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Posted on Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 9:15 a.m.

Ann Arbor woman organizes reading of 'The Vagina Monologues' Monday at Lansing Capitol

By Lisa Carolin

The steps of the Michigan Capitol in Lansing will become a stage Monday at 5 p.m. when a special performance of the play "The Vagina Monologues" takes place starring Eve Ensler, the playwright along with a group of female legislators, all Democrats, including Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor.

Carla Milarch, the associate artistic director at the Performance Network in Ann Arbor, is organizing the reading of "The Vagina Monologues" in response to the controversy that erupted in the Michigan Legislature last Thursday when two state representatives were prevented from speaking on the House floor because of remarks they made the day before.


Rep. Lisa Brown, D-West Bloomfield, talks with staffer Katie Carey, left, after telling reporters that she was banned from speaking Thursday because of comments she made on the floor Wednesday about her vagina.

Dale G. Young | The Detroit News

MLive reported that on Wednesday, state Rep. Lisa Brown, D-West Bloomfield said, "I'm flattered that you are all so interested in my vagina, but no means no," in her opposition to abortion regulations that the House ultimately passed.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Rep. Barb Byrum, D-Onondaga, on Wednesday proposed an amendment which would have required proof of a medical emergency or that a man's life was in danger before a doctor could perform a vasectomy, and that she shouted out the word "vasectomy." Both Byrum and Brown were prevented from speaking Thursday.

"I decided to do this because I was struck by how closely the issues in 'The Vagina Monologues' aligned with the issues in the recent Lisa Brown incident," said Milarch. "So many taboos about ourselves, our bodies, and speaking up for our rights are tied into our difficulty with that word."

"The fact that in this day and age people are still intimidated by a woman using the word vagina in an assertive and self-expressive way proves that there is still a strong need for the messages of the play," said Milarch.

Milarch met Ensler when she visited the Performance Network Theatre in 2003 during the production of her play "Necessary Targets." Milarch recently had the idea to do the play as a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood featuring local actresses.

"When I emailed Eve to get her permission, she told me that she had been bombarded by communications from Michigan about the incident," said Milarch. "People were outraged and she wanted to get involved!"

Milarch connected Ensler to Sen. Warren, and the event grew to a new level. Warren reserved the Capitol steps and got numerous legislators involved. More than 30 local actresses agreed to take part in the performance including Naz Edwards, Suzi Regan, Jan Blixt, Eva Rosenwald, Dana Sutton, Chelsea Sadler and Kate Willinger Manfredi. "I am already in awe of what the women working together on this have accomplished in such a short time," said Milarch.

The special performance of "The Vagina Monologues" is scheduled to run from 5-8 p.m. Monday on the Michigan Capitol Building steps, 100 N. Capitol Ave.


martini man

Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 10:33 p.m.

In my humble opinion, I don't believe this rally or whatever they want to call it , has much to do with freedom of speech. What these feminists want, is the right to kill their babies by abortion. Under current law, they have the right to kill their babies by abortion. And they do it by the thousands each year. They do NOT want to lose that legal right . They can hum and haw and spin and ridicule but ABORTION is the issue. It's the Holy Grail of feminism. Now I'll be attacked and called names and berated by liberals, for what I have posted ..BUT what I said is true and no amount of diverting the issue or name calling can change that fact


Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 10:11 a.m.

i'm sorry but i take birth control as a precaution, if i were to ever get pregnant i wouldn't have to think twice about having an abortion.

Robert Hughes

Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 2:06 a.m.

Um, they're not "babies"; they're fetuses, or embryos.


Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 9:35 p.m.

Actor/writer Ron Jeremy and screen idol Belladonna may have been inspired by Vagina Monologue democrats to come together and write a complementary screenplay! It is not as yet titled butt stay tuned. Democrats are anxiously awaiting drafts as they work on their platform for the fall session.

martini man

Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 5:53 p.m.

Is there any truth to the rumour that Vagisil and Suimmer's Eve are the behind the scenes sponsors for this "event " ?


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 11:27 p.m.

So saying " vagina" makes one a spokeswoman for women's issues. OK, then. Vagina. That qualifies me to insist LIFE IS a women's issue. LIFE is a social issue. LIFE is a civil rights issue. LIFE is a health issue. LIFE is a religious issue. LIFE is a political issue. LIFE is a moral issue. LIFE is a women's issue. I said " Vagina." That makes it so.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 11:43 p.m.

