I’ve lived in Michigan all my life. I’m pro-choice, and a lesbian. Needless to say, vaginas are a really important part of who I am and what I do.
So when Representative Lisa Brown was silenced for using the word on the House floor on Wednesday, I was pissed, and asked my mom if I could spray paint the word “VAGINA” on the car we share, and then drive it across the country.
Not surprisingly, she said, “Absolutely not, Amelia Nicole.”
Lucky for me, though (and lucky for all of us), Eve Ensler decided that something needed to be done, ASAP. So she arranged to perform her play The Vagina Monologues on the steps of the Michigan State Capitol.
This shit was making national news. I watched an interview with Representative Brown on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show Sunday morning. And Jon Stewart covered it on the Daily Show, too, pointing out how funny it is that this is happening in a state that’s basically “fisting the Great Lakes.”
I live about an hour and a half from Lansing; there was no way in hell I was going to miss this.
My friends Kaitlyn and Robbie felt the same way. So off we went.
We were lucky to get a great spot near the steps, because my friend Molly, who came down from Saginaw, got there before we did and saved seats for us.
The event opened with speeches from Representatives Brown and Byrum, whose use of the words “vagina” and “vasectomy” sparked all of this. There’s no way to explain in words how moving their speeches were. Afterward, Robbie said to me, “I love how fierce these women are,” and Kaitlyn said, “Just imagine how badass politics would be if more women were in charge.”
Then, the Monologues, which I’ve read but have never seen performed. I couldn’t have asked for a more inspiring production of it. (I should add that it was put together totally on the fly– in only three days!) The fact that it was being performed on the steps of the State Capitol really drove home the political significance of it for me. They mixed professional actresses with other political figures from Michigan.
Whenever anyone said “fuck” or “cunt,” Kaitlyn and I would say to each other, “Dude, we are at the Capitol.”
The event ended with Eve Ensler literally yelling about how fucking stupid this bill is. We all yelled with her.
She closed by saying that we should demand nothing less than a full apology from those who silenced the representatives (and thereby their constituents). She also handed out Governor Snyder’s phone number: (517) 373-3400. Which you should call, whether you’re from Michigan or not. Because we will not stand for this. Yesterday’s turnout, plus all the attention we’ve gotten nationally, is proof of that.
I was totally blown away by how many people showed up. One couple was celebrating their anniversary there. I was impressed with the number of people who brought their children, too. And I ran into friends from all different areas of my life.
I’m not good at taking pictures of major events, because I’m always too busy soaking it all in. But my friend Lucy sent this link to me via Twitter, which contains some cool photos of the signs that people brought with them. And because Kaitlyn’s totally fearless, she went up on the Capitol steps and took the following picture as people were arriving:
I’m still lying around in my pajamas, but I’m going to take a shower and get dressed now: I’ll be wearing the shirt I picked up at the Capitol yesterday. On the front, there’s a picture of the Statue of Liberty saying, “VAGINA!” and on the back it says, “Can’t say it? Don’t legislate it.”