'Vagina Monologues' performed on Capitol steps in response to Lisa Brown silencing

LANSING (WXYZ) - Hundreds of people gathered at the State Capitol in Lansing for a performance of the "Vagina Monologues " Monday evening.

Tony Award-winning playwright Eve Ensler was there for the special performance on the Capitol steps.

It was in response to the recent banning of Michigan State Representative Lisa Brown from publicly speaking in the House.

On June 14, Brown was banned by Majority Floor Leader Jim Stama and House Republicans for using the word "vagina" during an abortion bill debate.

"They banned me from speaking because I dared say vagina, the correct, medical name of a part of a woman's anatomy these lawmakers are trying to regulate," said representative Brown. "I'm outraged that there are Michigan legislators that not only want to dictate what women can do, but what we can say."

Sen. Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D- East Lansing), Sen. Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor), Rep. Barb Byrum (D- Onondaga), Rep. Stacy Erwin Oakes (D-Saginaw), Rep. Dian Slavens (D- Canton Township), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D- Detroit), Rep. Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield), Rep. Vicki Barnett (D-Farmington Hills), and Rep. Joan Bauer (D-Lansing) performed along with Ensler and local actors.

"For 14 years at V-Day, we've seen the power of saying the word ‘vagina.' We've seen how it's freed women from their shame and empowered them to break the silence and become leaders in their communities.  By saying the word ‘vagina' and making it okay to say the word ‘vagina,' we take away the humiliation, and fear, and myths that often surround it," stated Ensler.  "Censoring a woman for saying a word that is a body part that 51% of their constituents have is a repression that we have not and should not ever witness in this country."

Local and state activists also performed and protested.

Over the past 14 years V-Day has mobilized activists from more than 140 countries and worked tirelessly on a grassroots level to demand an end to all forms of violence against women and girls.

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