All the Rage
In case you’ve been living in an alternate universe over the past week, here’s some groundbreaking news that you might have missed:
Okay, maybe not as earth shattering as you thought. But it’s all the rage … and, quite frankly, outrage. And while we ordinarily wouldn’t give so much attention to a human being’s actual biology, the story behind ‘the word’ deserves some attention.
Last week, Michigan State Representative, and 2010 POP candidate, Lisa Brown spoke against anti-abortion legislation that would undermine a woman’s right to reproductive services. In her final remarks, she lambasted the legislation, saying “Finally, Mr. Speaker, I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina, but 'no' means 'no.’”
Not too soon after, Rep. Lisa Brown and her colleague Rep. Barb Byrum (who also protested the bill) were banned from speaking in the Capitol the following day—the last day before a five-week break.
Let’s reiterate: Brown and Byrum were banned for saying an anatomically accurate term that was literally the subject of the legislation. GOP Rep. Mike Callton supported the punitive measure, saying: “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.”
Which led many to ask: if you can’t say it, can you legislate it?
But Brown and Byrum wouldn’t be silenced. In fact, they refused to go down without a fight. A loud one. Instead of speaking in the statehouse, they spoke on the statehouse … steps. Together with Eve Ensler and nine other representatives, Rep. Lisa Brown and Rep. Barb Byrum performed The Vagina Monologues (a play transforming the female experience of sexual victimization to empowerment) for approximately 2,500 spectators and the nation.
Brown and her colleagues stood up for women everywhere when they demanded honesty, integrity, and transparency in their statehouse. As the Republican war on women wages on, there’s never been a greater need for pro-choice, Democratic women—women like Brown and Byrum—to run for office.
The women of EMILY’s List know a thing or two about standing up for women’s rights. Sure, they haven’t all performed The Vagina Monologues (yet!), but these fearless fighters of choice will continue to speak up for the millions of women around the country who deserve better. As the GOP tries to send us back to the ‘Dark Ages,’ it’s never been more critical for EMILY’s List women to head to Washington!
Check out the footage: