This is the second time I’ve gotten to write a title that would make my mama blush. Everyone already knows about Rep. Lisa Brown dropping the “vagina” bomb, and subsequently being banned to speak. To be honest, I didn’t even know the house had decorum rules that would ban someone from speaking, and I’ve only found one other instance of it and it involved a personal attack, you can read about it here.
Here’s the exact quote, “I’m flattered you’re all so interested in my vagina. But no means no.” So what’s the big deal?
The main counterargument seems to be that Republicans were upset that she alluded to rape in the “no means no” part of her quip. My argument is so what if she referenced rape, isn’t rape against the law, and isn’t the house floor a place to talk about laws? It shouldn’t be taboo or against decorum to bring up rape, it’s very real and salient issue in our society. I think it’s a little extreme to bar someone’s freedom of speech after a hint towards the topic of rape. Controversial topics getting voted and talked about all the time, for heaven sakes, the supreme court used to watch porn! (only for the purpose of defining obscenity, but still).
Even if they want to hide behind Rep. Brown’s indirect mention of rape, it still doesn’t explain why Rep. Barb Byrum was shut out during her proposal of making men prove their life was in danger to get a vasectomy. As far as I can tell that had nothing to do with rape or any violation of decorum.
I’ve previously posted about how I feel about the government invasion into women’s bodies, so I won’t go into that again, but even if you don’t agree with the issue, silencing someone is not the proper way to win an argument. In my opinion that just shows you’re afraid. So, I’m glad that Reps. Brown and Byrum and other legislators found a way to turn this incident into positive activism by performing the Vagina Monologues on the steps of the Michigan state capital. This is a great way to bring awareness to fact that women’s rights are slowly being infringed upon.
What do you think of the representatives being silenced? the proposed law pushed aside, do you think either one of them violated a sense of decorum?