a bit paranoid, but there are so many awful things going on, that it is all too easy to imagine the worst. I sure hope I am wrong.
 
 
+16 # unitedwestand 2012-06-16 22:57
I know what you mean about feeling paranoid, on a day when a liberal talk show host is not on, I feel sick to my stomach as it makes me fear that they have been silenced. There should be no reason for us to feel like that in a Democracy, but apparently we really are losing that status and we do need to worry.
The people that every day are blasting that liberals are undermining the Constitution and convincing their brain dead listeners, are the very ones that truly are taking away our Democracy and shredding the Constitution.
 
 
+8 # Barbara K 2012-06-17 19:34
unitedwestand: You are so correct. All we have to do is listen to what they claim the Dems are doing to know what the the Reptiles are doing. That is their mantra. Blame the Dems for what they are doing themselves. We know it, they are not intelligent enough to know that we know their stunts.
 
 
+15 # Barbara K 2012-06-17 06:29
XDane: Thank you for all you do for us. I noticed that Rachel and Ed were not on this week, hopefully, they are just on vacation. There were substitutes for them. Hopefully, they will be back on tomorrow. I missed both of them. Rachel would have loved to cover this story. I just happened to have the MI Govt. channel on when that happened and I saw it first-hand. I couldn't believe the reaction of the Rs. What a hateful bunch of crooks they are. We need to purge the Rs from all our governments. Now they are doing more voter suppression here. I hope all remember not to put Rs in their state offices of Secretary of State, they are the ones who handle the voting. I just play it safe and vote straight Democrat for everything. Can't trust any of the other side. To them, it never was about us.
 
 
+2 # Barbara K 2012-06-18 18:39
Ed Show, MSNBC is covering Lansing, MI. right now. Hope some are watching all the people there. Great turn-out! Hope Rachel shows up too.
 
 
+13 # Regina 2012-06-17 14:55
I hope those three are on vacation -- 'tis the season. But after the railroad job MSNBC did to Keith Olbermann, there's a bit of uncertainty. One big ad cancellation is all they'd need to shift the positions expressed on political matters.
 
 
+6 # Barbara K 2012-06-17 19:36
Regina: I know one thing, if either Rachel or Ed go, so do I. I'm tired of them taking away anyone who has the guts to speak the truth and talk for Dems. If MSNBC will send them up the river, I'm jumping into the canoe with them, so to speak.
 
 
+4 # X Dane 2012-06-18 00:56
Please don't do that Barbara. We need your courage and feisty determination.
Oh Barbara. I noticed that you mentioned on one of the other articles that you have a lot of heath problems.

So much is done to the food we eat that many are getting ill
Have you considered that you may be gluten intolerant?? You may not have been before, but you could be now! So many people are, at this point. You will be surprised at HOW many foods contain wheat. Soy sauce?? being one of them.

A very good friend of mine can no longer tolerate wheat and if she ingest just a very small amount...unknow ingly... she becomes really sick for many days.
Please look into that. If it is YOUR problem you can be helped. And you will become expert at reading labels!

Please let me know, what you find out. I do care about you. We here can certainly help each other in many ways.

Pernsey mentioned last fall... when we were commenting on the dangers of Viox and Celebrex, which has killed more than 170.ooo people... that he was being helped immensely by taking PRICKLY PEAR Juice daily. He was kind enough to give me the website. I have been taking it since November, and I am not bothered by Arthritis now. It has great anti inflammatory properties.
I wish you all the best Barbara.
 
 
+5 # Barbara K 2012-06-18 08:37
XDane: Thanks for your comment. Yes, I have a wheat sensitivity and wondering why? Is it the pesticides they use now? Many people are developing these sensitivities and digestive problems in this country. Not so in countries where these poisons are not allowed. Hope we can get the farming industry to stop poisoning us. Class-action lawsuits will help if we can find attorneys to take them on. Anyway, thanks for your nice message and concern. If I leave all wheat alone, I do much better. But I love cakes, pies, cookies, sandwiches, etc. Why couldn't I just have a sensitivity to oranges or something like that instead? lol.
 
 
+5 # X Dane 2012-06-18 13:13
Barbara. I know there is NO JUSTICE...Life is unfair, Ok I shouldn't joke about really serious problems. Well Barbara, Pesticides sure cause problems, but in regard to wheat, it is the way it is modified, the fooling around they do in order to increase yield, or make it bug resistant. Not being an expert on these matters of course I can not say what it is.

What I CAN tell you is, that another friend of mine...also VERY gluten intolerant....w as in Italy recently, and she nearly overdosed on pasta, and bread and ........NO PROBLEM AT ALL?????? Which should prove, that what is done to OUR wheat is making too many people ill.

I had never heard about the gluten problems before the last year or two.....Now so many people learn that it is at the root of many of their health problems. If it is yours, you should avoid it COMPLETELY, and you may be surprised at how much better you will feel.

