What we talk about when we talk about vaginas | Bleader

What we talk about when we talk about vaginas


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On Flickr this is captioned Two of the three street names in Chicago that rhyme with vagina
  • Brian Mayzure
  • On Flickr this is captioned "Two of the three street names in Chicago that rhyme with 'vagina'"
These are heady times for vaginas, politically and linguistically. Earlier this week state rep Lisa Brown was banned from addressing the Michigan legislature because, according to the speaker, she'd "failed to maintain the decorum of the House of Representatives." Watch a video of her speech here; Brown thought the punishment was for using the word vagina during a debate over a proposal to restrict abortions after 20 weeks. Today, Jezebel's Erin Gloria Ryan provides 25 alternative expressions—"baby chute," "wide receiver," "[uncomfortable silence]"—but she's not the only one with an opinion. Last month the New Yorker's Hilton Als lamented various incorrect usages of the term, anatomically speaking: "To refer to the entire apparatus as a vagina is incorrect—and pervasive," and so forth. He cited among other things the HBO show Girls; Als may have drawn the connection because criticizing the way Girls talks about vaginas is maybe the only thing that nobody on the Internet had yet said about the show.

Ryan hopes Republicans—"political pussies"—will find her suggestions useful for polite discussion, but Republicans definitely already have some ideas of their own. Earlier this year Virginia lawmaker David Albo related the story, in public—actually in the legislature—about how his wife wouldn't have sex with him because of his support for a bill that would've required women to undergo transvaginal ultrasounds if they want an abortion. Not able to bring himself to discuss the specifics of the matter at hand, though, Albo settled on the short, slangy "trans-vee," and at the end of story—"I gotta go to bed," his wife says to him, after she's seen him on TV being a misogynist—Albo's colleagues stand up and cheer. They're not cheering the wife; it's more a "Sorry, bro, but hilarious story!" kind of moment. Here's the video, in case you missed it: