I'm sure you're aware of the alarmingly godawful woman silencing and body controlling that's taking place in Michigan right now...
 You know, the HB 5711 bill (that passed) that allows the government to dictate decisions over a woman's body even when it comes to her life in a birth situation, and the headlining incident where the Speaker of the House banned a lawmaker indefinitely for using the word "vagina"; axing the constitutional right of free speech completely.
If you are not outraged by this situation, I am justly worried.

This outright sadistic misogyny obviously holds a lot of weight, but I worry about my generations role of responsibility when it comes to female advocacy. When mentioning this barbaric instance to a best friend, her reaction was more along the lines of "Hmmm". "Hmmmm" as in, "Well at least that's not happening in Arizona!" indicating that this doesn't apply personally in the least. And as much as I love her, she's wrong.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: This IS, indeed a fight for you and me. The young and hip need to step it up and start giving a pro-active shit.

In talking with Katy, she brought up a great point that 20-somethings and 30-somethings are educated when it comes to political issues, but our advocacy goes little beyond our Facebook posts and shares. I am a firm believer in the power behind TALKING about issues, but sometimes action is required.

Example: someone coined the term "feminazi".

This villainization of the outspoken female is so painfully perpetuated in society that "talking about it" just doesn't cut it anymore. Psychologists have defined this role dynamic in detail for decades and decades and I offer you the laywomans version:

 The "Crazy Bitch" Scenario.
This psychological gender role cycle in our society is incredibly destructive especially in these situations. It can be simply explained in a domestic setting where the "husband" does something unacceptable that upsets the "wife". For illustrative purposes, perhaps he cheats on her. And though the wife's outrage is justified, the second she verbalizes her emotions the husband is allowed to dismiss them based on the premise that her rants are emotionally charged, exaggerated and manipulative. This immediate power differentiation nullifies the original argument completely, putting the MALE in the victim position, for having to endure this estrogen fueled attack when in reality, he is the perpetrator. This dynamic is everywhere and only exacerbates the issue of easy female dismissal.

So besides talking and educating, what can you do about this? Well vote of course, but what else?
Think small at first. You don't need to start a million person petition, camp out on State steps or chain yourself to a Planned Parenthood door... start with something that will cause a tiny stir that allows you to participate without signing yourself up for failure with grandiose plans that you can't necessarily fulfill.

May I suggest Vagina Pop-Up Cards?

The asshole behind the banning for "failure to maintain decorum" is "Speaker of the House" Jase Bolger.
I have his address, and there is a simple movement to mail in cards/letters/statements with the "offensive" word "vagina" written on them. While this may not seem like much to some, it is a physical representation of every woman who cannot fly to Michigan to oppose his actions in person. Imagine getting a thousand of these in the mail room... even if you wanted to ignore the written opposition, you couldn't.

Making a pop-up card is something many learned in kindergarten, so I'll just link you to the diagram instead of writing it out. After making the card I cut out the components of the female loveliness and simplified them into a cute construction paper version. Yay anatomy lesson!

I don't think that this project needs to be complicated... I would urge you to do whatever inspires YOU: a Dr. Suess card, a college ruled piece of paper, a scrap of newspaper, a magazine tear out, a picture of a vagina with an arrow pointing to it saying "Guess where you came from?"* Whatever it is that speaks for you.

Jase Bolger
Speaker of the House
PO Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514

Why not do this today, and let it be the first step of your activism journey? After mailing this off, perhaps you'll find another way to stop what is accepted as "boys will be boys", because that shit just don't fly no more.
Extra Links:
The Rachel Maddow Show's clip on the MI incident.
It's not just Viagra. Medicare also covers penile implants for pleasure.
25 ways to say vagina without offending political pussies.
Article about Brown performing The Vagina Monologues.
The first woman ever to legally challenge abortion.
 "For future reference: if you can't bring yourself to say the name of the thing you're trying to legislate, you should probably just let that shit go. It was never yours to begin with."
What are your plans for lady advocacy?

*Coined by Liora K


  1. I LOVE this idea! I'm doing this after work.

  2. oh man, i love this idea! i'm sending a card tomorrow! i can't BELIEVE he actually got the word banned. ridiculous!

  3. Posted a link to this on our facebook page. Funny and smart post. Great idea. The only thing you got wrong is that this IS happening in Arizona. After this legislative session we have the most restrictive abortion ban in the nation, docs can be arrested for performing one and hospitals that get state funding (which is most of them) can't do them. Plus your boss can basically can you for using birth control if he has religious objections. But you're right that it's time to take action. Here's one more thing we can all do: Help get progressive, pro-choice women elected to office.

    1. Thanks for the post love! And, boy do I know how this is happening in AZ! After the women's rally in Phoenix I recommitted myself to fight while living in this backwards state! The women's right issues here are under attack in a frightening way and I can only hope that the word "vagina" doesn't have to get banned here for there to be an uproar like there was in MI... :)

  4. I avoid the news but I should be paying more attention and doing something about this shit. I wonder how we should moisten the envelope? ;)

  5. I love this way of getting a message to these sorts of people who continuously oppression groups in society, especially women.
    Good on you and good on everyone that does this, your small action together can have a very big reaction, let's hope something positive comes from all of this :)
    Great post Jess!!

  6. I did not fight for women's rights in the 70's to have people take them away and continue to trample on them now !!! Come on folks !!! everyone say it-



  7. Really informative info...i will keep in mind....

  8. PERFECT-O. Would it be harassment to send him another eave of these cards more than a year later? Hell, I'm tempted to have a handful just to send to friends and family!


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