So many products now eliminate wheat, because there is a real need for it. We have a chain here in CA. Trader Joe's, that makes hamburger buns with no wheat.
I hope you can be helped Barbara.
 
 
+3 # Barbara K 2012-06-18 15:45
XDane: Thanks so much for your input. I wish I could find wheat-free stuff around here. SW Michigan. Yes, I feel so much better without any wheat at all. But, gee I miss cakes. lol. Yes, I know that it is what America is doing to the wheat that is the problem. I know there are a lot of people ill and haven't figured out the wheat connection yet. It took me 2 years, and a lot of thinking about it, to figure out that I feel fine if I don't eat anything with wheat and talked to the dr about it. I'm not allergic (did a test), but have a sensitivity, supposed to be on this special diet he gave me. Apples is on that list. gee whiz, whine, whine, whine. lol. Thanks for caring.
 
 
+1 # X Dane 2012-06-18 23:56
OK Barbara, you can leave the canoe be, for Rachel, Ed and Chris are back in their chairs. They just had some days off. I am breathing again
 
 
0 # Barbara K 2012-06-19 09:25
XDane: Thanks, I breathed a sigh of relief last night as I watched them all too. lol. But I love canoeing. lol. I think I finally got a message on here telling all that Ed Show was on right now. Had a little posting snafu yesterday, my fault. lol. All MSNBC shows were on top of what happened in Michigan. Hope they stay with it. The dictator has pulled so much crap, they could have a segment every night just to try to keep up. They're doing voter purging now. SOS office, I'd guess.
 
 
+4 # X Dane 2012-06-18 00:28
Regina, It was not necessarily MSNBC that fired Olberman. MSNBC is owned by Comcast. And it is right wing owned, so I am puzzled that they have Rachel, Ed and Chris, on?

Maybe they are toying with us, and will pull the plug when it will be most devastating. I'm sorry I AM sounding paranoid. Maybe they keep them on because plain and simple: They make money for the owners.
 
 
+17 # dovelane1 2012-06-17 03:04
As a progressive male in Minnesota,I am appalled by what I just read. I hope to call some of the people mentioned next week, and I plan on sending this article to every woman and progressive male I know, as well as to the local paper, the regional alternative paper, and my senators and representatives . This information must get out to everyone possible.
 
 
+11 # X Dane 2012-06-17 12:03
dovelane, GREAT. Since the media refuse to tell us the truth about what is going on it is up to US TO SAVE OURSELVES AND WHAT FEW SHREDS OF DEMOCRACY WE HAVE LEFT.

Please tell as many people as you can.
The states run by R governors are showing us what we can expect. If more republicans get in we are sunk, so please dovelaine do what you can. We CANNOT afford to be SILENT.
 
 
+9 # Barbara K 2012-06-17 19:40
dovelane1: Thanks for all you do. We need all the help we can get. We are being done in by Mafia types in these Reptile-control led states and we need to fight back as if we are fighting for our lives, because we are. Purge all governments of these Reptiles. To them, it never was about us.
 
 
+6 # dovelane1 2012-06-18 02:55
Barbara - Thanks for the support. Here's what I think is really going on.

In a psych class in college. a prof talked about the Karpman Triangle. This diagram is used to analyze interactions between co-dependent and addictive people. It goes like this:

- victim


- rescuer - persecuter


Rather than being responsible for their feelings, the victim blames their emotional response on the persecuter, and then asks their followers to come and rescue him or her, which is what the speaker did for Mr. Callton.

The person doing the blaming is always trying to change the wrong person. In this case, Mr. Callton may just be pretending to be mortified, but the outcome is the same. He wants to control Ms. Brown, and how she responds to his actions.

Those who are afraid, Mr. Callton and the Koch brothers, for instance, want power over others, not power with others. This is one way of attempting to get it. Mr. Callton must be called on his behavior, not only for denying a person the freedom to speak, but also for his manipulative attempts to blame someone else for how he feels.

More to come...
 
 
0 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-06-19 00:49
Quoting dovelane1:
Barbara - Thanks for the support. Here's what I think is really going on.

In a psych class in college. a prof talked about the Karpman Triangle. This diagram is used to analyze interactions between co-dependent and addictive people. It goes like this:

- victim


- rescuer - persecuter


Rather than being responsible for their feelings, the victim blames their emotional response on the persecuter, and then asks their followers to come and rescue him or her, which is what the speaker did for Mr. Callton.

The person doing the blaming is always trying to change the wrong person. In this case, Mr. Callton may just be pretending to be mortified, but the outcome is the same. He wants to control Ms. Brown, and how she responds to his actions.

Those who are afraid, Mr. Callton and the Koch brothers, for instance, want power over others, not power with others. This is one way of attempting to get it. Mr. Callton must be called on his behavior, not only for denying a person the freedom to speak, but also for his manipulative attempts to blame someone else for how he feels.

More to come...


Gary,
A variation of the Karpman Triangle, or maybe the original, is found in Eric Berne's classic, "Games People Play" where he calls the game, "Yes, but." Using Berne's T.A. method results in deep understandings of human nature and the games we all play.
 
