Lisa Brown, a Michigan Democratic state representative, yesterday gave an impassioned speech on the floor of the assembly on the question of restricted access to abortion. She concluded her speech by making it a personal one: "Finally, Mr. Speaker, I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina, but 'no' means 'no.'"
Today, by way of punishment for using the word vagina on hallowed ground, Brown wasn't allowed by House Republicans to speak on the floor, for a debate on an employee retirement bill. "'What she said was offensive,' Rep. Mike Callton, R-Nashville explained. 'It was so offensive, I don't even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.'" You know, so as not to alert women to the existence of vaginas.
"If I can't say the word vagina, why are we legislating vaginas?" Brown responded at a press conference."What language should I use?"
An excellent question! What term do Callton & Co. prefer, if not the clinical one? Hoo-ha? Vajajay? Ladybits? The Cave of Forgotten Dreams? Literally, these are the only less-explicit ways of referring to female genitalia in polite company, and frankly, they are not exactly dignified. (Except vajajay, because Oprah uses it, so American medical textbooks might be updating any minute now.)