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  • My home state of Michigan has gotten a lot of press these last several days. A female State Representative has been barred from speaking on the floor of the House of Representatives for making a remark that, according to the Speaker's office, "failed to maintain the decorum of the House of Representatives." Another State Rep. was quoted as saying, "What she said was offensive. It was so offensive, I don't even want to say it in front of women."

    OMG!

    Can you believe it? I mean, what can a woman say to a room full of politicians that is soooo bad, so offensive that men can't bear to hear it spoken aloud, especially in the company of other women?

    I'll tell you what she said.

    She said, "vagina."

    Specifically, she said, "I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina, but no means no."

    My first response: OMGX2! When did 'vagina' become an obscenity? And who the heck is going to pay for the reprinting of all those anatomy books? Maybe they could host a contest to rename it.

    My second response: Wait, saying a word is obscene doesn't make it obscene. Who are they to say so? Unless...

    Did I miss something? Did the FCC declare 'vagina' an obscenity? It's not that far-fetched. After all, George Carlin added 'fart' to hist list of "Seven Dirty Words," which ironically included 10 words. Nonetheless, I wanted to hear it from the horse's mouth. So I checked the FCC's website for a press release, an official statement, something that backed up the claim that 'vagina' is obscene.

    Would it surprise you to know that I couldn't find anything referring to 'vagina' specifically??? But. I did find the three-pronged test that the Supreme Court uses to gauge whether a word is obscene. Let's run through it, shall well?

    1 - An average person, applying contemporary community standards, must find that the material, as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest
    2 - The material must depict or describe, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable law; and
    3 - The material, taken as a whole, must lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

    Hmm. I don't see it. Do you? I don't. I really don't.

    Onto Wikipedia to shed some light...

    I'm reading, I'm scrolling, I'm reading...yeah, yeah, yeah...profanities relate to religion, sex, or bodily functions...they can be called cuss words, swear words, etc....and then this: whether a word is a profanity depends on the way people think. Well, this is troubling. Doesn't that mean that all words are simply profanity in waiting? How am I, a simple layperson, to know??? I scroll down some more, increasingly desperate. Phew! Exactly what I was looking for: a list of currently considered profanities. Wait a minute, 'vagina' isn't even on it. At least not since the page was last updated on April 30, 2012.

    Maybe I'm focusing too much on the word itself. After all, the Speaker of the House mentioned 'decorum." Maybe the problem was more how she said it than what she said. Not enough pomp? Not enough circumstance? Maybe a euphemism would have helped.

    YOWZA! I don't think so. I just googled 'vagina euphemisms."

    So I give up. I cry uncle. I cannot find any reasonable defense for why her comment was lewd, lascivious, obscene, depraved or offensive enough to lose her voice in House of Representatives. And I'm disappointed that those in power are being such pussies. If they want to legislate my vagina, at least have the balls to say the word out loud and proud.

    Oh, by the way, if you ever want to visit my childhood home in Troy, MI, take I-75 Exit 69 for Big Beaver Road. Ironic, isn't it?
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