The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents start teaching their kids the correct names of body parts around age 18 months. The idea is to keep it simple, straightforward.
A nose is a nose. A mouth is a mouth. A vagina is a vagina.
Unless you live in Michigan.
Male lawmakers there still think the Notorious V.A.G. is a dirty word.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
Last week, State Rep. Lisa Brown protested an anti-abortion bill and ended her statement by saying "Mr. Speaker, I'm flattered that you are all so interested in my vagina, but 'no' means 'no.' "
She was promptly barred from speaking in the House on the grounds she violated decorum.
Apparently the men who make laws in Michigan hate to be reminded that the vaginas they're trying to legislate have minds of their own.
Republican Rep. Mike Callton said Brown's choice of words "was so offensive, I don't even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company."
Which makes me wonder what Mr. Callton calls vaginas when he's not in mixed company.
Speaking for many of my fellow vaginas, I can tell you we've been called a lot worse.
"If I can't say the word vagina, why are we legislating vaginas? What language should I use?" Rep. Brown wondered aloud after she was prohibited from referring to her vajayjay on the House floor.
To support Brown and her lower private part, more than 2,500 vaginas – including one belonging to Eve Ensler, author ofThe Vagina Monologues
– pulled off a pretty cunning stunt. (Whoa, you thought I was going to say it, didn't you?) They stood on the capital steps Monday night to recite the play and draw attention to the legislation, which passed the state House 70-39 and will be taken up by the Senate in September.
After the play reading, all the women jumped up and down on the steps and started whooping and singing, "Who Let The Vaginas Out."
OK, I'm kidding about that last part, but wouldn't that have been awesome?
Despite the advice of pediatricians, it appears that this country still hasn't grown up enough to handle an informed political debate using correct anatomical words.
So I have a simple solution.
If male lawmakers in Michigan find vaginas so offensive, don't give them any. Ever.