In the past few days, I took part in a little protest on twitter.  This was a response to the Michigan State House refusing to let to let two of their members speak after daring to say the word “vagina” while debating abortion legislation.  So the protest was to tweet the word “vagina” at the twitter account of those politicians in charge of the Michigan State House.

We did this because the message being sent by the Michigan House wasn’t “be polite,” like they claimed.

The message was OBEY.

This isn’t the sort of thing a representative democracy is supposed to do, shutting down an elected official’s ability to speak on behalf of her constituents simply because she stood up to the majority in public.

Rep. Lisa Brown asked that no one force their religion upon her, as she has not forced her religion upon them.  She asked that the health of a pregnant woman always be taken into account, not just during the first twenty weeks of her pregnancy.  She put her foot down and said, “No means no.”

The response: Defiance will not be tolerated.  Submit. OBEY.

Really, that is the function of any totalitarian state.  Sadly, Michigan no longer operates under democracy, under Step Eleven of Public Act 4, AKA The Emergency Manager Law.  The governor can simply appoint a single person to make all decisions about a local government, nullifying contracts, dissolving representative bodies, even eliminating the legal status of a town.  This is THE case of totalitarianism in the modern United States and it should sicken anyone, regardless of creed, party, lifestyle, religious denomination, social status–

It should sicken you if you believe in democracy.

This is a financial crisis, they say.  This is only for the most dire  circumstances, they say.

There is no accountability.  There is no official limit to this power, no point where it doesn’t exist or expire.  This is absolute.  This is tyranny.

In The Handmaid’s Tale, those in power use a power vacuum and an infertility crisis to mandate that women are no longer allowed to read.  Women are forced to wear specific colors to denote their station in life and their role in said station.  They are also trained to hate and despise the other groups of women, isolating them so they might remain divided in their oppression.

A crisis gave them the mandate to take power, but no one, no rule of law or governing body could revoke the power the Republic of Gilead took for itself.  Defiance would not be tolerated.  The people were to submit.  The people were to OBEY.

Of course, the Republic of Gilead was once called the United States of America, but what does that matter?

The First Amendment gives us Freedom of Speech.  That means if I want to tweet the word “Vagina” at elected officials, I have that right.  If I want to tell an elected official that I don’t agree with their policies, they have to let me talk.  They can’t make me–or anyone else–be quiet on the matter.

They cannot invoke some emergency manager to tell me my words are invalid and inconsequential.  Even if they do not agree with me, they have to let me speak, because it is a cornerstone of our government and our society.

Will my words turn opinions?  That’s not up to me, though that’s what some people fear.  They fear I will speak up, then someone else will speak up, and two more people will speak up…

They fear what comes next.  They fear the election.  They fear support of a result they do not like.  They fear the vocal outrage of a result they want, especially if their desires are contrary to the public good.

Vitamin F is an example of what happens if people are downtrodden, to the extent where a new emergency arises, a crash in genetics making most men either dead or infertile.  The surviving men are more of a commodity than an active part of the population.  And Genetic Security controls everything that could interfere with the continuance of the human race; from rounding up unregistered males to educating–or reeducating–the populace into understanding and avoiding any element that threatens to disrupt the gene pool and create extinction.

They take power because of a crisis, they say defiance will not be tolerated.  They expect submission.  They expect you to OBEY.

I expect more people to stand up against them, if only to say, “Vagina.”  You might think it’s some crude joke or a silly comment, but I assure you, it’s not.  This is what happens when people tire of what legislators force upon them, so we the people stand up and speak out.  In a representative democracy, our voice is our greatest power.

That is why words matter.

Vitamin F will be released on July 12 for Nook and Kindle.