Note: in no way should my comments be misconstrued as supporting the dog and pony show actions of the michigan legislature. As a general rule, i dont. Libs, get a clue. Dont fear the Reaper-blicans. If they were really pro life, abortion would be illegal. But theyre not. What Reaper-blicans really are ( mostly, anyway) is anti-Democrat. And Dems are anti- repub. So.... Politics as usual. Some of us, though, are sincerely, truly, consistently pro life. Theres no party for us. When we authentic pro-lifers understand that, things might change. Thats when a LIFE ethic really could prevail.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 9:16 p.m.

@ clownfish: Yes. And the "Get Government Out Of Our Lives" position is such a fervently-held one by those folks!


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 6:35 p.m.

Clownfish says: "So you think a Nanny State needs to step in and tell African Americans what to do and how to live?" Of course not. But it's obviously OK for a conservative Nanny State to step in and tell women what to do and how to live, right?


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 8:37 p.m.

Trying to get to the bottom of XMO's logic is like trying to solve a Rubiks Cube with 12 pieces missing. On one hand he appears to want government out of peoples lives, but on the other he seems to think that certain segments of the population need the benevolent Nanny State he so despises to oversee them. Goes right along with the MI legislature moaning about Other People paying for Freeloaders, then arguing against mandated health insurance and requiring MI taxpayers to foot the bill for motorcycle riders that end up with life long brain injuries.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 5:51 p.m.

... Forgot to add — I've married a couple of great women, too!


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 5:45 p.m.

@Bucky: We heard you the first time. And while I have known quite a few ladies, I never had the urge to date one. Now, WOMEN?! That's another story! I love 'em!


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.

They may be women...but they are NOT ladies


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 5:08 p.m.

These may be women, but they are NOT ladies


Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 10:15 a.m.

oh, because they used the proper anatomical term instead of saying "beautiful lady parts"?


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 6:29 p.m.

The last part of your screen name is verboten in The House! You should be ashamed!


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 5:25 p.m.

And that is the point. Too many men want women to be demure, quiet, and obedient. These women are not.

Laurie Burg

Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.

So what? I prefer women to ladies every day of the week.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 3:50 p.m.

Frankly. I must admit that I'm a little ambivalent about today's event. While I am 100% behind Ms Brown and Ms. Byrum, the fact is that the subject matter still freaks too many people out, unfortunately. The people who need to hear The Vagina Monologues the most — people like the Republican Legislators, for instance — would never, ever, come to see it. It is simply too scary for them to even find out what it is about. So the event today will be a preaching-to-the-choir, echo-chamber event. That said, it will definitely fire up a few folks who were too complacent, and stayed home in 2010. That election's turnout was overwhelmingly dominated by Old White Guys (a demographic that I am not particularly proud of being in!) and those who I call The Impatient Amnesiacs, who could not even recall how we got in the horrible economic mess that we still are in — still in precisely because these Impatient Amnesiacs voted in a bunch of destroy-the-government anarchists! So, while a more middle-of-the-road approach might avoid scaring off some folks, it has been reassuring to see the national response to the misogynist gagging of these two Representatives. Maybe we will have a more representative turnout in November.

say it plain

Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 3:42 p.m.

Oy, goodness, @Huron74... The comment *alluding* (its status as a bit of rhetoric-- itself an *allusion* to the ways in which women's bodies have been treated as the property of men to consider, legislate, and use--perhaps *eluding* those who find it so offensive!) to these legislators as "trashy" or "brazen", is so very much an example of what these women are trying to speak out against! In the words of the "best-selling" comic character Homer Simpson, "D'oh!" !!! If I look on paper or computer screen at the quote of Brown's, I feel I would have been reluctant to use that little bit of what you deem "trashy" rhetoric. But had I been Ms. Brown, in the heat of the moment of being subjected to these legislators arguing for their proposed regulations of women's reproductive health care, getting ready to push through legislation without calling roll, etc., might I have decided these particular words were spot on?! Absolutely! I think maybe many women might get "brazen" in this sort of context, as might men who support the idea that women ought to be treated equally to men. Clearly the censure of Byrum in addition to the offensive-mouthed Brown represents the further problem some men have with uppity women--in Byrum's case, it was merely to point out clearly the hypocrisy and inequity of the violation into women's privacy her 'colleagues' (they didn't treat her as such, at all, is the point!) were advocating!

Jessica Jackson

Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 3:26 p.m.

