A surge of outrage swept the internet yesterday over two female Michigan legislators who were banned from the floor of the House for saying the word “vagina” in a debate over one of the worst abortion laws in the country.
Then, in an effort to clarify, a spokesman for the Michigan GOP Leader of the House only made things worse. In a letter to press, he simultaneously did not deny that the women were banned for saying “vagina” and further accused the two of throwing “temper tantrums.”
The letter reads:
Just to be clear, despite the misinformation being spread by Reps. Brown and Byrum, and Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, there are two representatives not being recognized on the House floor today because of their actions yesterday. It has nothing to do with their gender, their religion or the topic they were discussing. All day today, we have had representatives of both parties, both genders and several different religions passionately debating important issues that will significantly impact the future of Michigan. I would urge you not to become too distracted by temper tantrums designed to score political points.
The term ‘temper tantrum’ is not-so-subtly coded sexist language leveled at women to infantilize them and de-legitimize their points. In an attempt at clarification, the spokesman only reaffirmed that the Michigan House GOP’s position was not only against saying the word ‘vagina,’ but also against letting women talk seriously about political issues.