There’s always the C-Word.


Michigan State Rep. Lisa Brown gave a speech on Wednesday during a heated debate about an abortion bill. According to both NPR and the New York Daily News, Rep Mike Carlton (R-Nashville) silenced her, calling her word choices inappropriate. By Friday morning, social media was a-buzz. Indignant. Men and women were both outraged. One friend posted there wasn’t enough punctuation to contain his outrage.

What the hell is going on here?

“Vagina” is a dirty word? Well, every gynecologist on the planet is in trouble (and if yours isn’t in trouble, you should be doctor shopping!). Are there synonyms that you would have preferred Ms. Brown used, Rep. Mike Carlton?

There’s the C-word. Chaucer used the C-word, well queynte. It’s just a guess on my part, but I think Carlton would have objected more vehemently to that.

Or she could have used the Tw-word, no not twitchel, although that’s an appropriate synonym too, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. So, “vagina” is a taboo word-how do we move forward? It seems as though we’re moving backward.

Do we add it to the list with other taboo words? Like the N-word that one ballsy writer dared to edit from Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn? Can I say ballsy? I mean, that’s term that refers to male genitalia. As a woman, I don’t find it offensive, Mr. Carlton. And although you stated you wouldn’t, I’d say it in mixed company. Ballsy. But editing one of America’s greatest writers is a story for another day. Mark Twain used words in mixed company.

Mixed company. Really? There are still things we can’t say in mixed company? A woman serves as Secretary of State-Hillary Clinton is the third woman to serve in that position. When I think about them the words brass balls come to mind, and I’ll say it in mixed company. Brass balls, brass balls, brass balls! I may not always agree with these women politically, but I am glad they have been out there in the trenches, doing their jobs. I’m glad we have role models to prove that women won’t pass out upon hearing anatomically correct language. I declare, Mr. Carlton, we won’t get the vapors! I promise.

I can share some words that have no place in our political arenas: censored or worse, what I read at NPR, “Representative silenced on the house floor.”

Mr. Carlton, references to human anatomy are not offensive. They just are. Words are necessary for clear communication. How else would you have us talk? Oh, that’s right, you have silenced the ballsy woman who dared to mention body parts. I must say, and it’s beyond the reach of the Michigan House to silence me, that “vagina” is a perfectly acceptable word. You may have silenced one woman, but her silence, at least through the vehicle of social media, has given voice to millions.

I think twitchel is catchy, I wonder why it went out of fashion. I mean, other than the fact that it’s not anatomically correct language.

PostScript: Please note this piece is being posted here after having been declined by a paying outlet, twice, because its contents were not considered “timely.” Please share this post, reblog it, tweet it, like it on Facebook. The silencing of voices of opposition is always timely. Please link back to https://melwalshjones.wordpress.com

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22 thoughts on “There’s always the C-Word.

  1. Excellent post!

    Several years ago my Cat, Mr. Nikita, a blogger in his own right, wrote an essay in defense of the word “Pussy” from the vulgarians….

    Originally it got a few women bent out of shape, but by the time he did an update on the piece, for a 2nd posting, a few years later, he’d found links to essays written by women, that were excellent back-up to help further his cause.

    In 2010 he wrote a 3rd update, and tried to get a response out of PETA, when he found that nowhere on their site were they making a case in defense of that word.

    The resulting correnspondence, back, and forth, was funny, and fascinating….

    May I Have a Word?: To a Cat there is no finer word, in any language, than this one… 😀

    http://www.opinionatedpussycat.com/2010/01/may-i-have-a-word.html

  2. I am so sick of Republican’s trying to silence women. It started with Rush being allowed to call Sandra Fluke names because she dared to go before a Congressional Committee and ask for Reproductive Justice and it hasn’t stopped yet.

  3. Oh, Mel, you have struck the nail into the forehead of politcal nonsense and BS. Can we call it what it truly is? Oh, yeah, I just did. Good for you, my friend. Since this was so appallingly offensive that major media outlets wouldn’t publish it, it really should go on YouTube, so that it can “offend” millions more quickly. Don’t you think. I’m sure you can put together a potcast for it’s debut.

    Do it, Mel. Have your say while advocating that we all can do the same.

    • This is a great idea…if only I didn’t hate the sound of my voice recorded. I would have to find someone to do it for me!

      • Try asking for volunteers. I’ll bet you have no trouble within our groups. They’re everywhere, they’re everywhere! Just like ChickenMan. Seriously, ask around.

  4. Cunt, twat, snatch, pussy, lady parts, girly bits…are those better? Seriously, I wish the Reps would use those terms. It would make my day.

  5. It’s not the word vagina that is inappropriate. It’s the context in which she used it. If a male senator would have made a comment about female senators being interested in his penis, he not only would have been banned from the senate floor, but he would be sued for sexual harassment and people would be calling for him to resign.

  6. Oh my god don’t get me started, my initial reaction is to feel irritated and defeated at the homogenization of our world. Culture trickling into one stream of what is right and wrong and good and bad and fashionable and indecent; and anger at the audacity of those who have judged and then act by modifying such things as great art to make it “non-offensive” while perpetrating other pieces of tat pushing them to be approved of. I close my eyes and hear Politically Correct words spoken by image pushers and see the shelves of Wal-Mart full of the same cheap plastic with no character or originality, because we all need soulless products that everyone else has, so we can replace them in a few months after they break so we can get more assembly-line-generic goods that everyone else has except these will be called something else which happens to be PC at the mo.
    When I heard about taking the “n” of the book, I imagined the mitigation needed. It would be called “Huckleberry Fi_ _” and that there would be small gaps on every page where they entirely eliminated the letter “n” from every word in it to make it even more PC, and the_ it would_’t be obvious that they were cha_gi_g a_y o_e particular word or the other …. a subtle cha_ge, if you will.

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