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Michigan lawmakers join political staging of 'Vagina Monologues'

June 19, 2012|By Jamie Wetherbe
  • Rep Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield), center, addresses a crowd gathered for a performance of "The Vagina Monologues" with 10 other lawmakers and several actresses on the Michigan statehouse steps.
Rep Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield), center, addresses a crowd gathered… (Dale G. Young / Associated…)

The body part that dare not speak its name -- at least in certain Michigan political circles -- was the talk of an impromptu production Monday night.

State Rep. Lisa Brown, the Democratic lawmaker who said she was barred from speaking in the Michigan House for saying "vagina," took part in a production of "The Vagina Monologues" on the steps of the state Capitol.

A dozen lawmakers and actresses joined Brown for the performance in front of a crowd of 3,000 people -- thanks, in part, to the well-“liked” Facebook event page, Vaginas Take Back the Capitol!

"I'm overwhelmed," Brown told the crowd. "Who would have thought one little floor speech could end in this?"

Eve Ensler, who 16 years ago penned the enduring play about social stigmas surrounding female sexuality, took a break from a production in California to oversee Monday's performance.

"We're talking about the silencing of women, we're talking about censoring people for saying a body part," Ensler told the Associated Press. "Half of these people who are trying to regulate vaginas, they can't even say the word."

Michigan’s Republican Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas banned Brown last week from speaking Thursday after she used the V-word in a speech arguing against a bill restricting abortions.

"I'm flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but no means no," she told the GOP majority.

State Rep. Barb Byrum, a Democrat, said she was also barred from speaking last week after mentioning another V-word when discussing a proposal to ban vasectomies unless it was necessary to save a man's life.

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