This so called hissy fit that a lot of conservative older white gentlemen are supporting and women engaged in false consciousness is rather disheartening to see. Questioning men, Please take a moment to examine the autonomy you all value so dearly. No one likes to be told what to do with themselves or how to do it. Then examine the idea of Liberalism of Fear. (This is the idea that we should tolerate one another for the sake of fear of being on the oppressed side.) Bonus points if you bother to look into Liberal Pluralism. (In a nutshell, this is respecting the agency/autonomy of another individual so much that you give them the capacity to act as they see fit EVEN THOUGH YOU DISAGREE.) If you cant respect my moral agency and cognitive capacity to determine what is right for my own body as a women (which is the ethically right thing to do--by the way), then please take a moment to imagine being on the other side of the fence--where your capacity to control your own bodily functions is threatened to be limited. Really place yourself in the shoes of what many women are facing and stew in the repressive qualities of that for a moment. Ain't a pretty/free feeling, is it? If people (especially "brazen women") are getting reactionary, it is akin to being told that you shouldn't have full say for what you can do with your body. I cant think of anyone who would happily walk into that. Just because there is a preconceived notion of the propriety of gender doesn't mean anyone is required to follow it. As the saying goes: Say it loud and say it proud. And tonight, I will.

Annie Zirkel

Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

Myself, my friend, my 19 year old son, and his girl friend are going. To be honest it's more because this incident tipped the scales for me. The attacks on womens rights are accumulating. Whether in the form of regulating (our reproductive rights), marginalizing (non-equal pay for equal work), religious slap downs (Catholic nuns), leaving vulnerable women to fend for themselves (domestic abuse in Topeka, Kansas), defunding Planned Parenthood, or this latest censure of Ms Brown and Ms Bynum - we need to speak up and speak louder! I hope my presence tonight adds to the message. Thanks to all who have organized and promoted this event.

Annie Zirkel

Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 3:23 p.m.

@Huron74 - What Ms Brown said was, "I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina, but no means no.

Huron 74

Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 3:12 p.m.

So you abide by her insulting a fellow representative by saying: "I know you want to get in my vagina, but no means no"? What if a man had said "I know you want to get in my pants..."?

Huron 74

Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

The entire media circus keeps taking the word "vagina" out of context. What she said was "I know you want to get in my vagina, but no means no" which eludes to the man she was speaking to wanting to have sex with her. That's trashy. I've always said, the only people who like brazen women are other brazen women. But, it seems, trash sells to just about anybody.

Terri Eagen-Torkko

Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 5:33 p.m.

That's not actually what she said.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 2:06 p.m.

I don't understand why there was such an uproar over a woman using the word vagina. Women have vaginas and men have penises. Would it have been ok if she had used the word men usually use for this female body part?


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 1:42 p.m.

This story is so old and boring, why is it still being left as a headline?

Unusual Suspect

Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 1:57 p.m.

Because it's Ann Arbor


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 1:26 p.m.

You go GIRLS!! Fight homegrown Talibanism! Vagina- don't fear it!


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 11:59 a.m.

Pleaseeeeee. In this day, there are much more important issues to be discussed beside the "vagina" which every one knows women have.

Will Warner

Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 11:45 a.m.

I've been meaning to see the "Vagina Monologues." I love ventriloquism.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 5:26 p.m.

Best one yet.

Huron 74

Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

Absolutely tooo funny dude!


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 2:49 a.m.

I can sum this up in three words: LOOK AT MEEEEEEEEEEEEE


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 3:05 a.m.

I love psychowomen .. they're so much more entertaining

Mike Martin

Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 2:19 a.m.

Yeah great, reading the Vagina Monologues at the Capitol is rally going to make an important point. Great idea. Not surprising this stunt was the brainchild of an Ann Arborite. Just what our fellow Michiganders expect of us - you go!

Some Guy in 734

Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.

I'm pretty sure Carla grew up in the Thumb. But nice try.

Michigan Man

Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 12:41 p.m.

MM - We are all free to be stupid, I suppose. Reading the Vagina Monologues outside in 90 degree weather should make for a "smoking hot" event!


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 1:54 a.m.

If you can't say it, don't legislate it. VAGINA. My body, my voice - MY CHOICE.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.

Gee, you forgot to add other trendy cliches like "at the end of the day", "thinking outside of the box" (pun, ha!) or "in these uncertain times"...


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 12:40 a.m.

I can hardly wrap my head around this stupidity... maybe it's just because i'm a dumb woman. Better go make my man a sandwich before I realize my full potential!


Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 10:09 a.m.

thankfully i'm with a man who isn't stupid enough to enjoy sports unusual suspect.

