Michigan Lawmaker Finds Vaginas Offensive

Is the word “vagina” offensive?

I don’t think it is. I have a vagina, and occasionally I need to talk about it, like any other body part toe, spleen, epidermis. When I talk about it, I like to use its name. Because I’m an adult, and I only use words like “hoo-ha,” “yoni,” or “lady business” when I’m making a joke, not when I’m having a reasonable discussion.

But Michigan State Representative Mike Callton (R-Nashville) says that the word “vagina” is offensive.

In an article in The Detroit News, Rep. Callton is quoted as saying:

“What she said was offensive. It was so offensive, I don’t even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.”

“What she said” refers to what Rep. Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield) said when discussing a reproductive rights bill on Wednesday:

“Finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no.'”

So it appears that Rep. Callton finds the word vagina so offensive that he wouldn’t say it in front of a woman.

A woman who has a vagina.

Why? Is there something shameful about having a vagina? Dirty? Weak?

If there’s nothing wrong with having a vagina, then why does he find the word – the proper medical term – offensive?

The idea that the word vagina is something offensive or shameful is misogynous and disgusting. It says that Rep. Callton doesn’t think women’s bodies have value. That he doesn’t think we should talk about them.

Shame on you, Rep. Callton. Shame on you for treating me, my mother, my grandmothers, my sister-in-law, my friends, their daughters, as if there is something wrong with us because we have vaginas.

Shame on you.



Magda Pecsenye writes about parenting at and about co-parenting after divorce with her ex-husband at When The Flames Go Up.

Follow her on Twitter at @AskMoxie and join the AskMoxie Facebook page.

Article Posted 4 years Ago

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