 
+1 # dovelane1 2012-06-20 04:33
The professor in question was well-versed in the Transactional Analysis method of looking at things, and it was a T.A. class he was teaching. I don't know if there is a connection, or if "Yes, But..." is a precursor to the trianle, but I will look when I get the time. Maybe later tonight.

If you haven't read or heard about this book, I would suggest Anne Wilson-Schaef's book "When Society Becomes An Addict." She also has another book out titled "The Addictive Organization."

Both speak to the idea that our country's values and priorities are connected to or based on addictive values and priorities. When people are socialized to see addctive values as the norm, they take them for granted. If you really want to know what people believe is true, find out what they take for granted. I think that's why many people never question the choices they make.

As I understand it, all addicticns are based on fear. Greed, for instance, is the fear of never having enough. And guess what many politicians in general, and the conservatives in particular, are selling. It's all about fear. Obama had that right in his first campaign. I don't know what happened, but he seems to have changed, and I don't know why.

People
 
 
+5 # dovelane1 2012-06-18 03:03
This quote comes from David Viscott, and a book titled "Emotionally Free."

"Accepting responsibility for your reactions to events diminishes the blame you can place on others, but also empowers you to change and move on. After all, in the words of the Swahili saying, 'It is not what name others call you that matters, but what name you respond to that determines who you are."

When Mr. Callton refuses to accept responsibility for his emotional reactions, he is, in essence, saying that Ms Brown is responsible for his responses. This is what leads to co-dependency in people.

If he is doing this knowingly, simply to manipulate the situation, and the outcome, then he is even less to be trusted, as this is malicious behavior, and he is a coward.
 
 
+2 # Barbara K 2012-06-18 08:43
dovelane1: Thanks for your insight and info. No wonder the Tbaggers have so many craziness within their ranks. They were even able to scare the Republicans into joining their paranoia and faked outrages. They are really just a bunch of little cowards who think they have to control the rest of us to feel superior, when it actually does the opposite.
 
 
+1 # X Dane 2012-06-18 13:24
dovelane, what you say is very interesting, I wish a lot of our citizens could read it. I very much like the Swahili saying: "It is not what name others CALL you, that matters, but what name YOU RESPOND TO, that determines who you are."
That is great. I will remember that. Thanks.
 
 
+2 # dovelane1 2012-06-19 04:52
You're welcome, and thank you for caring enough to make the comments you do. We need more people to know about this site, and we need more people to understand how important it is that people have the right to freedom of speech.

Repugnuts keep talking about a slippery slope; well, how great a slippery slope would it be to lose our freedom of speech?

I thought this quote from Harry Truman said it well. "Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.

I don't know who said this: Success is never final, and failure is rarely fatal; it is courage that counts.

German poet and philosopher Goethe wrote: "Truth is fire, and to speak the truth is to flame and burn."

We all need to learn to speak truth to power.

One of the trademarks of those who would silence others is that they are rarely, if ever, able to say "I might be wrong."

I do my best to live by four simple rules.
1. Show up
2. Pay attention
3. Tell the truth as I know it - at this point in time
4. Be open to outcomes
 
 
+14 # CL38 2012-06-17 10:36
These people are following tactics the Nazi's used in Germany to take over (going after unions, people's rights, declaring themselves in charge, controlling the media and message, etc.

Vote them out in November .. or risk all 50 states being taken over like in Michigan and Wisconsin.
 
 
+7 # Barbara K 2012-06-17 19:42
CL38: Exactly -- and the Koch Bros ought to know how to do it, after all they are a Nazi family.
 
 
+2 # X Dane 2012-06-18 18:29
O M G, Barbara, Ed Schultz just showed a LOT of people in Lancing on the steps of the Capitol. They are going to do the Vagina monologues!! Priceless.

They will show more a little later. That's great. I have signed several petitions on the internet today, they will be delivered to the speaker and the majority leader.
Something IS happening Barbara, and Chris and Ed is on today, I imagine Rachel is too. So my worry was unfounded.
 
 
+2 # Barbara K 2012-06-19 06:33
Yes, it was covered on most of the nightly MSNBC shows. There were lots of people at the Capitol in Lansing. Love it. Women are promising to vote these thugs out. Women are more than half the vote. You can be sure their husbands will agree and vote with them. Hope we get rid of this bunch of woman-hating mongrels.
 
 
+1 # Bodiotoo 2012-06-19 12:44
and I hope every wife/girlfriend out there makes it clear to thier husbands/boyfri ends...if these guys get re-elected...no more vaginal visits!
 
 
+2 # ABen 2012-06-18 22:11
Snyder is acting like a old-fashioned thug. I look forward to watching the good citizens of Michigan toss his group of authoritarian thugs out in the next election.
 
 
+1 # Barbara K 2012-06-19 06:35
ABen, I also hope we can get our assets restored that this thug and his cronies literally stole from us. They were taken illegally by having the towns illegally taken over so they could steal them.
 
