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Women shall not speak

Jebus, Michigan, what is wrong with you? You’ve got a couple of Republican anti-woman bills working their way through your legislature, HB 5711-5713, which include an absolute prohibition on abortion after 20 weeks (with no health exemption for the mother), and some bizarrely morbid provisions that require that doctors issue “fetal death certificates” and arrange for a funeral for the fetus. It’s dumb, it’s wicked, it’s demeaning. And it’s going down straight party lines, Republicans voting in a block for them, Democrats mostly against it with a few crossing the aisle.

So a few Democratic women spoke out. Rashida Tlaib went all Lysistrata on them, suggesting that women refuse to have sex with Republicans for as long as they push these women-hating bills through congress. Lisa Brown called them on what this is: Christian bias and religiously motivated oppression, explaining that there is no objection to these abortions in her Jewish religious traditions, and saying, “I’m flattered that you’re all so interested my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no.’” Barb Byrum proposed amendments to the bill that required proof of a medical emergency before a doctor would be allowed to perform a vasectomy.

They fought the good fight. Their reward? The Republican majority has made a decision that Brown and Byrum will not be allowed to speak. The claim was that they deserved it because they’d been gaveled during the previous day’s session: Brown had the hammer brought down on her when she dared to mention her vagina, and Byrum was gaveled when she tried to speak as the legislature proposed shutting down all discussion on the bill.

Damned uppity women with their mouths and their naughty bits.

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There’s a Republican wet-dream in the making: they may have the vote, but by god, let’s create some laws to make women shut up.


Al Stefanelli has more.

Comments

  1. truthspeaker says

    Legislators can make laws regulating vaginas, but they can’t say the word vagina. Got it.

  2. stanton says

    If Republicans are so Misogynistic For Jesus, then why the hell do they get so upset when people point it out to them?

  3. dean says

    Our state government isn’t much different than the one operating in Wisconsin. The primary difference is our governor, Rick Snyder, is less likely to say stupid things than is Scott (in WI). He is no less likely to support and enact them, he’s just coy about it. We are as royally screwed as our neighboring state.

  4. rork says

    Didn’t you hear? It’s not about controlling women’s bodies or grandstanding in an election year. They are just trying to make sure abortions are safe, to protect the little women from those evil doctors. God bless those old white guys.

  5. A. R says

    FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!! Why does my state have to start acting like fucking Mississippi? Apparently medical terminology is unacceptable language in the House Chamber now. I suppose an ultrasound law is next, and perhaps a personhood amendment? I’m off to Lansing now to try to speak to my Representative.

  6. hexidecima says

    ah, yes, the war on women that the Republicans don’t want to admit to, is underlined every single day it seems.

  7. Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist says

    Aquaria, is that what their angle is? I just figured Americans would go quietly into the night. Just look at how good those old white men quieted those women!

    Seriously, though, what the fuck!? How can these people seriously pull the antics without getting some sort of severe backlash? Why is there not a very public uproar being covered by the media right now?

    This is what I don’t understand …that there are clearly people who find the behaviour of these old white men and their laws to be completely repugnant and retrograde and yet there isn’t a majority backlash? When people here about this on the news, do they just kind of blink and change the channel unthinkingly? I just don’t understand it.

  8. says

    Republicans just hate breaches of decorum. Remember how they repudiated and censured that ass of a congressman who yelled “You lie!” during the State of the Union speech? Yeah, me neither. That’s how much they really value civility and decent behavior.

  9. Moggie says

    Zeno, yeah, remember the sanctions taken against Dick Cheney when he told Patrick Leahy to “go fuck yourself” in the Senate? Me neither.

  10. Gregory Greenwood says

    So, Brown has been denied the right to speak on the House floor for an undefined period because she used the anotomically correct word ‘vagina’… in relation to an abortion bill regulating women’s reproductive rights?

    And Byrum was gaveled simply for trying to have her voice heard while the Republican speaker was busy transparently trying to bulldoze past opposition to the bill?

    How can anyone see that as acceptable in a democracy?

    This may seem like prudish Republicans getting the vapours about *dramatic music* the V-word */dramatic music*, but I don’t personally give Republicans that much credit, as moronic as such an attitude would be. The idea that this is about outraged sernsibilities and preserving the ‘decorum of the House’ is simply a smokescreen – this is about silencing women with regard to a debate about the procreative rights and bodily autonomy of women. This is about old white guys trying to maintain control of the bodies of women by any means necessary.

