#SayVagina: Politicians Perform “The Vagina Monologues” in Protest at Michigan’s State Capitol
by Alyssa Figueroa and Sarah Seltzer
Female lawmakers in Michigan gathered on the steps of the State Capitol last night to protest the ban placed on members for using the word “vagina.” The lawmakers, along the play’s author Eve Ensler, performed “The Vagina Monologues” for a crowd of about 5,000.
Last week, Michigan Democratic lawmaker Lisa Brown spoke on the House floor to voice her opposition to the state’s recent law that would restrict access to abortions. In her closing remarks, she stated: "Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but no means no."
Brown was then banned from speaking by the Republican-led chamber for using the word "vagina." Fellow female lawmaker Barb Byrum was also banned from speaking because she was “out of order” after protesting that she was not allowed to speak on her amendment, which would have banned vasectomies unless there was a medical emergency or a man’s life was in danger.
Supporters of the act of protest used #sayvagina on Twitter and Facebook to provide live feedback on the event.
Detroit Free Press reporter Kathy Gray, who tweeted from the scene, posted that Brown stated, "I'm overwhelmed. Who knew one little floor speech could end in this? … We're not going to let legislators turn the clock back … We shouldn't be legislating vaginas if you can't say vaginas.”
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