Unusual Suspect

Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 2 p.m.

Make it a burger. And don't forget a beer. And hot to it, the game is on.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 3:16 a.m.

biting my lip on this one ...

Rita Mitchell

Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 9:51 p.m.

Read the Freep: ...then think.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 8:51 p.m.

whenever i hear about the 'vagina monologues' i can't shake the image of a sort of 'senor wencas' ( but lower) performer.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 8:38 p.m.

Why are Republicans reputed to be the party of less government and personal freedom except in the case of women's health care, their bodies and what people do in the privacy of their bedrooms? It's a myth. Republicans are the party of anti free speech, political repression and spying on people's personal lives, in their bedrooms and what goes between them, their doctor, their family and their religious beliefs.

Some Guy in 734

Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

Well, of course they want small government--small enough to rule over the pillow next to yours and who gets to sleep there, small enough to fit in your pants and dictate what happens inside, small enough to determine which plants you should roll up in paper and smoke.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 2:49 a.m.

I agree with you - it's a weakness of an otherwise excellent political party. Abortions for all - have them weekly if you like. PP should give away toasters with every abortion and have punch cards for a freebee once you hit ten! No doubt the party has a self destructive streak but their benefits far out weigh the dire alternative. As California how democrat rule is working out for them.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 8:04 p.m.

If Men could get pregnant, abortions would be free and readily available.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 1:59 p.m.

If men would be more responsible if they were the ones who could get pregnant, why not be just as responsible now? This sounds like overt disrespect for women.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 1:45 p.m.

mixmaster: Well said but you forgot to mantion abortion would then be a Catholic sacrement !


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 2:48 a.m.

How is it disrespectful?


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.

You have to be kidding. That's incredibly disrespectful of many many women, including people's mothers. Since when have men been known to keep their zippers up?


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 8:17 p.m.

Actually, if men could get pregnant they would practice responsible sex, eliminating the need for abortions.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 7:51 p.m.

YEA! While women are forever grateful to men for allowing them to vote, own land and participate in government at all (note all the countries that DO NOT), now it's time to pretend that ALL WOMEN SUPPORT ABORTION. This is just one more amateurish democrat claim that NOBODY WITH A BRAIN BELIEVES. It's right up there with obama's green energy failure. It's also sad to see that democrats are ABSOLUTELY INCAPABLE of criticizing "members" of their party who deserve it. We should see calls for these to cranks to resign in disgrace, but democrats are so pathetic and have so few standards of personal conduct that they continue to paste smiles on their sweaty faces and go along with the humiliation like it's part of "the plan". LOL

Unusual Suspect

Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 2:03 p.m.

And they accomplished that without standing in front of the capitol yelling, "Vagina! Vagina! Vagina!"


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 12:05 p.m.

Regarding voting -- our "fore mothers" picketed, marched, and even when to jail in protest to make sure that all "women" had the right to vote. it also, in my opinion, gave us a great deal of responsibility to live our lives in the most productive fashion. Mainly, being responsible, responsible and save --

say it plain

Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 6:05 a.m.

The implication that women should be grateful to men for allowing them to be citizens is as out of some misogynist left-field as the notion supporters of Brown and Byrum are implying that "all women support abortion". From where do you get these ideas? And how are they in any way equivalent to "obama's green energy failure"?! What a mess of blinder-induced equivalences; it's hard to even understand! Did you happen to be, btw, one of those right-wingers calling for a censure of the joker who yelled at Obama during his state of the union address? Or were you more of the send-him-campaign-money type lol? He got many of those, you might recall, for a very incredible violation of standards. But the real point is that it is very odd for someone to claim that somehow in supporting the free speech and debate/proposal rights of some legislators whose opponents made blatantly silly attempts at silencing them, anyone is implying that all women support abortion?! That doesn't even make sense...


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 3:38 a.m.

Why should women be grateful that men allow them to vote, as you put it? It's more like we should all be ashamed that our ancestors didn't allow women to vote, among the countless other injustices that were enforced through the laws of the day.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 12:29 a.m.

Women aren't "grateful" to men for having rights, men should be intelligent enough to share their status with women. We live in a world full of misogynists... it's pathetic.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 10:36 p.m.

Criticizing one another's points is legitimate debate; name calling is not.

Animal Lover

Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 7:44 p.m.

A secretive vote by cowards. They are the ones who should' be allowed to talk.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 2:38 a.m.

