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Parental Advisory: May Contain Highly Obscene Language


We may not have gotten a ruling in the “fleeting expletives” case yesterday. But in the meantime, at least Dahlia Lithwick has a plan to rid us of the most obscene expletive of all:

Last week, a Michigan state legislator was barred from speaking on the House floor because she used the word “vagina” in a statement about proposed abortion regulations in what is arguably the most restrictive bill yet proposed to curb reproductive freedom. State Republicans who rescinded her speaking privileges for a day variously expressed offense at Rep. Lisa Brown’s use of the word “vagina” or the “context” in which she used the word “vagina” or her use of the phrase “no means no” in describing a 50-page proposed bill that contains the word “vagina” three times.

Republican Rep. Mike Callton noted later that Brown’s comment “was so offensive, I don’t even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.”

The scourge of women being allowed to speak the word “vagina” in a legislative debate over what happens when women use their vaginas must be stopped. And if women are not capable of regulating their own word choice, the state should regulate it for them. To that end, we propose that the Michigan House promptly enact HB-5711(b)—a bill to regulate the use of the word “vagina” by females in mixed company.

An excellent start. But does it go far enough? After all, the bill only applies in mixed company. But isn’t women using the word “vagina” among themselves equally dangerous? While we have no reliable data to measure the phenomenon, it seems unexceptionable to conclude that the use of the word “vag***” among women could stimulate a hysterical reaction and induce lifelong depression. It may even lead to conspiracies to protect the constitutional rights of women, although as the highly principled legal sage Antonin Scalia has explained the 14th Amendment was never supposed to protect people with vag***s, and should be limited to its original purpose of ensuring that schools can be segregated and unequal and that vote count methods that may lead to Democrats winning are illegal. I hope the legislation will be appropriately amended.

Rumors that the Lithwick Bill also sought to ban the use of the word “clitoris” but the effort had to be abandoned after several hours of Republican legislators staring in befuddlement cannot be confirmed at press time.

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