    And the bill itself is grotesque – an absolute prohibition on abortion past twenty weeks with no health exception is nothing less than legislation for the state sponsored murder of pregnant women, and the idea of arranging burial for a foetus past ten weeks is just weird, and seems to function solely a means of shaming the women who have such abortions.

    This is obviously an intermediary stage bill – if they get it through, an absolute, Joey-esque ban on abortion in all circumstances is sure to follow, sooner rater than later.

  11. raven says

    IIRC, it was in the Florida legislature that the christofascists threw a fit when someone used the term “uterus”.

    It’s not a good sign that the USA keeps electing crackpot morons like this.

    I suppose cervix, ovary, prostate, and testicles would also disturb them.

  12. BCPA_Lady (now appearing in MN!) says

    This is so….depressing, exhausting, enraging.

    Whether it’s sexual harassment, rape culture, politics, medical decisions — pick any topic — women are constantly being told to sit down and shut up.

    The messages are coming through loud and clear: stop talking about how laws affect us. Stop talking about sexism and how it affects us. Stop talking about sexism in atheism. Stop talking about harassment and rape and assaults on the lives and dignity of women. Stop talking about how women are under-represented in at every level of government. Stop talking about how those few women who do run for office, and the even fewer number who are elected, are harassed, derided, or ignored for being too feminine or not feminine enough, too strident, too shrill, to demanding. Stop talking about this problem; talk about this one instead. No, don’t talk about this; talk about that.Stop talking about the vitrol and threats that leave many of us in fear for our safety. Stop talking about the chilling effects of micro-aggression. Stop talking about how our voices are being silenced. Stop talking.

    *sigh*

  13. frog says

    I wonder if there’s some euphemism that would be acceptable? Would “my lady parts” be fine? I’m sure it’s the fact of mentioning them at all, but seriously, to get bent out of shape over a literal, technical term–you know, what’s in the medical books–just croggles the mind.

    I have a little fantasy in my head where hordes of women show up at the legislatures of some states and stand outside shouting “Fuck you! Fuck you!” over and over and over again (with appropriate hand gestures accompanying) as an act of civil disobedience.

  14. Heliantus says

    The Republican majority has made a decision that Brown and Byrum will not be allowed to speak.

    How much more obviously morally bankrupt do Republicans need to appear for decent people to react?

    As a country who touts Freedom with a big ‘F’ and lectures other countries on it at every occasion, the USA are sorely disappointing me.
    OK, the part of the USA which is hopelessly bigoted and very much on the right of the political spectrum.
    Coming to think about this, all countries have their bad apples, mine included. I actually sort of give up on my country’s sense of decency about 10 years ago.

    These guys are only a small part of the population, I hope, but seen from the outside, your hyper-religious bigoted politicians are truly frightening me. The candidates for GOP primaries were all on a competition to say the most outlandish and stupid thing. It was painful to watch.
    They seem on the rise, and it doesn’t look like the voters are that put off by the extreme opinions these politicians are spouting.

    My country is having elections right now. I was half-jokingly hoping to find a candidate proposing to sever links between my country and the US. Because, seriously, if the US voters don’t get a grip on some basic decency, if more of your hypocritical dominionist Christian politicians make it to the top, the other democracies will be better off with Saudi Arabia or North Korea. At least these countries don’t pretend to enforce freedom of speech.

  15. gvlgeologist says

    You know, I’d like to think that this would lead in the upcoming election to massive losses by the Repubs in the state legislature. I sincerely hope that the Demos (and Independents, for that matter) hammer the Repubs in campaign ads for the next 5 months, along the lines of, “Republicans – the party of small government, small enough to fit into your vagina”, or, “The party that doesn’t think that women can make their own decisions”, etc., etc.

  16. brucecoppola says

    I sent the following to my Rethug MI state rep:

    Regarding HB 5711-5713 and the recent debate:
    Vagina.
    Vagina Vagina Vagina Vagina.
    VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA!!
    My apologies for this violaton of decorum. I surely deserve to be banned from all future communications with any Michigan State Legislator.

    Just out of curiosity: what do YOU call that part of a woman’s anatomy?

  17. Blueaussi says

    How is it even legal to ban a duly elected legislator from speaking in the legislature?

