Welcome, ladies!

I’m so glad you could come over today. Help yourself to some Triscuit-and-cheese snacks. There’s Sanka in the kitchen. Big thanks to Mary Beth for the decorations. You know, friends, I’ve been thinking a lot about all the recent legislation regarding lady parts. So much interest in the Lady Parts! My, my, my. Every time I read the news, I feel like there’s a piñata in my privates. Wheee! All of this AND I can still earn 72 cents on the dollar? Wow! Sign me up!

While I know that we are all super appreciative that there are so many legislative gynecologists out there (good to know that if we ever run out of Monistat, we can just shimmy on up to the drive-thru at Capitol Hill for a refill), I’m sensing that the lawmakers introducing these bills haven’t really thought it through. That’s why I called this little meeting today, and big ups to Sally Jo for letting us use her rec room. You rock, Sally Jo!

Ladies, I’m talking about the Transvaginal Ultrasounds. I’m talking about a woman’s right to choose…her wand.

This is AMURRRICA, dammit, and we are all about the free-market economy! We are about CHOICE—as long as that choice does not involve the womenfolk and their irrational uteruses. Then, we are all about “protection.” Put a burka on that shit, ladies. Tell your vagina it doesn’t have the right to drive. Roll over, Beethoven, and give your ovaries the news. (Tabitha, this coffee is rad! How’d you make it? With gin? Love it! Mmmm…)

Seriously, though: Ladies, put down your knitting needles, let the cake sit, stop wiping down the woodwork with a Kotex soaked in linseed oil for just a moment, and gather close for this little Coffee Klatsch Quimtastic Summit. See, our economy is in trouble—oh, as an American Lady Person with sensitive feelings, it hurts my heart to admit it. But it’s true. And we can help this great nation of ours that has yet to ratify the ERA giving us equal protection as citizens under the law! Yes, us! I know! Wipe away those tears and wave those flags of freedom. They were on sale at Wal*Mart.

This is a golden marketing opportunity just waiting to take off—like Tupperware and Mary Kay and Scientology. Today, I’d like to introduce to you LadyOptions in Personal Wanding™, a business opportunity and helpful guide to your choices in Transvaginal Ultrasound and beyond. A woman’s right to choose just took on a whole new meaning.

Let’s open up the LadyOptions in Personal Wanding brochure and take a gander,+ shall we?

1. The OB-GYN Kenobi. Tie Fighter one on and slip into the stirrups for an experience that’s Star Wars meets Handmaid’s Tale! Use the Force of this super-smooth number that fronts like a Jedi but is as smooth as a Sith Lord. When you’ve only got one shot at making your Death Star go kablooey, use the force—of the OB-GYN Kenobi” *No longer available on Alderaan.

2. The Foster Friess. The only Transvaginal Wand you’ll ever “knee-d”, the Foster Friess model comes in an attractive, patriotic red, white and blue packaged with a bottle of Bayer aspirin. *Side effects include nausea, banging your head against a wall until you pass out, throwing the remote at your TV, and the strange sense that you’re living through the 1950s.

3. The Republic of Gilead. For the dystopian crowd comes this sleek, theocratic little number that’ll have you shouting, “Mayday!”

4. At Your Cervix. Do you like screwball comedies? I like screwball comedies! They’re ever so delightful! I’m saying this very, very, very fast in a Mid-Atlantic accent that makes me adorable yet ditzy, like someone who might need the care of an older, wiser Congressman to tell me just what to do with my reproductive organs and sex life but, oh, darling, it’s-ever-so-alright because raaallly, he’s just ducky, and in the end, we’ll all be Bringing Up Baby thanks to all of those simply boffo social programs aimed at helping lower-income women and those living below the poverty line, the Forgotten {Wo}Man, who are the hardest-hit by just such draconian legislation and…hmm? What’s that, my darling? There…ARE…no more social programs? Godfrey! A martini, please! And put that olive right between my knees!

5. The Optimus Probe. Transform your forced ultrasound into a juggernaut of simulated fiery explosions! A true 3-D experience, the Optimus Probe is perfect for the woman who has ever said, “Hey, wait…a minute ago, wasn’t that big-ass robot of right-wing destruction a “Right of Privacy” clause?” * A Michael Bay production

6. The Santorum. When you want something in your uterus that will make no exceptions for cases of rape or incest, you need the strength and conviction of the Santorum. If you’re a gal who knows that contraception is “not okay,” (just like the ladies having The Sex and being prepared for The Sex is so “not okay”), trust in the Senator from PA to patrol your inner sanctum Santorum. *Offered in two sizes: small and extra-small.

