You don’t control anyone’s vagina but your own

You don’t control anyone’s vagina but your own, unless you don’t have one… in which case, why are you1 discussing abortion again? Oh, right, because some idiots people are trying to take away more women’s rights. Again.

On June 14th, Lisa Brown said the word ‘vagina’ out loud. The Michigan Representative spoke during a debate over an anti-abortion bill. Earlier in the debate, Barb Byrum said ‘vasectomy’. Gasps and scandal ensued, along with the two women being banned from temporarily speaking in the State House for violating decorum. The result? You’ll be hearing a lot more of the v-word.

Clearly, the ban was ridiculous and thankfully, people reacted. Lisa Brown for her part performed The Vagina Monologues outside the Michigan Statehouse yesterday in front of a crowd of thousands. And Jesus would have said vagina too. Now, if whiskered old men could be banned from speaking for putting half the room to sleep, there would be less of a debate, just a little less.

Hey, speaking of sexism, let’s talk about children’s books. Interactive Reader provides the tables of contents for two books titled “How to Survive Anything! Boys Only” and “How to Survive Anything! Girls Only”. Let’s take a look at an excerpt:

  • How to Survive a shark attack
  • How to Survive in a Forest
  • How to Survive Frostbite
  • How to Survive a Plane Crash
  • How to Survive in the Desert
  • How to Survive a Polar Bear Attack
  • How to Survive a Flash Flood
  • How to Survive a Broken Leg
  • How to Survive an Earthquake
  • How to Survive a Forest Fire

  • How to survive a BFF Fight
  • How to Survive Soccer Tryouts
  • How to Survive a Breakout
  • How to Show You’re Sorry
    (and chapter 3 is where we no longer care about “survival”)
  • How to Have the Best Sleepover Ever
  • How to Take the Perfect School Photo
  • How to Survive Brothers
  • Scary Survival Dos and Don’ts
    (“don’t throw things or yell at your ghost. it may react badly.”)
  • How to Handle Becoming Rich
  • How to Keep Stuff Secret

How many thought I got the colours wrong?

A brilliant post by guest blogger Elaine M. on the use of humour to bring attention to the issue is titled Sarcasm and the Vagina Vigilantes… or Who’s Funny Now?: Yucking It Up in the Battle of the Sexes. Some of the wonderfully sarcastic legislation mentioned is also featured here. Sadly, many of these bills failed to pass. A completely serious personhood bill did pass in the Colorado House of Representatives, however. It allows for criminal assault and homicide charges against injury or death of any “unborn member of the species homo sapien”.

These laws for unborn victims of violence have passed in at least 38 states in the US, which is understandable if 20 of those states didn’t include the embryos or fertilized eggs as victims and if cases such as this one didn’t exist. To quote the article: “On March 14, Bei Bei Shuai will have spent one full year in jail in Marion County, Indiana. Her crime? Then prosecutor calls it attempted feticide and murder. What it really is: attempting suicide while pregnant.” She can face up to 65 years in prison, which hopefully this petition can do something about.

In other news, did you know that the city council of Wilmington, Delware (the largest city in Delaware and home to more than 5.8 million people), recognized the personhood of semen because “each ‘egg person’ and each ‘sperm person’ should be deemed equal in the eyes of the government”? They did. Think about that, men of Wilmington, before you masturbate n’ murder.2

Generally I’m not interested in debates on national issues unless it’s in Canada or China, and especially not in the United States. This one though, this one caught me off guard because of how ridiculous it’s become in that it can still exists (and will exist in Canada, I fear). I didn’t intend to write so much, but it’s one of the big issues with lots of attention that divides US voters. It will also make the decision for some pro-egg, single-issue voters – likely very poorly advised decisions since those supporting anti-abortion bills (read: Republicans) generally support terrible economic policies based on blind faith in finance capitalism. This issue will impact who gets elected, which will impact allll sorts of other things. A pro-choice reawakening is finally occurring on the abortion debate, which has been going on for much, much too long.


If present day is any indication, the debate will continue on and on because one side’s argument is firmly rooted in belief, even if the Almighty suggests writing bomb threats against an abortion doctor. I’m not pointing any elbows, but the Republican call for social conservative votes does show the misogyny of the religious right. I do want to point out that not all Republicans have their heads so far buried in other millionaires’ rear ends… I mean rear end pocket wallets… that they can’t see the truth.3 A great example of someone willing to stand up for women’s rights is Republican Congressman Richard Hanna.4 He co-sponsored the Equal Rights Amendment, which simply seeks to ensure equality between sexes in the eyes of the law. Doesn’t sound like a bad guy even though US politics gives me headaches and possibly nightmares.

The problem is already big enough in the US, but it is not the most dire situation. In many countries, including Colombia, Nigeria and the Philippines, abortions are illegal with few exceptions. However, some countries, such as El Salvador, has an absolute ban on abortions even in situations when there’s a threat to the mother’s life. This tragic case tells the story of a woman who suffered complications during birth due to an untreated medical condition, which later caused her death while she was in prison for murder. According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, in El Salvador “many women who miscarry or experience emergency obstetric complications are charged with aggravated murder, for which they can be imprisoned for up to 50 years, and subsequently spend decades behind bars.”

If the mother dies, can the legislators be charged with murder too?

I sometimes wonder how people can believe it’s okay to interfere in others’ choices and lives in such a way, but here reality stands. It’s easy for something to fade into billions of other byts of stuff and the challenge now is to not let that happen. To secure the choice to have an abortion may not be your cause in life, but stay aware of what’s happening and all the important work others have done.

1 ‘You’ being a figure of speech I guess… so I don’t really mean you you.

2 They called upon the Delaware legislature to turn this into law, so hopefully this hasn’t been codified yet. Yet.

3 Can you tell I have strong opinions on this? Good. Many democrats aren’t much better. I’m a general critic of the financial class.

4 Although, given how rabid some republicans are, he may not longer be recognized as republican by the party since he doesn’t mindlessly support 110% of their efforts.

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