Listen, people. I know that the female anatomy is a mysterious black hole basically unknown to science. I mean, who knows what goes on in there? Only the most Ivory Tower-est of Ivory Tower academics can even hazard a guess. Which is maybe why so many people get in trouble for mentioning a lady’s naughty bits. If we don’t know about it, it must be evil.
Kids Can’t Know About Vaginas!
Do you remember studying human anatomy in high school and your teacher referred to vagina as a hoo-ha? No? Me neither. That’s because that is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. However, if you’re a certain Idaho high school teacher, you might get in trouble for using the proper term. Tim McDaniel has taught science for 18 years and never received a complaint. Until this year, when parents complained that he taught their children about *gasp* vaginas and *double gasp* the female orgasm.
What? Women can’t have orgasms! This guy clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
It’s not just a complaint. McDaniel is being investigated by the state’s professional standards commission. Luckily, the kids are coming to his defense with a “SAVE THE SCIENCE TEACHER” Facebook page, and it’s highly unlikely that he’ll be fired because of the investigation.
Also Kids Can’t Know About Uteruses!
This is a particular favorite of mine from a couple of years ago. It happened in Florida (duh). During an abortion debate, Rep. Scott Randolph quipped that maybe his wife should “incorporate her uterus” to avoid further regulation. (No self-respecting Republican would interfere with business!)
This was evidently too much for the Florida GOP to tolerate. Randolph was told to not discuss body parts on the house floor. Because why would you need to say the word uterus when discussing abortion restrictions?
Lest you think this is because the Florida GOP are just a bunch of prudes, think again. It’s for the children!
In the past, if the debate is going to contain language that would be considered inappropriate for children and other guests, the Speaker will make an announcement in advance, asking children and others who may be uncomfortable with the subject matter to leave the floor and gallery.
It’s the kids! I swear!
When ‘Vagina’ Gets You Banned
It’s not just men who get in trouble for talking about lady bits. Sometimes an actual woman gets to speak. But don’t say vagina. You could get banned from doing your job.
That happened last year to Lisa Brown, a Michigan State representative. During a debate on a restrictive abortion bill (as if there are any other kind nowadays), Brown made reference to how obtrusive the bill was by saying:
“Finally Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no.’”
Burn, right? I guess so, because the day after she made the statement she was notified that she was banned from speaking on the house floor. Sure, why not? That sounds like a proportional response.
Epic Misunderstanding of Biology
Oh Todd Akin. Mr. Legitimate Rape, himself. Mr. You-Can’t-Get-Pregnant-From-Rape. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so dangerous. And not only was it an epically stupid statement that he should continue to be embarrassed about to this day (even though he had his supporters), but it wrecked his chances at a Senate seat.
Pardon me while I play the world’s tiniest violin.
I think there is only one lesson we can learn from these stories: We need to talk about vaginas and uteruses much more. There’s no better way to out the most sexist.
Image credit: Karol A Olson