Not unhappy at all - I'm amused and enjoying the self destruction of a party that has lead Michigan nowhere for too long. - good to see them get what they deserve now that the adults are leading again.

Basic Bob

Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 10:01 p.m.

If you are so unhappy, start a referendum to require roll call votes. Since there was a clear majority, there is no need for roll calls on procedural motions.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 8:01 p.m.

The democrat party clearly has no standards for behavior in the legislator, a fact that will hurt them at the ballot box. We are now leaning that incompetent, petulant, childish, ignorant behavior during a debate is now embraced by democrats as their new "gold standard" for politicians running for office!! Good luck with that - we'll see you at the ballot box!

Animal Lover

Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 6:51 p.m.

When will old white republican men quit trying to get their hands on women's vagina or any other body parts? They are pathetic and are angry at all the women who haven't, aren't, and never will allow them control over their bodies. I feel like they want to take us all back to the dark ages. I can't understand how they are allowed to silence two intelligent, respected, and elected women. They make a farce of politics and freedom of speech.

Unusual Suspect

Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 2:04 p.m.

Actually, I believe men of all races are involved in the quest to get their hands on women's body parts. Well, most of them, at least.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 6:40 p.m.

This would be funny if it weren't true. Sad, but true. And simply pathetic.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

What is sad is that in 2012 people are still trying to limit womens freedom and trying to censor duly elected representatives. Then they pile on by adding to government employment and new restrictions on business, while attacking Other People for doing the same thing.

Michigan Man

Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

Think I would rather have a simultaneous root canal + colonoscopy rather than attend this event. Cannot think of a bigger waste of time than and I might even prefer one of the Obama death panels than be present for this circus!


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 1:42 p.m.

Michigan: left off "Man" on purpose. A mish mash of silly scenarios to make you pointless point. Since "death panels" don`t exist (except in the minds of conserv Repugs), and colonoscopy`s are not a big deal, I suggest you go for the "root canal" and open it up to the public so I can watch. :>))


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 1:33 p.m.

If you can find a Death Panel please share it with the rest of us! I bet it is located near one of his concentration camps or gun seizure depots.

say it plain

Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 8:21 p.m.

too funny an example of the mother's milk that flows from the teat of the right-wing noise machine... I guess the fundraisers can cross you off their list of possible contributors then ;-) ?


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 4:25 p.m.

shepard145's comments remind me of some lines from that old Kinky Friedman song: "Get your biscuits in the oven And your buns in the bed That's what I to my baby said This women's liberation is a-goin to your head Get your biscuits in the oven And your buns in the bed" So damn emancipated in your mind and your body, Gonna have to cancel all your lessons in karate. If you can't love a male chauvinist You'd better cross me off your shopping list. Get your biscuits in the oven And your buns in the bed That's what I to my baby said This women's liberation is a-goin to your head Get your biscuits in the oven And your buns in the bed I refuse to use one of those stupid semi-colon /parenthesis smily's, but just in case some folks out there are dense, Kinky is a satirist of the highest order.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 9:13 p.m.

moderators: the comment of mine you deleted was not mine but a gubernatorial candidates'...i.e. kinky friedman's

Animal Lover

Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

I know who Kinky Friedman is and if I hear my husband listening to him again, he may not be touching these buns in our bed for quite a while!


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 4:14 p.m.

Who cares that the number one killer of African-Americans in the U.S.A. is Abortion? The Truth is stranger than Fiction! Sound like a bunch of racist to me!


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 2:33 p.m.

Where did this statistic come from?


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

xmo: explain why abortions are not counted as "deaths" in any statistical base of any hamlet. town, city, state, or country ?? They`re counted as abortions and not deaths and never have been. As one who lived 39 of my years before Roe v Wade I can tell you it was not recorded as a death then either. So the premise for your statement is "fiction" and is much stanger than "truth" on this subject.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

So you think a Nanny State needs to step in and tell African Americans what to do and how to live?

Basic Bob

Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 9:59 p.m.

Birth control is realistic and affordable compared to abortion.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 8:10 p.m.

Could it be because there are few other realistic and affordable health care options for poor and working class women?


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 3:54 p.m.



Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 7 p.m.

That's a ballsy comment there. Really takes some cojones. Borderline nuts.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 3:48 p.m.

Your representatives unfortunately reflect badly upon you when they bring this kind of attention to themselves. If you voted for Lisa Brown I hope she represents your view, if not there will be another election soon...........


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 8:07 p.m.

When was the last time you got pregnant and needed health care that was eliminated by a bunch of white men?

