I never thought I would be sorry not to be in Michigan, but I was sorry not to have been there yesterday.
Eve Ensler, the author of the amazing Vagina Monologues came to the Michigan State Capitol and put on a performance of her play, performed by Michigan's women legislators. This was, of course, in response to the Speaker of the house declaring Rep. Lisa Brown out of order for uttering the word "vagina" in the House chambers in expressing her opposition to a proposed abortion bill. Funny that the guys who have NO problem saying "trans-vaginal ultrasound" find uttering the medically appropriate term "vagina" so offensive it's a word they say they would not use in mixed company.
From the report, the Vagina Monologue event was a rousing success.
At its conclusion, Ensler gave a powerful, empowering speech, which I just had to incorporate as part of this journal, since this is a record of my life and the things that move me. So here it is:
Thanks for coming out and standing up for vaginas!
I am over you being afraid of vaginas! I am over trans-vaginal wands and dudes who want to control my vagina but are afraid to know my vagina, respect my vagina. Who can’t even SAY vagina!
I am over the over-regulation of women’s health clinics and women’s bodies and vaginas when those same over-regulators do nothing to protect those same women when they get pregnant, when they get raped, unemployed and sick and need more financial support.
I am over dudes who pretend to care about personhood and cut Planned Parenthood which makes the health of my personhood possible.
I am over forces who wanna call victims of rape “accusers” and not “victims”.
I am over you having the chutzpah to redefine rape so that a drugged woman or a date-raped woman wouldn’t even be considered a raped woman.
And, by the way, I’m over RAPE!
I’m over rape culture, rape mentality, and rape jokes.
I’m over people not understanding that rape is not a joke and I’m REALLY over being told I don’t have a sense of humor and women don’t have a sense of humor when most women I know (and I know a LOT of women) are really fucking funny.
We just don’t think an uninvited penis up our anus or up our vagina is a laugh riot.
I am over one in three women getting raped in the US military by their comrades.
I am over women still being silent about rape because they’re made to believe it’s their fault and they did something to make it happen.
I am over dudes voting against the Violence Against Women Act when one in every three women on this planet will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes.
The destruction and the muting of women is the destruction of life itself. No women: no future. Duh!
I am really over some powerful men pretending this deep love of fetuses and babies and life when we know it’s all about your terror of our sexuality and power. If you, if you really cared about life, you would never, ever consider letting a woman die rather than performing an abortion.
You would ask the life-givers, the women, what they need and want and you would listen to them. You would honor their vaginas, maybe even worship their vaginas. You would cherish the word “vagina” and know there is nothing dirty or disgusting about the place where all life comes from.
I am over the Michigan state legislature, and any legislature, censoring, rebuking and removing Lisa Brown because they find the word “vagina” contemptible or out of bounds or lacking decorum. My vagina’s got decorum!
And I am over all those other legislators that went along with it and didn’t stand up.
I want to say something to all the good men here: I’m a little over you. You are brave and wonderful. But where are you? You live with us. You make love with us. You father us. You befriend us. You brother us, get nurtured and mothered and eternally supported by us. So why aren’t you standing with us? Why aren’t you driven to the point of madness and action when you see us being raped and humiliated and censored? Why don’t you care about this as much as you do about sports?
I am over brilliant remarks being called “tantrums” and outspoken women being called “crazy” and lacking decorum when they are just smart.
I’m over it! We are over it! This the moment. This is the moment. This is where it all turns around. This is the moment when we talk back and speak back. This is where we rise up.This is where we say “yes” to Lisa Brown. “Yes” to Barbara Byrum. “Yes” to every brave woman who is standing with us today. Gretchen Whitmer. Barbara Byrum. Stacy Erwin-Oakes. Dian Slavens. Rashida Tlaib. Vicki Barnett. Joan Bauer. Ellen Cogen Lipton. Maureen Stapleton. And all the amazing actors and activists up on this stage.
This is where we say: “VAGINA!” Say it!
Not ’cause we’re provocative. Not ’cause we’re dirty. Not ’cause we’re trying to make you uncomfortable. Not ’cause we’re immoral or inappropriate.
‘Cause they’re beautiful and real and mystical and alive and powerful and SO ARE WE!
And I wanna say to all these Republicans: when we are free, YOU are free!