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Hide the children, grab the smelling salts, and fluff the pillows on the fainting couch because you are about to read the most offensive word in the English language. It is so offensive, in fact, that Democratic state Rep. Lisa Brown of Michigan has been banned indefinitely for daring to utter it on the House floor. It's that bad:

"What she said was offensive," said Rep. Mike Callton, R-Nashville. "It was so offensive, I don't even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company."

Shudder, gasp. A word so offensive that no true gentleman would dare utter it in the presence of ladies? A word so offensive that House Majority Leader Jase Bolger (R-Of course) was forced to silence Rep. Brown in order to "to ensure that the proper level of maturity and civility are maintained on the House floor."

Brace yourselves, boys and girls, because we're talking thermonuclear offense here. Ready? Here it is, the most offensive word ever:

Vagina.
I'll give you a moment to recover from the shock and horror. If you're brave enough, there's a lot more vagina below the fold.

Okay, then. If you've somehow managed to scrape your jaw off the floor, let's continue.

Bolger's spokesman explained that the banning was not in response to Rep. Brown's use of the word vagina. It was how she said it:

"For Brown, it was not the words she used, but the way she used them that resulted in her being gaveled down."
The way she said vagina so deeply offended House Republicans that they immediately started gnashing their teeth and rending their garments, which forced them to ban Rep. Brown and her foul lady hole from the floor for having caused them to gnash said teeth and rend said garments in the first place. In other words, it's not that they wanted to silence her, it's just that she made them so darned angry that they had no choice. For the sake of "decorum."

Worse still, the offending word—vagina—was uttered in a completely unrelated context because the House was debating the latest draconian anti-abortion bill, and, as it should be apparent to all, mentioning lady parts has no place in a conversation about regulating lady parts.

Scratch that. Ladies have no place in a conversation about regulating lady parts. This is what is known as the Darrell Issa Rule: that discussions of women's health are far too important to allow ladies to have a say. Shut your stupid lady holes—men are legislating.

This rule is also strictly observed by traditional media, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, cable news, and the Sunday talk shows.

It's not as if Rep. Brown was singled out; her Democratic colleague, state Rep. Barb Byrum, was also banned from speaking for engaging in what Bolger's spokesman called a "temper tantrum on the House floor."

We don't know exactly what this temper tantrum entailed, as Bolger's office didn't bother to officially inform his colleagues of their banning, or the specific reason for their banning, other than vague allusions to naughty language and behavior, but Byrum told Huffington Post, "It's my impression that I'm being banned from speaking as a result of my use of the term vasectomy—a medical procedure."

"Vasectomy," as you no doubt are already aware, is nearly as offensive as the word "vagina." Byrum invoked the almost-as-offensive-as-vagina word when proposing an amendment to the anti-abortion bill that would require all restrictions to also apply to men seeking vasectomies because silly little Byrum had the radical idea of applying laws equally to men and women. So you can see why Byrum obviously had to be silenced for even suggesting such a notion. If only Michigan Republicans had the power to send these uppity ladies to their rooms without dessert ... Surely that would teach them their lesson.

The tragic news for Bolger and his fellow pearl-clutching Republicans is their plan to spare themselves from ever being subjected to the word "vagina" again didn't really pan out.

Twitter, for example, responded with the hilarious #VaginaMovieLines trend. Others simply delighted in repeating the oh-so-offensive word, including the former governor of Michigan:

Vagina.  There, I said it.  And gentlemen, if you can't say it, you sure as heck shouldn't be regulating it. #Michigan #Vagina
@JenGranholm via web
Even the ever sedate, careful-to-never-offend-anyone National Public Radio was forced to use the offending word in a headline.

It's enough to almost make you pity poor Mr. Bolger. For a guy who didn't want to hear the word "vagina," he had the whole country screaming the word "vagina" at him. Mission not exactly accomplished, sir.

Perhaps the lady legislators would still be allowed to participate in a debate about their own health care if they had used different words. Like, for example, the word "cunt." It is, apparently, the preferred terminology among Michigan Republicans like state Rep. Frank Foster, who felt it was mature and civil to address his lady neighbor whose politics he doesn't much like in this manner.

Perhaps, had Rep. Brown said "cunt" instead of "vagina," this whole sordid mess could have been avoided. Or perhaps Michigan Republicans would like to review a list of other euphemisms they might find less offensive than the actual, technical, medical term "vagina." Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues offers many alternatives that may be more to Bolger's liking:

In Westchester they called it a pooki, in New Jersey, a twat. There’s Powderbox, a Poochi, a Poopi, a Peepe, a Poopelu, a Poonani, a Pal and a Piche, Toadie, Dee dee, Nishi, Dignity, Monkey Box, Coochi Snorcher, Cooter, Labbe, Gladys Seagleman, VA, Wee wee, Horsespot, Nappy Dugout, Mongo, Mooky, a Pajama, Fannyboo, Mushmellow, a Ghoulie, Possible, Tamale, Tottita, Connie, a Mimi in Miami, a Split Knish in Philadelphia, and a Schmende in the Bronx.
And by the way, Michigan Republicans with oh-so-delicate sensibilities, you're about to get vagina monologued because Ms. Ensler is bringing her show to you, where she will be joined by a growing number of your lady colleagues in a special performance on Monday night. If you're someone whose head explodes at mere mention of the word "vagina," you may want to leave the state because there is going to be all kinds of vagina-saying going on right there in your mature and civil backyard.

If, however, you are not offended by the word "vagina," but you are offended by the idea that women shouldn't participate in conversations about their vaginas, send Jase Bolger an email demanding that all voices be heard.

Now go forth, sluts, and raise hell.

Oh, and one more thing:

VAGINA!

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 04:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Sluts and Abortion.

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