Animal Lover

Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 7:26 p.m.

Or one can be super proud of the super intelligent women they elected.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 3:44 p.m.

The Vagina Monologue readers are "polarizing"? Theirs is a legitimate and measured reaction to a raft of legislative moves forwarding an agenda on which women's rights have very low priority. And I am trying to put that nicely. Some of the posts here contain a lot of hostility toward women, which their writers seem only dimly aware of. And I am trying to put that nicely.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 3:15 p.m.

I'm amazed that a commenter here can use the words "childish," "losers," "clowns," "trashy," "pathetic," and "desperate" to describe two female legislators and still be following the commenting guidelines?!


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 4:45 a.m.

While I don't think name calling and insults are beneficial or right in any debate or in making a point, senators are not private individuals. So, it is allowed according to the conversation guidelines and this instance is not a first on either political or religious side.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 10:34 p.m.

Here are our conversation guidelines: aims to provide a lively community forum where readers can talk to us and to each other about local issues in a civil, neighborly way. The best comments and posts are those that add more information to the story, express a different viewpoint or help create intelligent debate. Please avoid: ... - Personal attacks against private individuals


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 8:12 p.m.

Consider the source (of this kind of dismissive and disrespectful language directed squarely at women)

Unusual Suspect

Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 6:48 p.m.

"I'm amazed that a commenter here can use the words "childish," "losers," "clowns," "trashy," "pathetic," and "desperate" to describe two female legislators and still be following the commenting guidelines?!" I have not seen any guidelines against putting the shoe where it fits.

The Picker

Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 5:16 p.m.

Boy, this comment section is "almost" like free speech


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 3:53 p.m.

"Vagina" is not a hate-word. It's a body part like "arm."


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 3:40 p.m.

Sorta like...vagina?


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 3:07 p.m.

The real issue that's being ignored is intrusive government. Health care issues for women, men, and children are medical issues. Medical issues should be the purview of doctors and patients. It's ridiculous that people who claim to want small government actually want big government to come between women and doctors. This is the United States of America, not Hitler's Germany or the sterilization atrocities in parts of the southern U.S. states in the early part of the 20th Century. The other day someone had the audacity to claim this is about the uterus, as though that would women fighting back seem ridiculous. Other than in "immaculate conception" no fetus got into the uterus without sperm and readers should understand why vagina is an apppropriate word. Does Michigan want to educate doctors who flee to practice in other states if they don't want Michigan legislators to come between them and their patients? What about legal liability? Will malpractice insurance costs increase because of possible deaths of women from legislative mandated care? The women who insisted on being heard in the state legislature are heroes for trying to stop a process that's bad for Michigan people and very bad for Michigan business.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 11:16 p.m.

There it is. Godwins Law. Game. Set. Match. These women really must be heroes, then.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 2:48 p.m.

The best books come with pictures.

West of Main

Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 2:55 p.m.

Your imagination will take you places.

say it plain

Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 2:46 p.m.

Oh come on, you people insisting that Brown and Byrum should just accept the censure...Brown's statement was totally in keeping with the usual rhetoric surrounding this issue. Is it sarcastic? Sure. Is it pointed? Sure. Is this out of keeping with legislator behavior in Michigan, any other state, or at the Federal level? Surely not. Byrum too. She shouted out a word?! She made a proposal to make a point?! Clearly the issue here is that a bunch of conservative men decided they didn't want to entertain women who used such words, who used the rhetoric of women's rights which has always included expressions of wonderment at the interest male legislators have had in their reproductive and sexual organs, and *especially* don't like it that they didn't back down and say sorry to offend you. These legislators embarrass the state, and how silly to claim that it is the women who they're trying to silence who are blowing this all out of proportion!

Charley Sullivan

Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 6:19 a.m.

Shepherd: So we must disagree culturally. To many of us, her comment was completely professional, and was neither rude nor infantile. I accept that to you, it may have been. So, when we look at it, and see her not only doing nothing wrong, but making an important part, it's the Republic leadership that looks vindictive, sexist and punitive. So, we have a cultural split here, between those of us who think that when we're discussing abortion, vaginas and uteruses (uteri?) and the rest of the woman's body are key to the discussion, and others who focus on the body of the fetus. But that's precisely WHY there needs to be access to debate, and why shutting her down afterwards, for whatever reason, was, and continues to be, inappropriate.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 7:40 p.m.