Oh my gosh! This is so exciting! Veronica, could we get some more of those Xanax-N-Blankets snacks? They’re fab! Okay. So. Loved the first set of options, but ladies, there’s more! Maybe you’re feeling a little state pride—am I right? Then you’ll want to show your colors with one of these beauties:

The Texas Two-Step. While other states have flirted with the Transvaginal Ultrasound law, Texas is an early adopter! (What up, my home state!) It seems only fair that there should be a wand named after our, um, second-biggest state. (Now, Texas, size isn’t everything…) With the Texas Two-Step: "A patient must make two visits…during the first visit the doctor who is going to perform the abortion must perform the ultrasound. The doctor must display the ultrasound image to the woman. She can look away but the doctor must describe the image. If there is cardiac activity that suggests a heartbeat the doctor is required to turn up the audio so the woman can hear it."++ Lights! Sound! Slide Show! Ladies, all of this and Rick Perry, too. Of course, we know you have a choice when it comes to Transvaginal Ultrasound—haha! Just kidding—and we thank you for choosing the Texas Two-Step. *Not available for purchase with Title X funding.

The Oh-No Idaho. From the state that gave you the potato and fringe survivalist groups comes the bill that “gives {a woman} a window into her womb.” So thoughtful, Idaho! In New York real estate, we’d kill for a window into our wombs instead of, say, an airshaft where someone is cranking Slayer at 10 PM. But Idaho, I don’t think you’ve really thought this through: Will there be treatments for those windows into our wombs, because, just saying, those do not come cheap. I mean if you want quality and options—privacy lining? Eco-friendly bamboo? Top-down or tie backs?—you’re going to have to shell out the bucks. Still in development, the Oh-No Idaho looks to be an exciting new entry into the booming business of Personal Wanding™.

The Illinois: The “Ultrasound Opportunity Act” advanced by the House Agriculture Committee gives every woman the chance to know just where she registers in the national consciousness. I mean, usually, they are busy presiding over matters related to hunting and farming but they cared SO MUCH that they took time away from those concerns to look into our wombs. A moment, please. So sweet. Apparently, the farmer and the rancher can be friends—but only when it comes to rescinding women’s rights. Hooray for peace! Remember ladies: It’s not a violation; it’s an opportunity. Spin the wheel, and this frisky filly will play a variety of delightful livestock sounds or the Illinois Transvag theme song: “Old MacDonald had a bunch of old men…”

The Michigan: Sorry, we can’t even tell you about this one. Talking about (whispers) ladyparts upsets the lads on the floor. #VagiNO

Pennsylvania: Ladies, the state of brotherly love cares about you and your rights. That’s why they introduced the “Women’s Right to Know Act”. They want you to know that you have the right…to have a large plastic probe inserted up your vaginal highway. Not only that, but in PA, doctors will need to give you copies of the results to take home and pour over before making your decision. Who doesn’t love an ultrasound swag bag? Ladies, keep your eye on this one—it’s the little “Transducer Seducer” that could.

The Virginia: From the state that put transvaginal ultrasound on the map. Ladies, you know how important building codes are for women’s health clinics? I mean, when you’ve driven fifty miles to the closest clinic to find out if you might have cervical cancer or if that lump in your breast is just, please God, a cyst, you do NOT want your shui all fenged by the wrong number of janitor closets in the building. I mean, seriously, woman-to-woman, when you’re lying there in the stirrups, do you want the added anxiety of wondering whether or not the heating vents are positioned just so or there are enough parking spaces? Relax and scoot on down, because Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is ON that for you, closing down any women’s health centers that don’t meet the brand-new list of arcane building codes just invented for them or, like, have a fern near the front door or whatnot. Yes, Virginia, there IS an insanity clause—and it’s coming for your womb. Yay! (Mary Beth–another round, please?) 

