I apologize for the lapse in posting here at The Spiral Dance. My “Spring break resolution” is to get on a regular posting schedule. Really. I have a plan.
April 1, 2011 (the irony of which is not lost on me), I posted a link to an article in which Scott Randolph, a democratic representative from FL, was chastised for using the word “uterus” on the house floor. I ended the post with the quip, “Thank goodness he didn’t say vagina.” Fast forward to February 2012 when VA delegate David Albo uses the term “trans-v” instead of “transvaginal” in discussing abortion legislation. I’d like to be able to claim prescience but let’s face it, this has been circulating in the political weather system for some time. Vaginas are the hottest topic nobody is talking about right now. In a blog post on Feministing, Katie makes the excellent point that if you can’t say the word “vagina,” perhaps you should neither be probing nor legislating them. The fact that media commentators and conservative legislators are uncomfortable with the anatomical terminology of the female reproductive system indicates a much bigger, systemic problem.
Anyone paying attention to the recent spate of legislation attempting to restrict women’s access to birth control can tell you that the vagina, and the people who have them, are under siege. Women’s sexuality and reproductive rights are being used as a pawn in the 2012 election season. I can’t even begin to succinctly summarize the variety of moves in this game. “On International Women’s Day Congress Debates Measure to Limit Reproductive Rights” by Laura Basset of The Huffington Post does a nice job of summarizing a lot of what has happened over the last year. In addition, here is a woefully incomplete “stack” on delicious that contains links to a variety of stories. And if you don’t have time to browse any of these, Bassett’s post included the timeline based infographic, pictured above, that shows a steady stream of restrictive legislation.
Sometime between when Iowa passed their new legislation and when Planned Parenthood was defunded, Summer’s Eve launched their “That’s Vaginal” campaign. Given the political climate, I had to admire their chutzpah* (more…)