 
+122 # Alice W 2012-06-16 11:52
The war on women is real. And conservatives can win it because we're not protected by the US Constitution. Until we ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, we can be manipulated and thrown back to whatever century they want--legally. We'll yell about it, but it does no good without a constitutional guarantee of equality. LETS GET THIS DONE! Michigan doesn't even have a State ERA. Every Republican and 6 Democrats voted for this bill--and they stood silent when two of their colleagues were stripped of their right to free speech. But according to Antonin Scallia, women are not covered under the equal protection clause, therefore have no right to free speech. Wake up before it's too late. Ratify the ERA now. To sign the MoveOn petition, go to http//tinyurl.c om/ca9kv7d
 
 
+82 # NanFan 2012-06-16 13:02
This is getting WAY scarey and we seem to have little recourse.

If Mitt gets elected, it's over for women's rights unless we can get these people in state and federal congresses, who do not see women as people -- and that's exactly what saying a congresswoman (or anyone) cannot say the word vagina is -- OUT. If we don't, we are in deeper trouble than we already are.

Unfortunately, most young voters have never lived in a world where abortion was not legal and protected and done medically well, where it was not a right under the law. They will be astounded at what voting against it will turn their world into. But they are being "shushed" and "bamboozled" from the pulpits of America.

Time to educate from the streets of sanity: the people who know.

Time to clean the houses and senates of the greedy idiots in all congresses who use their public offices to hide behind their trumped up laws and sanction a fellow woman member of the House of Michigan for merely uttering a common word that has to do with her body.

OUST THE BUMS...or times will be uglier than they are!

N.
 
 
+19 # Regina 2012-06-16 22:14
Yes, Nan Fan, much of the entrenched misogyny does originate in the pulpits. Hence the howl alleging infringement on their religious freedom by women's rights. That has to be the last oink from the MCP's hiding in their sacramental robes.
 
 
+6 # Barbara K 2012-06-17 19:43
Regina: They howl about their rights, while screaming to take away our rights. Scum they are, every one of them. Nothing religious about them.
 
 
+1 # CL38 2012-06-19 09:05
the recourse we have is to protest and march, like back in the late 60's and 70's.

It took time but eventually it brought women all the rights we'd gained over the past 40 years.
 
 
+17 # Smiley 2012-06-16 13:34
I'm not saying this to discourage the fight to ratify the ERA, but since both the Bush and Obama administrations have set the precedent of ignoring the constitution with impunity, we may need to do more than just ratify the amendment.
 
 
+4 # Barbara K 2012-06-18 07:24
Smiley: I posted the url for the Change.org ERA petition, on this site, up a ways. Takes you directly to the petition, hope everyone signs it. Thanks for reminding us.
 
 
+8 # Mishkyn 2012-06-16 14:30
I tried the URL to no avail! Looked on the MoveOn site for the petition, also to no avail! Where is the petition?
 
 
+5 # Barbara K 2012-06-16 15:51
Mishkyn: What petition are you referring to? I'll see if I can be of help.
 
 
+91 # Pondering and Pandering 2012-06-16 11:59
Lisa Brown should bring thousands of her constitutents along next fall when the Michigan Legislature re-convenes and they and she can speak on the steps of the caapitol. I could only wish she represented me. If women's fertility can once again can be so tightly controlled and regulated in detail, putting them in a sexual straightjacket, their fundamental political equality and influence will be compromised. Shame on those that silenced her. Now the world knows and like Sandra Fluke it will bommerang on them. Better to have let her say Vagina repeatedly without changing the votes taken in the Michigan Senate than to have denied her right to do so in representing her constituency. Now the votes on these issues may soon change too!
 
 
+71 # Street Level 2012-06-16 12:49
I'm with you on that idea.

"V" is for Vagina.

Flood them with emails, post cards and have it printed on hats, Tshirts, buttons and bumper stickers and do it as a summer campaign before they reconvene. They can come back to face the angry shit storm they started of silencing Free Speech in their own legislature.

If they can silence elected officials who represent the people, it's time for the people to speak for themselves.
 
 
+30 # Regina 2012-06-16 15:50
Unfortunately, V is also for Viagra -- that's where the old boys' Vocabulary ends. Of course, I'm glad I don't live in Michigan -- I'm just wondering, as a chronic 6-8 week miscarrier (I did make it through two pregnancies), what kind of funeral arrangements would the Michigan legislature prescribe for a few expelled cells?Would they inter a microscope with them?
 
 
+19 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-06-16 22:39
Quoting Street Level:
I'm with you on that idea.

"V" is for Vagina.

Flood them with emails, post cards and have it printed on hats, Tshirts, buttons and bumper stickers and do it as a summer campaign before they reconvene. They can come back to face the angry shit storm they started of silencing Free Speech in their own legislature.

If they can silence elected officials who represent the people, it's time for the people to speak for themselves.