The Georgia: Do you hear the banjos playing? Rep. Terry England, R. is a-pickin'! He wants ladies to know that even if their high-risk pregnancy has life-threatening consequences for them, or if the fetus they are carrying is already dead, they should buck up and deliver on schedule rather than terminate the pregnancy, you know, just like cows and pigs do. The “Women as Livestock” Law is deliciously edgy, detached from humanity, and borderline BDSM, like a David Fincher movie for your uterus—perfect for those crazy hipster gals who find compassion for women making agonizing decisions about termination, so, like, 1973. *For a limited time only, will come with a free “Ask me about my udders!” sticker.

The Arizona House Bill 2625. Oh, Arizona. Swoon! You’re so mavericky! Who else would think up something like this: “House Bill 2625…allows any employer to refuse to cover contraception that will be used ‘for contraceptive, abortifacient, abortion or sterilization purposes.’ If a woman wants the cost of her contraception covered, she has to ‘submit a claim’ to her employer providing evidence of a medical condition, such as endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome, that can be treated with birth control’…the law would give Arizona employers the green light to fire a woman upon finding out that she took birth control for the purpose of preventing pregnancy.”+++ Take all of the office supplies you can fit in your purses, ladies. Just don’t even think of taking the pill. Gives a whole new meaning to pink slip.

Oh my. Mary Beth, I think these PatrollingThePink Cocktails have made me giggly! Don’t be silly, Mary Beth—OF COURSE it’s okay to say “cocktails.” It’s lady parts we can’t talk about.

Anyhoo-hoo…Hey. Can I tell y’all something? Because you’re, like, my besties and shit, and I love you soooo much? See, I’m a lifelong romantic, and I kinda want to introduce my own bill: The Put A Ring on It Law. (Sally Jo, you dropped your aspirin! Put it back! Quick!) Basically, any senator, congressman, mayor, governor or garbage collector who wants to control my lady business has to court me first and prove he's husband material. I mean, fellas, if you’re all about old-fashioned values like Bayer aspirin between the knees and the recall of the equal pay act, then before you get near my PunanyPrecious with your Frisky Wands of Mordor, I want dinners, walks on the beach, porch swing confessions over a good old-fashioned glass of lemonade, sweet love songs about rescinding my rights to own myself and make my own decisions as guided by my conscience, my faith, and my medical provider. Also roses. Chicks dig roses. That makes everything better. Naturally, you’ll meet my parents and make your intentions clear. You’ll even ask my father’s permission. He’s dead, so it might take a while for him to get back to you. Just be patient—and keep a Bayer aspirin between…well, being a lady, I don’t like to say. This is going to keep you fellas really, really busy, I think. I mean, I'm sorry to say, but it might make it hard for you to pass further legislation what with all the making honest women of us. But clearly, it's the right thing to do. Because you care so much. We can see that now. We can see just how valuable we are. 

Oh my gosh. Look at me! I’m such a mess. I’m crying! What a sentimental sap. Can you believe I’m crying? 

No, I have no idea why, either.

+ I would’ve said goose, but that makes some folks think of “vagina” which is, like soooo not appropriate.

++ Rochelle Tafolla, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, explain, via Associated Press



  1. Pingback: “The Roy G. Biv of Female Experience”: A Big Ol’ Interview with Libba Bray « The Oeditrix

  2. Pingback: Honorary Lady of Comicazi – Libba Bray « The Ladies of Comicazi

  3. Dear Ms. Bray–I used to follow your blog on LJ and I loved reading A Great and Terrible Beauty a few years back. You saved my own writing efforts because when grad school had lobotomized my ability to write, or have confidence in writing, five years ago, the exercises you had on your old blog with the lockers helped me get started again. So, I love this post, I’m so glad to see your writing is even funnier and cooler and I thank you for all your work. Thank you!

  4. Wow, Ms. Bray. Just wow. I stumbled onto this post in search of details about The Diviners sequel and I can’t be happier at the results of my interwebs wandering. I knew you were smart and funny, your books are a testament to that, but this is fantastically compelling and thought-provoking. Perhaps after you’ve completed The Diviners series (because I NEED to know how it all goes down in NY, NY) you should go into political comedy. You’d have Stewart and Colbert fearing for their jobs! Thank you for distilling this insanity into somewhat more digestible absurdity. It’s good we can laugh at these things while drawing much-needed attention to the important issues, otherwise it would be and endless loop of vomiting and crying.

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