A Primer for the Women of State Legislatures

As a public service to the women of the Michigan Legislature and other applicable states, allow me to provide you with a list of things women politicians might want to consider avoiding saying on the state floor to avoid being silenced by their male peers, lest there be no women remaining in service who will be allowed to speak:

“Vagina,” “Clitoris,” “Vulva,” “Ovaries” – under any circumstances, but especially when discussing women’s reproductive issues.

“The Vagina Monologues”  — even when discussing arts and literature.

“Virginia” — if you have an accent or mumble a bit when you talk.

“Uranus” — even if discussing astronomy or NASA

“Dick”  — even if that is how Richard So-and-so might normally be referred to.

“Cock”  — even if talking about gun rights/gun control

“Third base” – even if discussing sports

“Erect” – even if discussing construction or bonding bills

“Easy” – even when talking about simplifying legislation

“Come”/”Came”  — Try to use “arrived,” or perhaps “boiled down to,” which can win extra approval as a kitchen cooking metaphor.

“Breast” – even if talking about cancer screening for women

“Sixty-nine”  — even if reporting vote counts

“Head”  — even if discussing health or bureaucracy.  Insert “cranium” or “chair” instead.

“Insert” – unless extreme emphasis placed on first syllable when discussing an addendum to the document

“Lesbian” – unless discussing “hot lesbian sex” in a discussion on pornography, or anything really.

“Go down”  — even when talking about defeating a bill.

“Stimulate” – even when discussing the economy.

“Bang” – unless specifically referencing a gavel, and even then make sure no one interprets it as an innuendo.

“Brief” – even if referring to a legal document or a length of time.

You should also be further advised to make sure that you do not say your “Oh”s, “Ah”s, “Umm”s, and “Yes”s in too emphatic or alluring a manner as you speak or respond during discussion.

By following these simple guidelines, you will facilitate a more meaningful discussion, and allow for your colleagues to engage in a more dignified level of oratory.


Author of over sixty children's books, as well writer of textbook materials and standardized exam text. I may have helped teach your children...

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