Susie,
Just what I was thinking. Here we are, communicating on the World Wide Web, hearing about the inane antics of morons, and wishing we can DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Well we can as you pointed out. The powers that be, there in MI, can't block the Internet, can't block cell phones or any of the current media devices. FLOOD the Governor's Mansion with the digital word, the digital sound of the forbidden word VAGINA. Do the same with this cretin, Mike Callton. Their e-mail addresses and fax and phone numbers are easily obtained with a quick Google search. We need a new rendition of the old phrase about the pen being mightier than the sword. How about this:

THE PIXELS ARE MIGHTIER THAN THE PRICKS!
 
 
+6 # X Dane 2012-06-17 00:31
Oh Bee Dee, That was priceless. The pixels are mightier than the pricks. Ha. Ha
You are right though. We do need to email the idiots. Crash their in boxes.
 
 
+7 # Street Level 2012-06-17 12:55
BeaDee, I love it.
The Daily Kos just made it easier to send some thoughts to clowns like James Bolger, Michigan Speaker of the House.
http://campaigns.dailykos.com/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=161

My "prixel" (sorry, couldn't resist) to him "...do women have to incorporate their vaginas to insure them the right to Free Speech?".
 
 
+11 # X Dane 2012-06-16 19:45
Pondering, I sure hope so, but WE MUST help by SPEAKING OUT too. Just as people getting their friends out to vote is important, we MUST spread the word about what is going on.
 
 
+83 # michelle 2012-06-16 12:06
Ms. Brown's constituents need to 'occupy' the Michigan House of Representatives . They are being denied representation. Perhaps it is time to toss right wing rhetoric back at the republicans. "No taxation without representation. " If the elected Representative Ms. Brown cannot speak, well it seems to me the people are not represented. the state should not be allowed to collect any taxes in her district.

What a ridiculous state of affairs. If Representative Callton's constituents have any notion of democracy or love for this country, they would flood his office with calls and demand he resign. Are Michigan republicans positioning the state to be the Mississippi of the Midwest? What a circus this country must look like to the outside world.
 
 
+49 # harris.carlus 2012-06-16 12:13
Either the majority of Michigan, in this case, or the country believe that legislators like this represent their beliefs, or the majority of citizens are not participating in the democratic process. I am amazed at the hubris and just plain craziness we see in legislative bodies across this country, and how angry people seem to be about it. Yet, these people were voted into office, presumably by the same people who are complaining. We get what we vote for.
 
 
+11 # Regina 2012-06-17 15:04
It's no coincidence. It's organized by the Republican Governors' Association and funded by the usual sources -- Koch Boys et al. That's how come this war on women is erupting all at the same time in so many states.
 
 
+40 # James Marcus 2012-06-16 12:36
Where was it, A Historical Occasion, or a Shakespearian musing, that :
The Women, En Masse, simply... 'Refused Their Men'....
until they were heard , and respected?
 
 
+42 # Feral Dogz 2012-06-16 13:10
Quoting James Marcus:
Where was it, A Historical Occasion, or a Shakespearian musing, that :
The Women, En Masse, simply... 'Refused Their Men'....
until they were heard , and respected?


Lysistrata, a play by Aristophanes. No sex 'til the men stopped the war.
 
 
+4 # BobHG 2012-06-17 21:36
It worked then and it'd work now. Come on ladies - do it.
 
 
+60 # VMWH 2012-06-16 12:50
I find it interesting that someone would be so sexually warped as to be shocked at the medical terms for reproductive organs. What DOES he call them, anyway? What else COULD he call them that is not obscene?
 
 
+24 # electawoman 2012-06-16 17:04
I believe he could refer to it as a "doohickey".
 
 
+35 # solange 2012-06-16 12:52
president obama should tell the states that roe v. wade is the law of the land and to stop these restrictions on choice.

btw: if there is going to be a constitutional amendment to rescind citizens' united, it should be tied to passing the era.
 
 
+55 # ghostperson 2012-06-16 12:53
What ya wanna bet each of these paragons of virtue freely uses the "B" word and the "T" word with wild abandon.

It is time for the grown ups to take the field--women grown ups--mothers to be precise. Privileged, white males have run the world into the ground and no longer have lost the ability to govern in any rational way.

The rallying cry should be "Given 'em the boot!" I want mine with a stylish 5" heel.

I hadn't realized that England had gone nuts too. The mothership gone down the same crapper as the errant colonies? A pox on PWMs on both sides of the pond.

I am not a feminist, more in the vein of a truck stop waitress on Route 66. Fed up with bullshit and looking for a scrap.
 
 
+50 # juliajayne 2012-06-16 13:08
Why just mothers? My "laydee" parts couldn't sustain 6 pregnancies. I bet in this day and age, my 6 miscarriages would be considered a crime? And I hurt and angry enough without having to have a burial after a few D&C procedures.

Everyone who believes in women's equality is a feminist, btw. :-0 Just sayin'.
 
