State of Virginia to Change Name
Virginia Delegate Ima Harlot and Senator Justin “Jus” A. Gigolo proposed matching legislation in each chamber that would change the name of the state of Virginia. In a press conference, Harlot and Gigolo were joined by several representatives from both parties who were intent on showing their support. As Harlot explained:
For too long, we non-virgin residents of Virginia have had to deal with the unfair burden of residing in a state whose very name privileges the unrealistic sexual state of virginity over other forms of sexual status. It is time to acknowledge the pain caused every time a non-virgin resident of this state is called a “Virginian”. That is why Senator Gigolo and I, with the bipartisan support of several of our colleagues, are calling on the citizens of our state to redress this historical ill by approving a state name change.
When asked why they felt now was the time for such a change after centuries had passed with little or no controversy, Gigolo responded:
We were inspired by the effort being put forth in the State of Rhode Island, where they are attempting to remove “and Providence Plantations” from their official name.
Truthfully, we didn’t even realize that was part of their name, but once the argument was made and we learned that the name “plantations” offended people–which seems obvious to those of us in the south–it got us thinking: what about Virginia? We realized that, as non-virgins, it was insulting to have to live in a place whose name was manifestly disrespectful to our non-virginity.
Taking it further, it isn’t just those of us in the single, swinger set that are offended, either. Several married people we talked to are also hurt by the name. Should they be made to suffer in such a way? It just seemed that now was the time to redress a historical wrong.
When it was pointed out that the name Virginia was derived from the Virginia Company and that the name had nothing to do with the virginity, per se, of its inhabitants, Harlot was quick to respond:
That doesn’t matter. All I know is what I feel right now. The original meaning of Virginia is irrelevant. I’m not a virgin and I don’t want to be known as a “Virginian.” Further, past attempts to remove the stigma–the tourism campaign “Virginia is for lovers” comes to mind–only serve to confuse the issue. It’s time to rename our great state and make it less insulting.
That is why, since we are aware of the key role that history plays in our sense of place and time, we have proposed that the new name be simply: “State.” It has been part of the name of our state since statehood was declared.
It was pointed out that the official name is The Commonwealth of Virginia and that “state” is actually not in the official name. To this Harlot shrugged her shoulders, saying, “No one calls it the ‘Commonwealth of Virginia’, we all call it the ‘State of Virginia,’ so that just not an issue.” When asked to detail more extensively the process they went through to determine a new name, Gigolo explained:
Well, first we naturally sought to counter the whole “virgin” thing and names like Promiscia and Freelovana were discussed. But we realized that would just be having the same dance with a different partner, so to speak.
We again looked at Rhode Island, and we could see that they may still have a problem. They maintained one part of their traditional name–Rhode Island–which was named after the Greek Island of Rhodes. That begged the question: How long before all of the non-Greeks in that state are going to rise up and demand a change because the pride of one ethnic group is being propped up at the expense of so many others? That’s what led us away from just going with “Commonwealth.” That name could either be taken as being too communist or to capitalistic, depending on how you look at it. So we tried to think of something that wouldn’t offend anyone.
Finally, we decided that calling our state “State” was the least-offensive route to take. It’s simple and descriptive and unlikely to offend anyone and, as Ima said, it maintains a link to the traditional usage throughout our state’s history.
When it was brought up that the term “state” had various theological meanings in certain contexts, Gigolo gave a nervous chuckle and ceded the microphone to Harlot, who, after a brief pause, responded:
Really? Is there anything wrong with “The” or “of”?