when I think of silencing
I think of guns, a shot
disguised into something else
but with cowardice
but this too is cowardice
2 women gaveled silent
stopped from speaking
because 1 word echoed loudly
in that chamber;
not a curse, but a 6-letter
of what we were all
pushed out of
and some try
to crawl back into
they said vagina.
Not pussy, gash, slash
that you-know-what you-know-where
word/maybe a blush and a stutter
the clinical equivalent of
hallux as big toe
but between the legs
no, the problem was not the naming
of that passage, that vault
as what it is clinically
not a fountain of
but more blessing
life and pleasure
but not legislated
their sin was not
the naming of it vagina,
but telling all those men
to stay out of it.
***This is my penance for misspeaking in a dialog about the incidents in Michigan. Celia White, this is for you.
Hi, Susan, this is powerful and empowering. I’m glad I found your blog. It’s good to meet you. Cheryl
Thank you Cheryl–after visiting your blog, the pleasure is all mine!
It’s mutual! 😀
And Susan Daniels, I raise my can of raspberry-lime seltzer water to you in toast and in solidarity. while imagining Kathy Bates yelling not ‘Towanda’ in a hypothetical twenty-first century remake of Fried Green Tomatoes, but, ‘Vagina!’ She drives forward and impacts, reverses, and rams the Speaker’s new car a second, third, and fourth time.
Then again, perhaps the women of the Michigan assembly change their last name to the word starting with V, the one which should never be uttered in the halls of governance, forcing its repeated call in the course of leadership duties.
I found a few blog posts I wrote in 2007, the general theme a lament on encroachment upon reproductive rights, but another over use of the unspeakable word. What got me was the closing of one post, speculating this nonsense had to ease sometime. How stupid of me.
Nelle, the nonsense will end, sometime, somewhere–but not, apparently for us. We are stuck in a land and time where we must forever call a vagina a hoo-hoo in all legislation from this point forward.
Can I have some of that seltzer–my 2 favorite flavors…. And I will yell with Kathy bates, too 🙂 Would love to see those posts…
I’ll send you the links…I posted them on a facebook group page (She Votes.)
I have been following this “story,” this ridiculous, bald faced misogyny in Michigan. “Murder but with cowardice” is an interesting line because murder seems like cowardice to me on the surface. But this phrasing really works because what is it that is being murdered in Michigan and elsewhere? It isn’t the legislator herself or even a woman’s right to choose. . . it is something else.
I don’t even think people have it right when they say freedom is being silenced in this abortion crusade. It is worse than that. This is about silencing woman to the point where they are not even allowed to name their own bodies or even, perhaps, have a language with which to speak of their own bodies and therefore their own selves. That is something so sinister, so dangerous, so violent I don’t know quite what the proper name for it is. I think of the great cudgel that is “power” when it is wielded by empowered, wealthy, and armed elites and that, to me, is what the American oligarchy is.
This is righteous.
Jeremy, you have a beautiful and just mind. Thank you for your words–you are right, what is being murdered here, execution style but with a silencer on the gun, are the voices of women–up to and including the voices of women legislators elected to speak for others. This is a power whose violence is the taking of the power of naming things that belong to us ourselves, from anyone who dares speak against it, and I am sure it will not stop with women. This scares the hell out of me.
Thank you. 🙂
It scares the hell out of me too.
Perhaps it is not so ironic after all that Political Correctness was not/is not the danger to liberty or the threat to justice.
Yes, exactly. Sure, we got tangled up in the names we assigned to ourselves, but–they were our names, after all.
Right. People who are used to making names don’t like it when you make your own.
Jeremy, I have written 4 things today, and I think you just tweaked a fifth…
I like hearing that. By the way, I will read your stories, I just have not had a chance to get into them but I will.
Jeremy, they are long-winded… Take your time 🙂
Susan….my “foramen” tingled when I read this. I’ll join you and nelle in hailing
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?l=f&p=22&allowed_in_frame=0 (LOVE THIS SITE)
pl. foramina, 1670s, from L. foramen “hole, opening, aperture, orifice,” from forare “to pierce” (see bore).
🙂 here’s to foramina!
YES! Thank You!!!!
Thank you, Karen!