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Head and shoulder, knees and toes … and for some, a vagina, too

Michigan State Representative, Lisa Brown

You can talk about your fingers and your toes and all the other organs like kidneys, pancreas and the occasional gallbladder. But apparently using the word vagina is upsetting to some folks.

Not just upsetting, but offensive. According to the Detroit News Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville) was offended when Rep. Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield) spoke from the House floor on Wednesday against a bill restricting abortions.

Brown said that the abortion regulation being discussed would violate her religious beliefs. A member of the Jewish faith, Brown said she keeps a kosher home and that her religion teaches that “abortions performed in order to preserve the life of the mother are not only permissible, but mandatory.”

The abortion topic is inflammatory enough, but Brown went on to say “I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no’.”

Rep. Mike Callton, (R-Nashville) said: “What she said was offensive. It was so offensive, I don’t even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.”

I don’t mind somebody saying vagina in my company. I’ve never understood fear of words that are used correctly. What was she supposed to say: “girl parts,” “vah-jay-jay”? How about “hoo-ha”?

House Republicans went on to prohibit Brown from speaking on the floor on Thursday which was a lot like throwing gasoline on the fire. Facebook, websites and bloggers are up in arms, men as well as women. Is this more proof of a war on women? Or just a sign that we really need to act like grownups when it comes to body parts.

The resulting furor isn’t even about abortion, it’s about language. Tomato, to-mah-to. It’s a vagina people. You don’t have to be offended at the word.


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