So you think that only men oppose abortion? You really want to make such a ridiculous claim, let alone that any issues are decided by one gender or the other? Sounds like drivel right out of failing leftist crank "news" entertainment airing daily government talking points to fellow Kool Aide drinkers. But democrats miss the point. As others have patiently written over and over, Brown and Byrum were censured because of their unprofessional, rude and infantile behavior. The notion that is was the result of the words they chose is a LIE made up by those trying to distract from the poor quality legislators some communities suffer. The question is whether these weak, incompetent democrat legislators meet the already low expectations their voters have for that office - a question for the balance box.

say it plain

Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 3:57 p.m.

@shepard145, I honestly don't think that *anyone* who has been in support of women's rights, particularly those who have trouble with the idea that men should be deciding where the lines are drawn surrounding women's privacy about the medical procedures they have, will have "changed their mind" about these issues at the ballot box now. I cannot imagine that many people, if any, of voting age, who understand the issues at stake here, will now not vote for Representatives Brown and Byrum but would have before this came up. It might indeed serve to 'energize' further the conservatives who hate to hear women ever utter the word vagina or sarcastically wonder why others would be so keen to legislate about them. But then, it might *also* energize those who care about freedom of speech and who care about reproductive privacy. I'm guessing many people find it offensive that these women were banned from stating their views or from proposing restrictions on *male* reproductive choices to show more clearly what is at stake with the legislation conservative majorities in this increasingly 'backwater' state are pushing through. And they vote too. If they still live in this state, anyway...


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

nice attempt at a cover but voters are not buying the bs. They know FAILURE when they see it and hopefully their behavior will be punished at the ballot box.

Ron Granger

Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

So a bunch of Michigan legislators secretly vote (they would not allow a roll call) to restrict women's access to reproductive care. And now some try and downplay it as not a big deal. "How dare those women speak out in protest! Methinks they doth protest too much." Where is the legislation mandating counseling for men who are seeking a Vasectomy? How do we know they aren't being coerced? Shouldn't they be forced to have a wand jammed up their penis to show them the true consequences of the medical procedure?


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

So censuring a legislator for using the word "vagina" and preventing her from representing her constituents with other issues is "erecting a straw man and cry wolf"? The so-called "dis-service" that you claim Lisa Brown has done for your daughters pales when compared to the anti-woman legislation passed by the Republicans after the 2010 elections. You express no real concern for woman's issues and any sympathy that you may express will ring hollow.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 12:27 a.m.

well no one has stopped Gingrich for being "rude, and unprofessional" and I the only times I've ever heard him speak is when he was shouting....

The Picker

Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 5:10 p.m.

She wasn't censured for the "V" word, she was censured because she is rude and unprofessional and has a penchant for shouting.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 2:11 p.m.

Both sides - grow up and move on please.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 1:27 p.m.

Davidian: If you don`t like the debate it`s time for you to "move on."

Unusual Suspect

Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 2:09 p.m.

These two are like little kids. It has been explained to them very clearly that it wasn't the word itself but comment in whole that violated the decorum of the House. However, they continue to ignore that and focus on the single word, even though nobody has said the single word is the problem. This is the typical liberal tactic of misdirection, trying to take focus away form the real issue once they figure out they can't defend themselves on it because they're wrong (again). They should just be adults and admit they went out of bounds, move on, and go back to making their point and pressing their message in a responsible manner. All they're doing now is making themselves look worse and embarrassing the state.

Mike S

Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 2:06 a.m.

Paraphrasing one of my Fb friends, Ms. Brown wouldn't have been censured if she were talking about her lung.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 1:26 p.m.

Unusual: ",,,decorum of the House." LOL ! Thanks for the best laugh of the morning.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 12:10 p.m.

Revisionist history. GOP rep said it WAS THE WORD, he was offended that she would use it in "mixed company". All sorts of things get said in different manners on the floor, yet nobody gets censured for it. If the GOP does not want to here English words used, they should take care in what they legislate.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 3:42 a.m.

Sometimes it's not what you say, but how you say it. She should have phrased her comment differently.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 12:26 a.m.

I believe she was discussing a VERY important issue... men are trying to dictate what we do or don't do with our vaginas but are too immature to even hear the word being spoken? There's something wrong with that picture.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 7:24 p.m.

So, lacking the debating skills and logic to discuss an important issue, some raggedy democrats start rambling about their genitals and you conclude that Republicans look bad? ....some just need to cling to their democrat world even as their party fails over and over - the perfect obama supporter.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 5:57 p.m.

