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Move over, Hester: Speaker Mikey's in town...

Remember Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Puritan society in his novel, The Scarlet Letter?  Poor Hester Prynne violated the laws of the church, which meant that she broke society’s laws, too.  At the beginning of the novel, the reader joins Hester as she leaves the safety of the town prison and makes her way back into the society that jailed her.  Reading the book for the first time in the 11th grade, I had a hard time understanding how, in a free society, the religion of one group could also form its judicial system.  That makes the laws of God the same thing as the laws of man.   Separation of church and state was also an 11th grade U.S. history lesson, so we students figured no more Hesters could be jailed for breaking the laws of her religion .  Or so we thought.  We fought a war 250 years ago to separate the colonies from a king who was not only ruler of the government but leader of the church.  A quick walk through British history shows what a mess that ideal leads to:  remember Henry VIII

Just Say No Didn't Work in the 80’s Either…

 I’ve got a great idea about how to extend the DeSantis plan of curtailing rights for everyone in his state.  How about “just don’t say Florida.”  No need for MaTa Green’s divorce plan:  that’s so messy and all.  Let’s just give the territory back to Spain and be done with it. 

Floridians are practically living in a third world state, anyway.  After limiting women’s health care rights, banning books, and saying no to anything LGBTQ, fuzzy-brained members of the right in the state legislature have decided to ban any mention of the word “period” in schools or other public places. 

Think about how this plays out. 

I remember turning 11.  My birthday was perfect, with an angel food cake, lamb chops for dinner, and a host of presents. Ready to call it a day, I headed to my bedroom, happy to fall asleep with birthday visions dancing in my head while cake crumbs lingered on my breath.  Instead,  I found a grocery bag full of sanitary products sitting on my bed, followed by my mother who attempted to enlighten me about the looming world of womanhood that had cursed all females since Eve. 

When she was finished, I was totally confused.  But I had an overwhelming sense of impending gloom and doom.  

“Any questions ?”  she asked.

Yeah, a thousand, I thought.  But I’d endured enough, so I shook my head and she headed to the den to enjoy TV with the rest of the family. 

My world was crashing down around me and my birthday memories had been  vanquished by Kotex. 

Thank God for my 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Walker.  A few months later, she herded the boys into the P.E. teacher’s room and kept the girls so she could show a movie and walk us through the changes that were about to occur in all of us.  And, being a teacher, she also did it in a way that I could understand.  The gloom was lifting a little and life could go on, despite what lay ahead. 

So think about this:  all the Mrs. Walkers in Florida will be muzzled if this bill passes (which it will) and is signed into law (which it will be).  No one in a public school system who can both teach and show sensitivity will be able to even listen to girls as their bodies change. 

How many girls start their periods in school and need the comfort and understanding of the school nurse ?  How many girls rely on the school to supply sanitary products that don’t magically appear at home ?  How many girls make appointments with the nurse to explain abnormalities in their cycles, excessive cramping, and mood swings that come with the territory ?  Where are all these girls to go when this bill becomes law ?  

And the biggest question of all:  why is it necessary ?  Simply outlawing the word doesn’t make the event disappear.  Girls will still have periods, drug stores will still sell sanitary products, and schools will still have to disseminate tampons to unprepared teens. 

Maybe a secret code is necessary:  “I have a nose bleed, nurse.”

What are these legislators afraid of ?  Why do they think they are uniquely qualified to decide what sex topics can and can’t be discussed in public schools ?  Why are the girls always the ones picked on ?

This is idiocy.  Period.

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Move over, Hester: Speaker Mikey's in town...

Remember Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Puritan society in his novel, The Scarlet Letter?  Poor Hester Prynne violated the laws of the church, which meant that she broke society’s laws, too.  At the beginning of the novel, the reader joins Hester as she leaves the safety of the town prison and makes her way back into the society that jailed her.  Reading the book for the first time in the 11th grade, I had a hard time understanding how, in a free society, the religion of one group could also form its judicial system.  That makes the laws of God the same thing as the laws of man.   Separation of church and state was also an 11th grade U.S. history lesson, so we students figured no more Hesters could be jailed for breaking the laws of her religion .  Or so we thought.  We fought a war 250 years ago to separate the colonies from a king who was not only ruler of the government but leader of the church.  A quick walk through British history shows what a mess that ideal leads to:  remember Henry VIII