Is it appropriate to use medical terms for female parts during public debates?
In the Michigan House of Representatives, the answer is apparently no.
Michigan state representative Lisa Brown, a Democrat, used the word “vagina” during a debate on a package of abortion regulation bills. She concluded her prepared remarks by saying:
“Finally, Mr. Speaker, I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina, but 'no' means 'no.'”
Here’s the video:
Some of Brown’s male colleagues were not amused. In fact, a few were offended, among them Republican Rep. Mike Callton, who said the word is “so offensive, I don't even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.”
A spokesperson for Republican Speaker of the House Jase Bolger admonished Brown and her colleague Barb Byrum for failing to maintain a “proper level of maturity and civility,” according to the Detroit Free Press
. The two female representatives were barred from taking part in a floor debate on an education bill.
Brown defended herself, saying that vagina is, after all, a “medically correct term.” She also said: “If I can't say the word vagina, why are we legislating vaginas? "What language should I use?”
Here’s video of Brown’s defense:
Regardless of where you stand on the abortion issue, Brown makes a good point.
(via The Atlantic Wire
& Talking Points Memo