 
+45 # Alice W 2012-06-16 13:36
Feminist doesn't mean feminine. It just means that you think all citizens should be treated equally under the law. I bet you are a feminist!
 
 
+13 # Regina 2012-06-16 15:58
P.M. David Cameron makes McConnell sound sane by comparison. Boehner not so much. Unfortunately we don't have a counterpart to Ed Milliband, the Brits' "loyal opposition." Catch them on C-SPAN Wednesdays and Sundays.
 
 
+42 # Glen 2012-06-16 12:59
Lisa Brown made the mistake of personalizing the word, rather than using it in a general statement for all the women of the state. That catches everyone's attention.

Shock and awe coming from women, directed at the tyrants, who are predominantly men, will give those men more ammunition against those women, stating, "You see? This is what we must deal with and why we must shut them down."

A time worn psychological war between the sexes, which has no place in U.S. society. No excuses, period.

I've said it before - decent men MUST stand beside women in this effort.
 
 
+11 # CL38 2012-06-17 10:44
You are absolutely right. Decent men MUST stand with women or we'll all go down.
 
 
+26 # juliajayne 2012-06-16 13:03
Michigan has good loco on steroids. Can it now be considered a rogue state?
 
 
+18 # animas 2012-06-16 13:14
No, we get what the most money pays for — corporate interests!

The Repugs had to cater to the religious right to compete with the Dems, and so now they are saturated with religiocity.

I can't get too excited about Obama and the Dems doing much of anything either... 99% of the time they serve the 1%, heck they are the 1%. The 1% have the whole thing rigged.

Those Democrats love war too!

The buckling environment will be the thing that finally brings us to our knees. Will it be too late? hope not. Are we hospice workers or midwives? Let's view global collapse as our final initiation into being true members of the earth community...
 
 
+6 # DHa7763100 2012-06-17 12:38
Maybe it will be the end of the world, as the Mayan's have predicted or maybe the end of the free world as we used to know it, with Corporations runnning the world, as predicted in so many SiFi movies.
 
 
+32 # Susan1989 2012-06-16 13:25
It is high time that women again unite to make it clear that they will not allow their rights to be trampled on.
 
 
+44 # Erdajean 2012-06-16 13:31
How long are WOMEN -- more than half the U.S. population -- going to put up with being treated like garbage by the half-wits of the Republican party? I invite these jerks in the Michigan legislature -- despicable penis-craniums like Mike Callton, to stand right up and use in public the names for women's anatomy that they use among their cronies, and quit their ninny hypocrisy. Oooh, oooh! Those terrible text-book words just make them feel so FAINT!
Have we EVER lived in a time when the female gender has been subjected to more disrespect? Even when the ancestors of these same creeps jailed and chained and beat up suffragettes for demanding the right to vote?
We're right back there and it's time for something to be done. And it appears that WOMEN are going to have to do it. Where were the intelligent MEN in the Michigan legislature?
It is about time that we let "the other half" know that yes, our bodies belong to US -- and they are going to quit telling us what THEY will allow us to do with what is OURS.
 
 
+39 # csbrudy 2012-06-16 13:31
Want to know the dirtiest little secret, the one that keeps these maniacs in power? Check how you vote. Do you hand count your votes in the polling place immediately after the polls close? No? If you are using any kind of computer in your vote tabulation, you can start looking right there.
The machines are shoddy, easy to hack, and totally unaccountable. See Black Box Voting to get started on how the elections are stolen all over the country.
 
 
+27 # Regina 2012-06-16 16:01
Isn't it amazing how reliably error-free Diebold ATMs are, and how their (and other) voting machines just can't get the job done accurately and completely?
 
 
+32 # Phlippinout 2012-06-16 13:46
Dear Michigan house of repulsiveness, I love my vagina and i will say it when i please you bunch of women hating thugs!
 
 
+17 # stan van houcke 2012-06-16 14:14
lisa, right you were.

perhaps you can show the gentlemen legislators this video:
Graham Chapman's funeral
in which john cleese did something similar as you did.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsHk9WC7fnQ
 
 
+34 # MYRA MAC 2012-06-16 14:17
I am from Michigan and remain so shocked at the changes since I left ages ago. THe right wing religious drift is embodied in this silly response to an anatomically correct term. I am currently writing a book about the "scarlet sisters" of 1870--Victoria Woodhull and Tennie Claflin--who dared to speak out for women's rights in divorce, marriage and sexual freedom. The responses of powerful males and reporters sounds just like these neanderthals in the Michigan legislature 140 years later!. Keep fighting. It is gratifying to know that so many rightfully indignant women have responded.
 
 
+36 # chuckw38 2012-06-16 14:33
Very, very well said, Representative Brown !!!! As a 73 y.o. Feminist male, married to the same Woman for 50 years,
your words are vital to be taken in by the Re-Pugs, albeit,
they have so little brain, with which to comprehend !!!!! :))
 
 
+25 # luvdoc 2012-06-16 14:40
ˆIf, in fact, Vagina's were ss much a part of God's divine plan, what about prostates and the sacred male enabler, Viagra.

