A firestorm has followed the anti-woman omnibus that has chugged its way through the state house. I call it the anti-woman omnibus, because that’s what it is: anti-woman.
When female legislators attempted to speak about the anti-woman omnibus, they were gaveled down. Rep. Barb Byrum (D-Onondaga) wasn’t allowed to speak on the floor to her amendment about proving a medical emergency for a vasectomy. This was an attempt to demonstrate an eye-for-an-eye; if women needed to prove something medically necessary, then so should men.
Then, Rep. Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield) had the gall to use the medical term for a women’s anatomy, “vagina.”
This term solicited such a reaction that other female legislators like Lisa Posthumus Lyons (R-Alto) responded by saying as “a woman and a mother, I was personally offended by Rep. Lisa Brown’s disgraceful actions during Wednesday’s floor debate.”
I would respond to Rep. Lyons that I am also a woman and a mother, and I’m not ashamed.
Next, Rep. Callton claimed the word vagina “..was so offensive, I don’t even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.” Could Rep. Callton (R-Nashville) clarify what exactly “mixed company” is?
Rep. Lisa Brown said it perfectly, “If I can’t say the word vagina, why are we legislating vaginas? What word should I use?”
Both Reps. Brown and Byrum were banned from speaking on the House floor for one day for “violating the decorum of the House rules.”
This is as insane as it is asinine.
Female legislators are allowed to speak on the floor- but only if they agree with the male majority?
To add insult to injury, this email surfaced in a dissent to Capitol press corps from the Speaker, Rep. Jase Bolger’s press secretary, Ari Adler.
To the Capitol Press Corps,
Just to be clear, despite the misinformation being spread by Reps. Brown and Byrum, and Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, there are two representatives not being recognized on the House floor today because of their actions yesterday. It has nothing to do with their gender, their religion or the topic they were discussing. All day today, we have had representatives of both parties, both genders and several different religions passionately debating important issues that will significantly impact the future of Michigan. I would urge you not to become too distracted by temper tantrums designed to score political points.
I’m not clear on what Adler meant by “misinformation.” Both Reps. Brown and Byrum took a stance on the floor, and were banned from speaking as a consequence. Period.
And because Senator Gretchen Whitmer, Rep. Byrum and Rep. Brown called ‘foul’ on this entire debacle, he classified their criticism as a “temper tantrum.”
If the gender roles were reversed, a man following the example of these bold leaders would be applauded. Instead, those who are brave enough to stand up for what’s right are being ridiculed, mocked and silenced.
We will not be silenced.
Instead our collective voices will gain momentum and strength, and together we will send a message in November.