approved sweeping new restrictions on abortion, two female Democratic representatives were silenced as punishment Thursday for speaking out. Rep. Barb Bynum tried to call for an amendment that vasectomies also be regulated; Rep. Lisa Brown (left) said, "Mr. Speaker, I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina, but no means no." In an op-ed column today, Brown (who is going to perform in the "Vagina Monologues" on State Capitol steps) wrote,"I am outraged that this legislative body wants to dictate not only what women can do, but also what we can say."
Ari Adler, spokesman for Republican Speaker of the House Jase Bolton, presented a classic sexist response in an email allegedly sent to press contacts. Alder didn't focus on the term "vagina" or anything else relating to the content of the representatives' objections; instead, he said they threw "temper tantrums":
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.