  18. jimmauch says

    Not being a lawyer I obviously don’t understand the legal system in the United States. I understand that abortion is not a right protected by the constitution but don’t states have to honor the precedent of Row v. Wade? Could a state pass a law saying that they allow abortions but only if performed on the planet Mercury and only if the age if the “human” is less than 45 seconds from conception?

  19. Ogvorbis: Ignorant sycophantic magpie. says

    How is it even legal to ban a duly elected legislator from speaking in the legislature?

    If you are a conservative, if you don’t like something, you get to make up your own rules. Legal or not. Just make ‘em up.

  20. Funny Diva says

    gvggeologist

    I agree with you re wanting the Repukes to get their asses whupped electorally, with the Dems/Independents using their misogynistic crap against them.
    BUT…how can they with that small, but persistent and often prominent minority of putative DEMOCRATS ‘crossing the aisle’ as reinforcements to the War on Women?

    Those are the rat-bastards I’m really most angry with. The DINOs who still have the support of the Democratic Party but still pull shit like this. And the Democratic Party that keeps telling women (and other progressives) to sit down and shut up because…”We’re DEMOCRATS, that’s why.” Because that “D” designation is more important. Because it’s more important for the “D” team to “win” this “game” than it is for them to actually legislate or govern according to what they SAY that “team” believes in.
    Yeah…FUCK that and FUCK them. Sideways. With a decaying porcupine.

  21. sithrazer says

    Whenever I see one of my state’s government officials on TV, I try to force choke them like Darth Vader does to his military commanders in Empire Strikes Back.

    It would seem that republicans are simply far stronger than I in the dark side of the force.

  22. Emrysmyrddin says

    If only the Force worked on sheer frustration these kinds of people would be dropping like flies…

  23. Kariface says

    My rep is Lessia Liss who ran on a prochoice platform (and accepted money from prochoice orgs) and has voted antichoice the entire time she’s been in office. I got to remind her last week that even if she’s against abortion, she serves her constituents and we elected her because she was prochoice. Then she voted in support of the bill. Needless to say I will not be voting for her again.

  24. carbonbasedlifeform says

    Remember, to many conservatives, “I believe in freedom of speech” actually means “I believe in freedom of speech, as long as I approve of what you say”. Or, to put that more succinctly, “I do not believe in freedom of speech”.

  25. Emrysmyrddin says

    “…from the party that brought you ‘Not Intended To Be A Factual Statement’…!”

  26. dean says

    Zeno, yeah, remember the sanctions taken against Dick Cheney when he told Patrick Leahy to “go fuck yourself” in the Senate? Me neither.

    That is because, in Republican eyes, Cheney is equipped with the correct genitalia.

  27. Akira MacKenzie says

    @Funny Diva

    Those are the rat-bastards I’m really most angry with. The DINOs who still have the support of the Democratic Party but still pull shit like this. And the Democratic Party that keeps telling women (and other progressives) to sit down and shut up because…”We’re DEMOCRATS, that’s why.” Because that “D” designation is more important. Because it’s more important for the “D” team to “win” this “game” than it is for them to actually legislate or govern according to what they SAY that “team” believes in.

    Oh, I hear you. When I tell other liberals my misgivings about giving Barry another four years because of his inability or unwillingness to advance a progressive agenda (and no, that joke of a health care bill and his lukewarm support for same sex marriage doesn’t count) and actual continuance of Dubbya’s policy I’m usually told that “ROMNEY WOULD BE WORSE!”

    Yeah, yeah, I heard that the first hundred times. However, I’m getting goddamn sick and tired of voting for a “lesser of two evils” just to keep the other party from power. I want to vote for someone who will… I don’t know… DO something that I politically support. Hell, even loudly and passionly perusing an issue that is ultimately defeated would at least have the advantage of moving the Overton Window in our direction.

    And I won’t stand for any of that “baby steps” bullshit either. Gradual change that has no affect on society for decades or centuries are no comfort to those who are suffering now. Furthermore, what makes anyone think that progress is inevitable? Just look at our current situation. The social and economic change of latter-half of the 20th century is being rapidly reversed by people we naively assumed were defeated while our alleged allies try to seek compromises with the enemy or actively aid their efforts.

    So I ask again, when is it going to be all right for me to vote my conscience rather than vote for a right-winger with a DNC membership card just to keep an actual Republican out of office?

