One Year Anniversary of Vagina Protest in Lansing, Michigan

Posted on: May 6th, 2013 by llewin No Comments

I can hardly believe it has almost been a year since Lisa Brown, a Michigan state legislator, was banned from the House floor for using the word “vagina” in a debate about abortion.  After this happened Lisa Brown did not just sit there rather she used social media to garner support and attention and attention she got—Eve Ensler, living goddess who wrote the Vagina Monologues, came to Lansing a few short weeks later and she organized a performance of her award-winning play on the steps of the capitol building.  Thousands of people attended. I used my frequent-flyer miles and flew up from Charlotte to be there.  I was in the middle of writing Vagina Revolution: A Candid and Informative Conversation About Vaginas and I could not miss what I thought was part of the beginning of the actual revolution—women taking back the word vagina and owning it and using it because after all, it is a body part that half the world’s population has.

 

The one-year anniversary of the protest in Michigan is upon us and I read a fabulous article today about Eve Ensler and her thoughts on the word ‘vagina’.

“You can say ‘scud missile’ and ‘acid rain’ and ‘nuclear war’ and ‘terrorist bombing’ on the front page of any newspaper, but you say ‘vagina,’ and people freak out,” Ensler says in a phone interview last week. “Why is that? People say all kinds of degrading things about women’s bodies and it seems to be fine. I think ‘vagina’ is like one of those words which actually represents women power. … It’s not degrading, it’s not undermining. It’s real.”

The article was written by Kristen Jordan Shamus at the Detroit Free Press.  Here is a link: http://www.freep.com/article/20130505/COL26/305050040/Eve-Ensler-Michigan-Body-of-the-World

Ensler has definitely made the world a safer place for women and for the word vagina and she shows the connection—the importance of the connection—in her new book which is profiled in the aforementioned article. But she also talks about how we have much more work to be done.  We need to normalize the word vagina, and the body part.  I try to do that in my book Vagina Revolution. Because after all, the year is 2013, information is at our fingertips, but many women still feel disassociated with and uncomfortable with their vaginas and their bodies.  Enough is enough!  It is time to own what is rightfully ours—our bodies and our feelings associated with our bodies. Vagina Revolution helps women do that because it is a book about vaginas—twenty-two topics/chapters in all (http://vaginarevolution.com/about-the-book/table-of-contents/) , and it is written in the form of a conversation between two women.  Some of these topics can be a bit uncomfortable but reading the book is like eavesdropping on a conversation between two women—very comfortable and familiar, yet also informative and life-changing.

There has been some work done in this area over the past year—the word vaginas has been mentioned hundreds of times on popular tv shows and in the media—much more than any previous year.  But there is so much more to be done.  The more the word—and the body part—is normalized, demystified and destigmatized, the better off women will be.

So hats off to you, Eve Ensler—for starting the fight and for continuing it.  I hope to join your league of warriors as we fight for change for all women.

 

Warmly,

Laura

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