Friday, June 15, 2012

The V-word

One of my favorite shows ever was "Tales of the City." Whenever I need to escape, TOTC is one of my go-tos, along with "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Manhattan." Sometimes all three at a time, when I've really got the mean reds. To say TOTC is a series about a bunch of goofy characters in late 70s San Francisco is accurate, but it just doesn't do it justice. The series combines disco culture and Hitchcock's "Vertigo," old-money San Franciscans and a little girl from small town Ohio's infatuation with the City, and it all makes sense. Or at least enough for me. And what's not to love about Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney?

A memorable scene is when a main character, Mona Ramsey, is doing an advertising pitch for an underwear company. The old guys from the undies company object to the phrase "cotton crotch." She is visibly annoyed. What other word to replace crotch? She ends the meeting--and her career at the agency--with "You don't like the word 'crotch'? Well, I'll give you crotch! Crotch, crotch, crotch!"

Mona's travails remind me of Michigan Rep. Lisa Brown's. Yesterday Rep. Brown was barred from speaking on the floor of the Michigan House for comments she made about a pending bill that would restrict access to abortion, ""I have not asked you to adopt and adhere to my religious beliefs. [Rep. Brown is Jewish.] Why are you asking me to adopt yours?"

In her own "crotch, crotch, crotch" statement, Rep Brown spoke the words that got her into trouble with Republican leaders: "And finally, Mr. Speaker, I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina, but 'no' means 'no.'"

Saucy, yes. But barred from speaking worthy? Uh-uh. No state legislature is a family viewing zone. Everyone doing business there is an adult over the age of 18. As Rep. Brown stated later, at least she had the courtesy to use the anatomically correct word. Not crotch, or the other c-word, but the Latin-derived word for part of the female anatomy.

Now if this was 1912, right at the tail-end of the Victorian era, this wouldn't surprise me. But's it's 2012, for crying out loud. The 60s and 70s happened. If you're talking abortion on the floor of a state legislature, I hate to tell you guys, you're talking vaginas.Vagina, vagina, vagina. There. I said it. Three times. Maybe people all across the country should link hands and sing a happy vagina song to demonstrate the ridiculousness that this is 2012. 2012!!!

These so-called House leaders need to put on their big boy pants. My kids are Love and Logic raised, so I'm a big believer in natural consequences. So I've got a natural consequence for the guys who barred Rep. Lisa Brown to watch a performance of "The Vagina Monologues," preferably starring Jane Fonda, Janeane Garofolo and Eve Ensler (no doubt their favorite liberal women). They'll hear the word vagina, and the various indignities vaginas suffer, more than they ever bargained for.

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