Is it acceptable to say vacurect, viagra, or penis in those hallowed halls, or should they too be censored? luvdoc
 
 
+34 # Mishkyn 2012-06-16 14:44
Vagina - Viagra Which should be the banned word? For such a banned word/site, the same males that do not want to hear the word sure want to visit that same banned side a LOT!! Ever notice the more religious a man is the more children he has? The very thought of an entire area of the State represented by Lisa Brown being silenced is unconstitutiona l! As long as America is being run by Big Corporation Religions, this is our penance! Man made Religions - Man made Corporations! Wake up America!
 
 
+33 # pontifex 2012-06-16 14:50
I thought that one of the most important freeedoms guaranteed by the US Constitution was the freedom of speech. I was wrong. It is limited by the hypochrisy of masculine members of the Michigan parliament..
 
 
+32 # CoyoteMan50 2012-06-16 14:56
If you don't believe in science and think storks deliver babies, I think you'd be shocked.
Boooooo for the Michigan legislature for turning back into the 15th century

lol
 
 
+31 # angelfish 2012-06-16 15:18
What the problem REALLY is, is that they can't stand anyone WITH a Vagina verbalizing an opinion ABOUT it! They are a sorrow and a pity to Humanity and I grieve for the female citizenry of Michigan! Hopefully, this kind of bullying and Macho arm twisting will STOP and women will become mobilized in Michigan to VOTE the sexist Cretins OUT!
 
 
+17 # grouchy 2012-06-16 15:31
The next time you have an opportunity to talk with this idiot, simply call him a "woose", then if he doesn't know the term, tell him to do some research! Good grief!
 
 
+24 # Anarchist 23 2012-06-16 16:08
the whole oppressive state of affairs in MI is very much like the Nazi set up when elected governments were dismissed and everything was run by the Gaulieter and the Nazi Party. All these ReThugs are just that. Women, workers and minorities had no rights at all under the Nazis and the GSA is pretty much a fully fledged Fascist state. Certainly what is taking place in MI and WI and PA illustrates that!
 
 
+28 # Texan 4 Peace 2012-06-16 16:24
Her "inappropriaten ess" wasn't saying "vagina," it was having one.
 
 
+18 # fhunter 2012-06-16 16:41
You have to blame the Michigan voters who send morons in to their Legistration.
 
 
+16 # fhunter 2012-06-16 17:08
If you vote for morons, be it George or Mike, you get what you voted for.
 
 
+13 # Uranus 2012-06-16 20:13
"I wonder if they hear us now?"

One can't always tell, but I'd guess yes.
 
 
-30 # brux 2012-06-16 20:23
I agree with just about everything she said, but when she accuses someone if being interested in her vagina it is not respectful of the government, the people, the country … she could have phrased that a better way as she did all the other stuff she said.
 
 
+14 # michelle 2012-06-17 10:18
When you tell Ms. Brown 'she' cannot speak you are being disrespectful of women as well as 'government, the people, the country.' The time for tiptoeing around the power structure is over!
 
 
+8 # kelly 2012-06-17 11:05
Oh wah, wah, wah. Like the respect they show the president when they show him with a bone through his nose. They weren't mad about the word "vagina" per se...they were mad that some little lady had the courage had the guts to step up to a bunch of Johnny Red Necks looking for some bitches to slap down and said "No means no!" The last thing you want to say to any rapist is no because then you're sure to get raped they say. But that's not necessaily true. You can have two other responses. Laugh at him in scorn and ruin his moment or beg for mercy. They were scared to take her on and lost part of the upper hand but not all of the punch. Now it won't quite so much fun because the perp will be unmasked for the country's viewing. If you sign this bill governor, I hope you think realize its consequences for your family and beyond when you leave the mansion.
 
 
-5 # Innocent Victim 2012-06-17 11:23
brux: You wrote, "...when she accuses someone if (sic) being interested in her vagina...", accuses someone? Is being interested in an attractive woman's vagina now a crime? If so, like most men, I would have to plead guilty. I don't think so!
 
 
+15 # Bodiotoo 2012-06-16 20:29
Short and simple. The speaker NEEDS to be TARRED and FEATHERED!
 
 
+18 # Innocent Victim 2012-06-16 20:29
If Rep. Brown had not gone over the head of the Michigan Speaker with such a fancy word - 3 syllables - and had simply used a 1 or 2 syllable word, cxxt or puxxy - that he understands, he would not have felt put down. Imagine the Speaker's embarrassment when his wife explained to him what a vagina is!
 
 
+20 # giraffee2012 2012-06-16 20:31
The Michigan voters may not be to blame - they use Diebold machines and here is a must see for all about those electronic machines

"Diebold voting machines easily hacked

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_exVfvC-cI

(I even included a link from Fox-proving this is something that both R’s and D’s should be very concerned) Researchers Hack Voting Machine for $26 http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/09/30/researchers-hack-voting-machine-for-26/ "
 
 
+13 # Bodiotoo 2012-06-17 12:47
I have been in the video business since 1985...paper ballots printed clearly are the only way to insure an honest tally, that is also able to be accurately re-counted and confirmed. No Chads, No electronics. Paper and Pen. Period!
 