Michigan's Republican Legislature has been made a laughingstock, both nationally and internationally as a result of this situation. It's made the World News, is all over the internet, was in International Newspapers and International News Reports, etc. So now, it's not just Democrats who are astounded at the ridiculous behavior of these Republican Men continuing their War on Women ... it just continues the story to the benefit of Democrats across the Country.

Unusual Suspect

Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 3:01 p.m.

That's strange. I and a lot of people I know - as well as our economic condition in general and the future of our state - are feeling very empowered by the actions of the Republican legislature since 2010.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 2:57 p.m.

"I believe that the attention that Lisa Brown has received....." Yeaaaaa, you have to hope/believe that because you're a democrat riding down the flaming failures of your party. Governor Snyder racks up victory after victory for THE STATE OF MICHIGAN while democrats are hosting the Vagina Monologues on the steps of the capital and democrats have to support them with big smiles pasted on their humiliated faces. LOL


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

I believe that the attention that Lisa Brown has received because of her censuring reflects negatively on the Michigan Republican legislature as has been evident by many subsequent interviews on radio and television. She has received sympathy as the aggrieved legislator who was not allowed to represent her constituents on other issues. Since the 2010 elections many Michigan citizens have been disenfranchised by actions of the Republican legislature.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 2:09 p.m.

The real losers are the "pro abortion" voters who regretfully had to rely on Brown to represent them in this an important debate that these two are now turning into a clown show. Safe to say they are trying to cover their failure to persuade their colleges in the legislature with trashy stunts. Time to go home.

David Briegel

Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 1:47 p.m.

A lot less lunacy would exist if everyone would see The Vagina Monologues.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 1:42 p.m.

oh just get over it people.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 2:30 p.m.

See replies to previous comments, please.

Top Cat

Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

All class! Mostly lower, but all class!


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 1:50 p.m.

Some people have none.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 1:34 p.m.

...why...??? This whole thing is ridiculous. No, there is nothing wrong with using anatomically correct terms. But I still fail to see what her comment had to do with the issue at hand and what benefit it had/could have had. Her statement reminded me of a teenager in an argument with parents that wasn't going her way so she was going to lash out one last immature comment at the end to, in her mind, make a point. It's over, can we just move on now?


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 7:25 a.m.

No, the word vagina is perfectly fine. It's the manner in which she used it. (See the part of my original comment about how a teenager acts in an argument.)


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 12:24 a.m.

using the proper anatomical word "vagina" is immature? Should she have said her "pretty flowery lady parts" instead?


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 9:45 p.m.

How do you know that I don't understand the importance of womens' issues. No I do not thing the "punishment" fit the crime, but I still do not condone her immature behavior.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 2:30 p.m.

... and for that she deserved censure and the inability to represent her constituents on other issues the next day? Try to understand the importance of womens' issues rather than crassly dismissing them.

Chase Ingersoll

Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 1:33 p.m.

Keep in mind that these women are running for office and saying this word is a free way to get their name in print. If you want people to take you seriously when there is a real issue, don't erect a straw man and cry wolf. I've got two daughters and I believe these women are doing them and issues that are relevant to my daughters, a dis-service, for the purpose of obtaining political name recognition and raising money from polarizing groups outside of the jurisdiction of their political office. It is just pathetic. And yes, I am embarrassed that the GOP leadership chose to try and make their statement by "wrestle with the pigs" rather than ignoring the piggish statements.


Mon, Jun 18, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

To Chase: what is "pathetic" is your take on this situation. What these women did was to act in fustration against a bunch of conservative legislators (overwhelmingly male) ramming a bill thu, allowing minimal debate from the opposition on this right-to-life controlled issue. This IS a "real issue" whether you think so or not. Our Ed Rivit controlled "Vatican West" legislature is intent on returning women`s lack of reproductive rights to the 50`s. and that`s truth not "a straw man".


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 5:04 p.m.

"And yes, I am embarrassed that the GOP leadership chose to try and make their statement by "wrestle with the pigs" rather than ignoring the piggish statements." Oh, I hear pigs all righty but those snuffles and snorts come not from the snouts of Reps Brown and Byrum!


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 3:08 p.m.

You really think they knew ahead of time they'd be censured with a rule that has not been used before?

Ron Granger

Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

"Keep in mind that these women are running for office and saying this word is a free way to get their name in print." They wouldn't be saying the word if legislators would stay out of their vaginas. If the word is such a big deal to you, then it needs to be said more.


Sun, Jun 17, 2012 : 2:09 p.m.

Yes, something is pathetic here.