Monday, April 4, 2011 at 9:24 a.m.
One time in first-grade art class, I said the word penis, or some approximation of it, to my classmate Will, who was a tattler. "I'm telling!" said Will, and suddenly I was at risk of having my blue ribbon taken away by my homeroom teacher. So, with some half-formed notion of self-respect, I trudged up to my teacher after class and said, "I said penis." Beat Will to the punch. Still got my blue ribbon taken away. Only years later did I stop to think, Wait, why is a body part a bad word?
Good thing I don't work in the Florida Legislature, where such things are still taboo, even though the tattlers and crybabies are half a century old and flushed from drink. There, one Democratic lawmaker was chastised last month for saying the word uterus.
A couple of weeks ago, lawmakers were discussing major restrictions on a woman's ability to get an abortion. That's nothing scandalous -- our country is awash in misogynistic legislation. But when one Democratic representative from Orlando, Scott Randolph, mentioned his wife's uterus, the GOP crusade came to a screeching halt
Randolph later explained:
I always say their philosophy is small government for the big guy and big government for the little guy. And so, if my wife's uterus was incorporated or my friend's bedroom was incorporated, maybe they [Republicans] would be talking about deregulating.
Nuh-uh. No can do, buddy. You can legislate red tape around the life-giving organ as much as you want, but it shall not be named.
"The speaker has been clear about his expectations for conduct on the House for during debate," scolded Katie Betta, a Republican and also, apparently, one of these frightening creatures called woman who bleed every month and grow souls in their bellies. Republican Speaker Dean Cannon did not provide comment.
Days later, the House was discussing a bill that would require a woman seeking an abortion to see an ultrasound image
of the fetus inside her... uterus. Such bills are picking up steam across the country, forcing the unwilling expectant to watch a fuzzball upon a sweep of pixels and imagine all the feelings it has.
Just don't think about where it actually comes from. That's icky.
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