 
+13 # vickiryder 2012-06-16 21:22
Several years ago, the Florida State legislature banned the word "uterus." Florida's Raging Grannies found this so absurd that they wrote a song about it. See:
http://www.youtube.com/watchv=zpBO3euQQPY
 
 
+12 # Regina 2012-06-16 22:34
And where did those boys think they and their children came from, flown in by storks?? The IQs that get into legislatures are mighty low. Anybody using 3-syllable words is an "elitist."
 
 
+12 # vgirl1 2012-06-16 21:27
Well, the national media, seeing that the reporting of the TPrepublican efforts to control the reproductive rights of women was taking its toll by diminishing female support for Romney and other TPrepublicans decided to just stop reporting it. After all, corporate media like all corporations want to keep the Public ignorant and unaware, so they can continue to reap the benefits of the corporate elite as promised by puppet Romney to his billionaire / millionaire funders trying to buy him the White House. However, The TPrepublican war on women continues, and it will be up to the nationalDemocra t voicess and those of us who use social media to continue to spread the word to everyone we can. TPrepublicans want to impose draconian legislation on women and their reproductive and general health.
 
 
+15 # Douglas Jack 2012-06-16 21:28
I live in LaSalle-Montrea l Canada and wonder what voter tabulation medium was being used in the last Michigan election. Were electronic voting computers or machines being used when Scott Walker was re-elected? It seems to me that the USA has a huge (can it be considered a democracy?) problem of unverifiable computerized voting systems. In Canada we're still using paper ballots up here, which are counted with at least bi-partisan witnesses & reported with bi-partisan verification at every point in the system. Are computer systems cross-verifiabl e with paper receipts deposited by the voter into ballot boxes with secret-ballot provision? https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/relational-economy/8-economic-democracy
 
 
+15 # fdawei 2012-06-16 22:27
Dear Lisa, where is your state's Democratic Party and why aren't they supporting you. And the DNC, why are their voices silent?
 
 
-13 # animas 2012-06-17 06:08
Like I said, the Democrats largely represent the 1% and corporate interests, they are ultimately not all that interested in social concerns except when it buys them votes. This is much like the Rebugs, who also represent the 1% and who largely cater to the religious right to garner themselves votes. The Dems and Repugs are both owned and controlled by the 1% and corporate interests... which is not the interests of the majority of the rest of us. Notice how the majority of us want single payer healthcare, no more wars, environmental stewardship, no to NDAA (which Obama unbelievably passed, and thank you to Chris Hedges, Cornell West and others for suing Obama and Gov. and having this overturned), a woman's right to choose, money out of politics, etc., etc., this list cold go on for pages, and we don't have any of it? Well we have a woman's right to choose but for how long?... Would we have any of the other things under the democrats who represent the %1? Some maybe, but largely not. Yeah, where were the Dems in Wisconsin? They let the corporate interests win there over the workers and unions because they too represent the 1%. I guess when we collectively get in enough pain we'll finally form another party that is not beholden to the 1% till then, it's a race to the bottom. Let this then, our global and environmental collapse be our initiation into true membership with the community of all life, and into us as soulful co-creators on this miraculous globe of stardust...
 
 
+6 # martina2323 2012-06-17 07:49
Lysistrata

Please read a short summary of Aristophanes’ play, written about 411 B.C.

http://www.sparknotes.com/drama/lysistrata/summary.html

Men have declared war on us; Lysistrata might show us a way to become free once again.

Suggested bumper strip, stickers and buttons—“Zip it up” Perhaps it will make men think with their heads rather than...
 
 
+12 # kbarrand 2012-06-17 08:23
Where the hell are all the women in this country? Women represent about half the population, right? How can these clowns maintain their elected positions with positions like this? Why don't women all over the country say "Enough of this nonsense!" and vote these guys out?
 
 
+2 # X Dane 2012-06-18 13:34
kbarrand. I SURE HOPE WE ALL WILL SPEAK UP VERY LOUD AND CLEARLY IN NOVEMBER. Even women, who may be scared of their red neck husbands, ARE ALONE IN THE VOTING BOOTH.
So let's hope they do the right thing.
 
 
+15 # Innocent Victim 2012-06-17 11:29
Actually, she was anatomically correct. She was referring to the control by her State over birth. The portion of a woman's body through which birth occurs is the vagina. Genitalia would not have been correct, nor would puxxy, cxxt, or arxxhxle. I guess in Michigan, they don't know the names of parts of the body.
 
 
+7 # Robyn 2012-06-18 05:33
It stuns me that in a country that fancies itself as a world leader, that one word can turn grown men into quivering wrecks.
They really need to grow up.
 

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