  28. joed says

    Well, maybe Brown and Byrum can still speak…
    Maybe they could announce a speaking engagement AL-fresco. Like on the steps of their regular meeting place.
    Gosh–just ’cause some ol’white fuckface says, “you can’t talk” doesn’t really mean you can’t talk. fuck those old white motherfuckers.
    I would save my hope though–it is only hope for the wrong thing.
    Brown and Byrum ain’t gonna’ say nuthin’ cause they are affraid of getting into more trouble.
    SPEAK UP BROWN AND BYRUM SPEAK UP!

  29. dianne says

    Oh, come now, aren’t you being a little hard on them? After all, things are going so well in Michigan right now: unemployment is practically unknown, crime is minimal, schools are lavishly funded, and poverty a thing of the past. What else to Michigan legislators have to do with their time but tone troll female legislators? Surely Brown’s use of the word “vagina” represents the state’s most pressing problem.

  30. joed says

    @36 Akira MacKenzie
    “So I ask again, when is it going to be all right for me to vote my conscience rather than vote for a right-winger with a DNC membership card just to keep an actual Republican out of office?”

    Exactly! the lesser of 2 evils theory is what helped get up in this shitty mess.
    the solution is to 99% of the time vote against the incumbent. There may be an ocassional pol that is truly on your side but they are few and far between. They have been gotten rid of one way or another.
    See, the bad guys won and they are serious about keeping the power.
    Anyway, vote against the incumbent. There are exceptions so don’t yell at me. I helped create this shitty mess of a country by voting for the lesser of 2 evils. but now I see.

  31. says

    Zeno:

    Republicans just hate breaches of decorum hierarchy.

    It’s perfectly OK when a white man chides an uppity PoC, woman, and/or GLBT person. Vice versa? We can’t have that, because that’s spitting in the face of how gawd ordered society!

    Funny Diva:

    Those are the rat-bastards I’m really most angry with. The DINOs who still have the support of the Democratic Party but still pull shit like this.

    *cough* Stupak *cough*

    And the Democratic Party that keeps telling women (and other progressives) to sit down and shut up because…”We’re DEMOCRATS, that’s why.” Because that “D” designation is more important.

    *cough* DailyKos *cough*

    BTW, anyone who wants to contact James “Jase” Bolger, GOP speaker of the Michigan House, and share their thoughts with him can find his information here.

  32. Akira MacKenzie says

    From what I’m gathering, the Rethugs are now claiming it was not Ms. Brown’s use of the word “Vagina” that offended their tender sensibilities, but that she used it in a comment that they found “lewd.” Apparently the phrase “being interested in my vagina” is so chocked full of sexual innuendo that it went beyond the proper “decorum” of dry, bland, passionless, public speech.

    (That, and “the Democrats wouldn’t let the Republican’s speak when they were in power, so this is only fair!”)

    Despite what the MRA’s would say, misogyny and hatred of sex are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, it seems the two concepts are linked at the hip!

  33. jayarrrr says

    We’re seriously re-thinking our vacation plans for this summer. Between this, the Governor, and the “Emergency Manager” fiasco, we’re not sure we want to spend our dollars in Pure Michigan this year.

    As if staying home with Our Bitch Mitch, the Union Buster is any better…

  34. unclefrogy says

    the republicans seem to be (in all areas) so used to living in “abstraction” in belief with a very selective perception of facts that they can not handle it when someone does not agree and so they act more stupidly they double down. It is a case of belief over reality. They resent anyone who does not share their beliefs they deny reality, any facts that conflict with how they believe the world is must be lies. They freak out when women and men refuse to see reproduction as so idealized mystery of life and instead insist on bringing it down to individual human experience as we find it. That life wants sex to make more life, abstinence only fails utterly, That real people are involved with ordinary lives and it is often complicated by things which we have no control over.

    George Orwell said “The point is we are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue,and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twist the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually it is possible to carry this process out for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later the false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battle field”

    In all areas the conservatives seem to be desperately fighting reality trying to get the world to conform to their beliefs.
    It simply can not continue and avoid disaster.
    if there was a god “he” would be laughing his ass off at the stubbornness and obstinate ignorance of some people. Here he gave humans the ability to understand all the process of reality he hid everything in plain sight gave us the ability to use reason to make a long beautiful harmonious peaceful life and instead their choices will result in a short brutal miserable one full conflict. it is truly bizarre.

    uncle frogy

  35. alwayscurious says

    Michigan must have a lot of money available to spend on all those lawyers. I’m not much into law, but as I understand it, Roe V. Wade requires the mother’s life be taken into account for all procedures regardless of the transiently defined “viability of the fetus”.

