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A Vagina in Michigan attends the Vagina Monologues

June 21, 2012

On Monday I got to see one of my heroes, Eve Ensler, along with my State Senator, Rebekah Warren host a performance of a play I have acted in, produced, and advocated for, on my state capitol.

Ok, I totally cried.

In case you are unaware of the context in which state legislators led thousands of people in the chant “VAGINA. VOICE. VOTE.” on the Michigan capitol steps, I wrote a little summary of the situation. I hope you all, one day, also get to experience “Vagina Motherfuckers” being yelled on your capitol steps, and a crowd of thousands in pink standing up with applause.

Here was half the crowd, approximated at 2,000-5,000, to watch the performance of the Vagina Monologues. (The Washington Post reported it as “hundreds“, shocker.)

Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum were also given a chance to speak about their experiences over the last few days, and after the performance Eve Ensler gave a rousing speech[Full Transcript + photos here]:

I am over brilliant remarks being called “tantrums” and outspoken being called “crazy” and lacking decorum when they are just smart.

I’m over it! We are over it! This the moment. This is the moment. This is where it all turns around. This is the moment when we talk back and speak back. This is where we rise up.This is where we say “yes” to Lisa Brown. “Yes” to Barbara Byrum. “Yes” to every brave woman who is standing with us today. Gretchen Whitmer. Barbara Byrum. Stacy Erwin-Oakes. Dian Slavens. Rashida Tlaib. Vicki Barnett. Joan Bauer. Ellen Cogen Lipton. Maureen Stapleton. And all the amazing actors and activists up on this stage.

This is where we say: “VAGINA!” Say it!

CROWD: VAGINA!

I was moved. I was screaming “vagina”. I was screaming “vagina” in a crowd of thousands and feeling like YES. YES we can do this. YES this is the moment. This can be the start of a whole movement in Michigan. We can keep this going.

I’ve joined a group organizing an open mic in Lansing to provide anyone the opportunity to speak up and speak out about their lived experience of their reproductive rights, and how the abortion “super-bill” would affect them. I want to make lawmakers know about Michiganders REAL, LIVED EXPERIENCES of our choices, our bodies and our families. By sharing  these stories I hope to also bring into the conversation the way socioeconomic inequalities, racism, sexism, cis-sexism, ableism and all intersecting oppression affect our reproductive choices & rights.

I’ve also been writing my reps. More on that next.

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