Last week, Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger silenced State Representative Lisa Brown for using the word “vagina” during a speech opposing an anti-abortion bill. From this sprung the #VaginaBlogs.
This is my voice.
Dear Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger,
As a woman, it is my right to choose – your speech.
So please stop saying the word “penis.”
I know, I know, you probably haven’t uttered it aloud on the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives yet, but I’m pretty sure you’ve thought it… and likely not even the clinical term for it. You’ve probably just thought things like, “Ugh, that Democrat wants to reform health care? What a dick,” or “Those people working to recall me? Cocksuckers!”
While I disagree with your sentiments, I do understand your use of substitutions for the term “penis.” There are some sentences for which “dick” or “cocksucker” are simply the most colloquially, syntactically-precise words.
And today you tweeted:
@SpeakerBolger: Clearing up inaccurate reports: the word vagina isn’t the issue.
Clearing up inaccurate spin: stop lying, you dick.
Because here’s the rub, if you will.
When I say “vagina,” I am not saying “pussy.” I am not saying “hoo-ha” or “vajayjay,” “lady garden” or “the bearded clam.” The only time I actually use the word “vagina” is when I’m discussing my “vajewelry box” with either my gynecologist or my sister. (And with my sister I usually call it a “vadge,” but that’s because we’ve known each other for over 30 years, so leaving off the last two syllables doesn’t confuse her.)
Thus, when I make the choice to actually use the word “vagina,” it’s usually because I’m in a more formal setting, and “vagina” is what the American Medical Association has officially labeled my “jungle o’fun.” Again, let me be clear: when I say “vagina,” it is because I am making an effort to be “polite,” using the accepted clinical metonym for the collection of body parts between my upper thighs, including the labiae majora and minora, a clitoris, and my actual vagina – also fondly referred to as my “love tunnel.”
If you would prefer that, in the future, I replace the word “vagina” with any of the synonyms included in this letter, I’d be more than happy to accede to your wishes. Myself, I tend to lean towards words that lend a connotation of jauntiness to my vagina – as I feel it has a rather jaunty personality to begin with. For example, some of my favorite appellations are “hot pocket,” “velvet wallet,” and “coochie” (I can’t help it – it reminds me of Charo – Queen of the Jaunt). Tell you what. I’ll let you pick, since clearly I cannot be trusted to name my own anatomy in a way you find inoffensive.
Let me know when I can stop by the Michigan State House of Representatives to announce your choice.
Wait – it is your choice, right?