  36. Part-Time Insomniac, Zombie Porcupine Nox Arcana Fan says

    I can’t believe I had to listen to this to calm down. Somehow the usual songs didn’t seem like a good idea – at least this one was funny.

    And they still have the gall to claim there is no War on Women? I’d hate to see what they consider such.

  37. laurentweppe says

    this is about silencing women with regard to a debate about the procreative rights and bodily autonomy of women

    Reminds me what my mother once told me about being a women trying to make her point heard.
    It went approximately like this:

    In today’s world, if you’re a women trying to get her point across, don’t argue, don’t try to be the smartest person in the room: just take all the men who look at you funny, and:
    First: Beat them up
    Second: Threaten to beat them up some more
    Third: Immediately beat them up a second time to make sure that they understand your threats aren’t empty
    THEN start getting your point across, because at this point you’ve established that you’re the most insanely agressive, dangerous to anger person in the room: so self-preservation instinct kicks in, and people do listen.

    *

    So, maybe the women -or better, the whole democratic caucus, should react by bringing the heavy weaponry in the house. After all: even if women are forbidden to speak their not yet forbidden to express their disagreement in other ways.

  38. DLC says

    Michigan is no longer a democracy.
    Between the governor and his “emergency manager” powers
    and the legislature and their smashing flat all debate with the gavel, and the “immediate effect” straw vote, it’s a mess.
    But it’s a bed the people of the state gave themselves.
    Perhaps enough of them will recognize it now that they’ve had their nose rubbed in it. Sorry, rational people of Michigan, all you can do is wait to overturn the madness that you’ve brought on yourselves. So, look to your ballot boxes for the solution.
    Get out the vote, even if it means walking through fire hoses.
    The only way to start fixing it is turn the legislature around.

  39. ImaginesABeach says

    Two or three years ago, the Minnesota Legislature had a similar problem with the word vagina. During discussion of a bill to encourage vaginal birth rather than c-section by changing the way Medicaid paid for childbirth. Imagine trying to discuss vaginal birth without using the word vaginal.

  40. dean says

    Sometimes you can’t make these people appear any worse than they truly are. House Representative Frank Foster didn’t say vagina – apparently that is still taboo. However, he doesn’t have a problem with “cunt” (read through to the end)

    On Tuesday evening, Foster was visiting a home on Lansing’s south side when he walked up to the fence and asked Michigan Nurses Association staffer Julia Smith-Heck to stop mowing her lawn. They had a conversation about the “Protect Our Jobs” campaign to permanently enshrine collective bargaining rights in the Michigan Constitution, which the Michigan Nurses Association actively supports. Foster became hostile and walked away.
    He returned shortly afterward, demanding again that she stop mowing, saying it was bothering his autistic son. [Foster does not have children, according to his official bio information.] Smith-Heck declined, needing to finish mowing, but ended a short while later and went across the street to talk to her neighbor.
    Foster, a woman and a boy of about 3 or 4 came out and walked up to Smith-Heck and her neighbor. Foster said, “I want to introduce you to my son, Chase. I want to introduce you to the person whose night you ruined.”
    He then walked away, asking Smith-Heck, “Are you going to apologize?” She responded, “For mowing my lawn?” Foster said, “So you’re not going to apologize”? She repeated, “For mowing my lawn?” Foster yelled across the street, “You’re a cunt!”

    http://eclectablog.com/2012/05/more-misogyny-in-the-michigan-house-of-representatives-rep-frank-foster-calls-union-nurse-a-ct.html

  41. weldonribeye says

    I’ve got a Republican relative in Michigan’s House of Representatives. I don’t see him very often as I live several states away, but he always seemed like a reasonable guy when I have seen him. I assumed he was a moderate Republican and wouldn’t tell his daughters that he expects them to die before aborting one of his potential grandchildren. I checked the website of Michigan’s legislature and I was wrong. The asshole voted yes on these bills. I doubt I can be civil next time I see him.

  42. imthegenieicandoanything says

    And a co-worker – the ONLY “Republican” I have to spend any time with at all – was surprised when I said he was, about politics and pretty much everything not directly work-related – one ignorant and stupid fucker who, if he dared to bring up politics in any way when I was in earshot (I do not talk politics unless specifically asked, and for as short a time as possible), could expect to have a new asshole torn into his whining, dishonest facade.

