IN THE OLD DAYS Michigan’s state slogan boomed: Say Yes to Michigan! Their tourism department promised: Great Lakes, Great Times! Today Michigan’s official slogan is the curious: Pure Michigan!, while their business bureau proudly announces that Michigan is all about, Getting the Upper Hand!
The Upper Hand indeed.
Last week in Michigan, Rep. Lisa Brown was banned indefinitely from speaking on the floor of the House of the Representatives for offending the all-male body and Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas by using the linguistic and anatomically correct word, “vagina,” in her speech opposing Michigan’s obscenely restrictive anti-abortion bill. A law that would criminalize all abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation—regardless of rape, incest, risk to the mother’s life, severe genetic abnormalities, or stillbirth.
In what context did Brown drop the V-bomb?
“I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but no means no.”
Oh, no she didn’t—oh yes, she did Michigan!
Brown’s sister-in-arms in the War Against Women, Representative Barb Byrum, was likewise banned. Her transgression? Violating the House rules of speaking out of turn. A rule broken as often, and forgiven as quickly, as it is in kindergarten. Still, No means no! Whether she was ordered to go to her room and not come out until she can be a good girl is unclear. Vagina.
Getting the Upper Hand!
What is clear is that this is part of a disturbing trend of women being absented or silenced in the debate over laws governing their own bodies. No pro-choice women were permitted to speak during committee; Planned Parenthood was not allowed to testify; Eleanor Holmes Norton, the delegate from Washington, was barred from speaking out against Arizona Representative Trent Franks’ proposal to ban all abortion after 20 weeks in the District of Columbia—that’s D.C.—Holmes Norton’s turf. Now Brown and Byrum are being prohibited from representing the concerns of their constituents on the matter of choice and personal autonomy.
Given the recent hijinks in the Michigan House of Representatives, I’d like to propose they change their slogans, either put a twist on the old slogans: Say No to Michigan, Great Lakes, Bad Times for the Ladies! Or, Pure Bullshit!
As for Getting the Upper Hand, we shall see about that.
But enough with all the ugly. No one likes an angry woman. It’s not becoming. I want to help. I don’t want the boys in the He-Man-Woman-Haters Club to feel uncomfortable or barfy or weird. I don’t want them to feel threatened. I’ve felt threatened and it stinks. So instead of being Mean Old Mary Jane, I’m going to be Polly Problem Solver.
I can’t defuse the V-bomb alone, but I can offer some handy and helpful new words and terms you can use in place of the word-which-must-not-be-spoken.
So, rabble-rousers stop making those, “Keep Your Dick in Your Pants and Your Laws Out of Mine,” bumper stickers. And “You Want to Keep Your Balls? I Want to Keep My Civil Rights,” buttons and let’s focus on civility, charm and decorum.
Here are some super nicknames we can all use to make talking about the V-spot less embarrassing and yucky to others. Note the cool categories that these nicknames just happen to fall into. Wow!
THE VAGINA EXISTS FOR ONE REASON, AND ONE REASON ONLY—AND IT’S NOT DOPE SMUGGLING, it’s all about the babies. Let’s all say it together, Baby chute, Baby Cannon, Baby hole.
VAGINA AS PROPERTY OF THE PATRIARCHY: Top of the heap: The Hubbyhole, “Where Daddy’s Ding Dong Goes” and “Nancy”. I just chose Nancy, your husband may choose to name your vag…something else entirely. Ernest Borgnine, perhaps.
THE VAGINA FULFILLS A HUNGER. Food nicknames are so popular! What will it be? The Bearded Clam, Honey Pot and Pink Taco are all faves, but why not try a Hot Pocket, a Bikini Biscuit, a Bologna Flap-Over, or a Cooter Muffin. A taste: “I know it’s only our second date but I’m getting my bikini biscuit waxed.”
THE VAGINA IS A DESTINATION. Baseball fans, prophets, sailors shoot for these happy places: Field of Dreams, The Promised Land, Safe Harbor, The Golden Furrow, The Grotto. For some homebodies, the destination the vagina represents is more domestic—The Penis House, The Fun Hatch, The Garage. For example, “Sorry I missed roll call; I was up late working in my new staffer’s Garage.”
For those who envision a woman’s vagina as a landscape full of danger, mystery and intrigue focus on The Forbidden Area, Zone X, and The Furmuda Triangle. For example, “I meant to go home after that second bounce, but I got lost in The Furmuda Triangle.” The personal is always political, and in this case the subject of sex and political intrigue dovetail beautifully in The Grassy Knoll and The Cock Depository.
VAGINAS AREN’T SCARY AT ALL, THEY ARE CUTE AND FURRY… (OKAY THAT’S THE VULVA BUT GO WITH IT…I GUARANTEE YOU THESE GUYS DON’T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE) Who doesn’t want to nuzzle Muff, Bunny Tuft or Fuzzy Wuzzy? Stretch out on the Love Rug, or slip into the Dick Mitten?
YOU KNOW MAYBE IF I SQUINT I CAN PRETEND IT’S A LIL ANIMAL. It’s a Bunny, a Puddy Tat, a Panty Hamster, The Pink Mink. If you are kind and pet it gently it will be your friend for life.
MAYBE IF WE JUST IGNORE THE VAGINA IT WILL GO AWAY? OKAY, WHAT IF WE CALL IT NOTHING?
“Nothing” is a popular and storied nickname, made popular by the Victorians. (Dirty minxes!) Thus the double entendre in “Much ado about Nothing”
BUT NO GOOD CAN COME OF A VAGINA!
If you insist on making the vagina something evil, I’m offering: Sin Bin, The Death of Adam, or The Wombsday Machine. I’m personally fond of Wombsday Machine.
VAGINAS ARE FUN!
Almost as fun are these goofy nicknames: Furry 8-Ball Rack, Bone Hider, Tackle Box, Snake Charmer, Moose Knuckles. (Okay I’m not sure about “Moose Knuckles”)
WHO RUNS THE WORLD? VAGINAS!
For those beautiful dreamers who imagine a future in which the pussy is all powerful (or equal with equal wages) I introduce you to Cuntopia and The Republic of Labia. Try this: “Mitt Romney and the GOP deserve to be strung up for trying to legislate what goes on in The Republic of Labia.”
OR HEY, HERE’S ANY IDEA! ANY TIME WE WANT TO USE THE WORD “VAGINA” WE’LL SAY, “MICHIGAN” INSTEAD!
Say Yes to Vagina! Pure Vagina!
Getting the Upper Hand!
Now back to bumper stickers and button making.