• Brian Mayzure
  • On Flickr this is captioned “Two of the three street names in Chicago that rhyme with ‘vagina'”

These are heady times for vaginas, politically and linguistically. Earlier this week state rep Lisa Brown was banned from addressing the Michigan legislature because, according to the speaker, she’d “failed to maintain the decorum of the House of Representatives.” Watch a video of her speech here; Brown thought the punishment was for using the word vagina during a debate over a proposal to restrict abortions after 20 weeks. Today, Jezebel’s Erin Gloria Ryan provides 25 alternative expressions—”baby chute,” “wide receiver,” “[uncomfortable silence]”—but she’s not the only one with an opinion. Last month the New Yorker‘s Hilton Als lamented various incorrect usages of the term, anatomically speaking: “To refer to the entire apparatus as a vagina is incorrect—and pervasive,” and so forth. He cited among other things the HBO show Girls; Als may have drawn the connection because criticizing the way Girls talks about vaginas is maybe the only thing that nobody on the Internet had yet said about the show.