    ALL “Republicans” are stupid, ignorant, insane and/or evil. It’s simply impossible not to go Godwin with such immoral, dishonest, cowardly little bullying shits: they worship harm, lies, and hatred.

    I just HATE hatred, y’know?

  43. Nerdette says

    From what I’m gathering, the Rethugs are now claiming it was not Ms. Brown’s use of the word “Vagina” that offended their tender sensibilities, but that she used it in a comment that they found “lewd.” Apparently the phrase “being interested in my vagina” is so chocked full of sexual innuendo that it went beyond the proper “decorum” of dry, bland, passionless, public speech.

    I had a friend share the NPR story I posted on the topic, noting exactly this, stating that it was sexual harassment, not the use of the word ‘vagina’, but how she used it. Her point went along the lines of, “We wouldn’t tolerate a man saying, ‘Madam speaker, I am flattered by your interest in my penis…’”. I dunno, if the tables were turned and the female majority had been forming restrictive laws on obtaining Cialis and whether or not a man could get a vasectomy, I think that would be something heard more than once…

  44. jamesevans says

    How is it even legal to ban a duly elected legislator from speaking in the legislature?

    Blueaussi, it’s not legal. Hopefully there is a federal suit to put these right-wing clowns in their place.

  45. chrisv says

    Can anybody explain to me how this differs, except maybe by some minor degree, from the the Taliban? Except that freedom-loving Americans like you and I voted these guys in and keep them in. As Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and he is us!”.

  46. says

    I hang my head in shame for my state. It’s currently run by a bunch of right-wing religious misogynists who are also not to bright. The governor is actually not too bad, comparatively speaking, but he doesn’t have the guts to stand up to the crazies in his own party. If this law passes the Senate (it’s already passed the House), I have little doubt that he will not veto it. He’s too cowardly. He’ll sign it, all right.

  47. Buccal Pump says

    By which I mean, I weep for the ideal that was once the United States of America.

  48. robpowell says

    “By which I mean, I weep for the ideal that was once the United States of America.”

    Weep not for the corpse of a creature that consumed itself with greed and hatred. The ideals of the United States are dead, killed by those too nearsighted and fearful to tolerate the concept of progress. We can only hope that the rational and reasonable are intelligent enough to leave or lie.

  49. Robosexual says

    What exactly happened to the upper Midwest? It was always my impression that it was a peaceful, fairly liberal land of Scandinavian cheese fanciers, bad weather and moderate Lutherans. Lately it seems to have joined the Deep South. Walker, gag orders on state reps, emergency powers?!? WTF?

  50. violet says

    For those wondering about the intersection of this and Roe v. Wade, it’s a bit complicated, as there have been a whole line of cases since then that interpret various issues in reproductive rights. I don’t feel confident in my ability to explain it well, since it has been 7 years since I studied these issues in detail and read all of these cases, bit the ACLU has a timeline with brief explanations of the important cases, which makes a good starting point: http://www.aclu.org/reproductive-freedom/timeline-important-reproductive-freedom-cases-decided-supreme-court

  51. MichaelE says

    This seems like a slippery slope, not just for the republicans, but for the democrats aswell.

    I bet that I could win good money that some of the “people” behind this would take away women’s right to vote if they could get away with it.

    From a purely democratic viewpoint, silencing a member of an electoral chamber? I’m sorry, but “decorum” will have to take a backseat in favour of the democratic process and silencing duly elected members, be they men or women, is simply undemocratic and therefore unethical.
    Can they even do that?

    Oh yeah, and the fact that this happened to two women during a debate about what is essentially a women’s rights issue. Yeah, that one leaves its own stench all over this matter…

  52. says

    The Rethuglicans have become a real life Orwellian nightmare. The other part of the nightmare is the stupidity, ignorance and shallow education of the public that is giving them the ability to carry forward the kind of shit I only expected to see in futuristic cautionary tales. These assholes drape themselves in a Jesusy Red White&Blue flag, without the remotest idea of the spirit of constitutional law and piss all over the formerly emancipated peoples of the country. The only thing they stand up for is rich, white arrogant self-absorbed piles of shit (like themselves), and they have the propaganda machine run by another rich, white pile of shit convincing a woefully cowed populace that the real bogeyman is a ‘socialist, muslim, president who is anything but. I’ve pinched myself to see if I’m having a nightmare until I’m covered with purple welts, but half the voting public steadfastly remains with their heads shoved so firmly up their own rear-ends that they can see the back of their own tonsils.

