Five Words I’d Like to Ban From Any Political Discussion

This week, Michigan State Representative Lisa Brown was banned from the House floor for uttering the name of  a body part.

She, unlike her male colleagues, actually has that body part.

Personally, I’ve said the word countless times. I’ve taught my kids that it’s an appropriate word, unlike the slang terms that are often used. I’ve even attended a play that features the word in the title and in the script.

But I don’t want to get banned from writing or labeled an extremist, so I’m not going to actually include it here.

I know that’s sad.

But sadder still is that, in 2012, a woman was reprimanded for saying it.

I shouldn’t be surprised. This has been an especially bad year for women.

Access to birth control has been threatened.  Equal pay for equal work is being discounted. Ridiculous and invasive medical procedures (procedures that actually include the banned word) have been considered for legislation.

And women who stand up for their rights have been called sluts (because that is apparently not as offensive as a the name of a body part) on a nationally syndicated radio show.

I’m not just feeling belittled and a bit angry, I’m feeling frustrated.

I thought women were making progress. I thought the country was making progress. I thought individuals were important regardless of how much money they make, where they were born, what their sexual orientation is or, most important to me, what sex organs they were born with.

Silly me.

But since we are now engaged in a debate about what words are and are not appropriate to say during a political debate, I’d like to propose five that shouldn’t be part of any discussion.

1. Socialism.  In recent years, this term has been used to perpetuate divisiveness and bitterness.  It is being used to suggest that it is not American to  believe those who have more resources have a responsibility to help those who are struggling.

2. Obamacare. I don’t believe that access to health care should be the responsibility (or fault) of one particular party or individual. It’s about all of us. Health care reform  is complicated and hard to understand. But quality, affordable health care is also critical (and currently not accessible) to too many Americans. I have family and friends who have had cancer, high blood pressure and chronic sinus conditions. These are all pre-existing conditions that can drive personal health-care costs sky high. Most of my professional life I’ve been in  jobs that either didn’t offer health insurance or offered it at an incredibly high price.  I’m a very hard-working person, and I take extreme offense at being told that I don’t deserve the same access to health care as some one who has a different employer. Let’s be rational and talk about the issue rather than about specific politicians and leaders.

3. Christian. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have the greatest respect for God, religion and faith. But America was established on religious freedom, and we are going backward when we make any one religion the basis for laws.  Of course our laws should be based on moral and ethical principles, but most religions are based on strong values. Let’s not marginalize people of different faith by holding up Christians as the only religion that counts.

4.  Undeserving. This word makes my heart hurt. By using it to broadly describe any group of people is unfair and incredibly biased.  It is also  very effective.  It allows some  people to pat themselves on the back for being deserving while belittling people who are different. People hit hard times for a wide variety of reasons, many of which are beyond their control or rooted in a childhood that never gave them a chance.  I’m not saying that we shouldn’t set expectations for people or encourage them to take care of their own needs. But lets provide them with skills and opportunities rather than blame and labels.

5.   Penis. If vagina isn’t allowed, then we shouldn’t be allowed to say penis either.

Whoops. Did I just say vagina? There go any hopes of a political career.

Hopefully, I will still be allowed to share my thoughts and opinions. And hopefully this post doesn’t get deleted as a result of actually naming a body part.

About Trina Bartlett

I live in the Eastern Panhandle of WV, with one dog, two cats, a theater kid in high school, a band kid at West Virginia University and a husband who works strange hours. When I'm not working as a director at a nonprofit social service organization or being a mom, I can generally be found riding my bike, walking my dog and stirring things up.

Posted on June 16, 2012, in Family, News, Politics, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Excellent post! Thank you for speaking out. I agree 100%. I’m not in the States but I am so sad & angry at the state of women’s rights there at the moment.

  2. Vagina is so basic. How about a body part no one admits exists? Then we’d be getting somewhere. Great post, Tina.

  3. TRina. Blackberry typing, aargh! Feel free to fix that. 🙂

  4. This post is fantastic, and should be mandatory reading for everyone who plans to vote at any point!
    If you don’t mind, I would like to link back to it from my blog (as soon as I get my computer back….!)
    Thank you!!!

  5. I believe you left off a word, BALLS! Because goodness knows no one in politics has any to do the right thing.just sayin.

  6. Beverly Railey Robinson

    Amen, Trina. I’m thoroughly disgusted.

  7. Trina, I agree with you 100%! I think the Women’s movement has been really attacked and not enough is being done to fight back! Women my age or older want to leave the work to the younger women, Trouble is the younger women have no idea how our foresisters fought for our basic rights! They don’t know their own history. We elders must educate them and fast.

  1. Pingback: Lady Parts | Post Departum Depression

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