    I never thought I would be around to see a time when grinning, drooling throngs of plebians would run enthusiastically towards a group of suits that is so obviously only being worn to hide the brown shirts and red armbands underneath.

  53. dean says

    Orac,

    The governor is actually not too bad, comparatively speaking,…

    I think you are being too kind. He signed the bill explicitly denying UM grad students the right to organize, signed a bill that would ban state employees from receiving domestic partner benefits, has promoted the image of public school teachers being overpaid, etc. I hope you are correct, and I’m wrong. Even if you are correct, about this

    but he doesn’t have the guts to stand up to the crazies in his own party.

    I agree.

  54. phiwilli says

    This is democracy in action! Michigan is getting what it voted for (plus what those who didn’t bother to vote allowed) – what’s there to complain about? The rule of the Booboisie!

  55. David Marjanović says

    Lysistrata FTW.

    “Republicans – the party of small government, small enough to fit into your vagina”

    Perfect.

    Anyway, vote against the incumbent. There are exceptions so don’t yell at me. I helped create this shitty mess of a country by voting for the lesser of 2 evils. but now I see.

    You dumbass. You live in a two-party system, and you have no way to get out of it unless you either literally get out of it (by quitting the country) or manage to amend the big-C Constitution (which is famously difficult to do) so it separates the offices of head of state and head of government.

    Reality really does suck. Honestly. I’m not making this up.

    Despite what the MRA’s would say, misogyny and hatred of sex are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, it seems the two concepts are linked at the hip!

    Ooh. You said *shudder* “hip”.

    Foster does not have children, according to his official bio information.

    what

    the fuck

    Christ, what an asshole.

    This is democracy in action! Michigan is getting what it voted for (plus what those who didn’t bother to vote allowed) – what’s there to complain about? The rule of the Booboisie!

    This being the USA we’re talking about, I reflexively ask who counted the votes. Remember: they have no fucking idea how to count votes in that country. In 2004, Ohio let the governor, who was also the chief of the Reptilian campaign, count all the votes of the entire fucking state in a Windows computer on his desk – this is fractally wrong, so I don’t know where to begin explaining it.

  56. Amphiox says

    From what I’m gathering, the Rethugs are now claiming it was not Ms. Brown’s use of the word “Vagina” that offended their tender sensibilities, but that she used it in a comment that they found “lewd.”

    In all likelihood, the phrase she used that they really found lewd was “But no means no.”

  57. daelin says

    Honestly, it bothers me less that they’re silencing women in particular than that they’re silencing members of their parliamentary body.

    “Procedure is more than formality. Procedure is, indeed, the great mainstay of substantive rights. … Without procedural safeguards–liberty would rest on precarious ground and substantive rights would be imperiled.” — William O. Douglas, Supreme Court Justice

    “The history of liberty has largely been the history of observance of procedural safeguards.” — Felix Frankfurter, Supreme Court Justice

    “If the House resists my claim [to speak] it will only add more importance to any words that I may use.” — Winston Churchill

    From the opening quotes of Chapter 1 of The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, by Alice Sturgis. Please, if you have the ability, check out chapters 1 and 2. They’re easy discussions of the hows and whys of parliamentary procedure.

    It horrifies me that Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country seem determined to subvert parliamentary procedure, gavelling away “without objection” measures while half the floor objects, taking 2/3 voice votes and ignoring request for roll call (which are “requests” to obey the law), suppressing the voice or vote of specific members of the body. It seems they think that doing this to enact things they consider moral or ethical is itself moral or ethical. It seems they think they can fight perceived “tyranny” by acts of tyranny within parliamentary procedure. In fact, what they are doing is the short and fast road to tyrannical hell.

    Page 9 of The Standard Code: “All meetings must be characterized by good faith. Trickery, overemphasis on minor technicalities, dilatory tactics, indulgence in personalities, and railroading threaten the spirit and practice of fairness and good faith…. But fraud, unfairness, or absence of good faith may cause a court to hold any action invalid. … Strategy, ethically used, is constructive; however, if it involves deceit, fraud, misrepresentation, intimidation, railroading, or denial of the rights of members, it is destructive and actually illegal.”