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The Great State of Florida Has No Use For Your Potty Mouth

Last week, on the floor of the Florida House, Representative Scott Randolph used a word that earned him a rebuke from GOP spokesperson, Katie Betta:

“The Speaker has been clear about his expectations for conduct on the House for during debate. At one point during the debate, he mentioned to the entire House that members of both parties needed to be mindful of decorum during debate.”

What was this filthy, awful, nasty word he used, a word so foul as to constitute a break of decorum? Uterus. Randolph made a joke which he credited to his wife theorizing that if she would incorporate her uterus, the GOP would be less interested in regulating her private decisions. Betta went on to explain that the GOP was only thinking of the children:

Additionally, the Speaker believes it is important for all Members to be mindful of and respectful to visitors and guests, particularly the young pages and messengers who are seated in the chamber during debates. In the past, if the debate is going to contain language that would be considered inappropriate for children and other guests, the Speaker will make an announcement in advance, asking children and others who may be uncomfortable with the subject matter to leave the floor and gallery.

Of course. Because showing up to public hearings in the hopes they might hear hot anatomical terms is how everyone in Florida gets their kicks. As soon as I heard about this, I opened up a text pad and started writing a erotic novel I’m tentatively titling Bodily Autonomy, marketed to the salacious tastes of the average Floridian.* A sample:

Ovaries. Uterus. Gametes. Fallopian Tubes. Vulva. Tibia. Ovaries. Uterus. Pelvic Exam. Testicles. Vas Deferens. Endometrium. Pap Smear. Rights.

This is the same state, it is important to remember, where George Rekers was paid 120,000 dollars to spew anti-gay bigotry and junk science in order to prevent gays and lesbians from adopting. Maybe if they would invite real experts and real scientists to testify before the legislature they wouldn’t be so squeamish about people using medical terms on the House floor.

When the Florida GOP tries to excise the word uterus from the political discourse, they are stigmatizing the bodies of millions of Americans so they can take away the rights of those Americans with impunity. They are teaching young Floridians that anatomical knowledge is taboo and scary and utterly failing their duty to produce educated citizens. So when the Florida GOP asks “Will somebody think of the children?” my response is “WE ARE.”

*h/t to @AndThenKeirSaid for taking a good joke and making it a GREAT joke.

13 Comments

  1. Simpsons Quote wrote:

    C’mon Marge, it’s “Uter-US” not “uter-YOU”

    Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Permalink
  2. Travis wrote:

    I thought the GOP was the straight talk party? The last VP said “go fuck yourself” to a US Senator on the floor. They don’t bother with PC talk like “ableism” or “cisgendered”, but if you say anything but “hoo ha” or “pee pee” they get the vapors?

    Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Permalink
  3. dihutenosa wrote:

    “to spew anti-gay bigotry and junk science in order to prevent gays and lesbians from adopting.”
    this is erases non-heterosexual sexualities besides homosexuality, and also trans people. granted that the actual words that the people responsible might use to describe their goals might be ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’, what they are really discriminating against is people they perceive to be in same-sex relationships, which could include e.g. like a trans male legally female, with a cis female partner, or a female polysexual with lesbian partner.

    Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Permalink
  4. Garland wrote:

    I apologize for erasing people’s experiences. I’ve been trying to stop using the word “queer” in reference to laws and ordinances that would stop restricting the rights of some queer-identified people but still leave significant restrictions on the rights of trans people, in order to be clear about whose rights the mainstream movement is working for, given that the rights of trans people are so often ignored within the movement.

    I am so sorry for not being clear on that. If it is all right, may I note this conversation within the post?

    Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Permalink
  5. emjaybee wrote:

    I suggest we switch to “fetus folders” “pelvis purses” or “baby bags” then.

    Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Permalink
  6. Sarah wrote:

    Those “young pages” are at least in their late adolescence, and old enough to have (legal) sexual relations with wizened politicians. One should hope they would know the word uterus. Anyone offended by such a word has no place in the world of politics.

    Let’s not call them baby bags, lest we start defining granting zygotes full personhood. Oh wait.

    Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Permalink
  7. Alix wrote:

    I was floored when I read that article. Uterus a dirty word? Really, Florida Legislature?

    Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Permalink
  8. I just found your blog (courtesy of Susan Campbell over at Fear, Itself) and LOVE it. That is all.

    Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Permalink
  9. alynn wrote:

    I usually enjoy Tiger Beatdown, but this post with its flood of utterly obscene language has not only offended me but it has also driven me away!

    ;)

    Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Permalink
  10. Lapsed Pastafarian wrote:

    As a Florida resident, Ms. Betta’s comment makes me want to hang my head in shame. Who is this lady. She isn’t elected. I would love to call her office and tell to not talk about subjects she doesn’t understand.

    Monday, April 4, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Permalink
  11. Emily wrote:

    Sady & TB Team – I love to share your blogs around ‘nets. I wonder if you could put in one of those nifty ShareThis doohickies that allows me to do it with just an automated click or two instead of manually copying and pasting the URL into my various social networking sites. Of course, I’ll still share either way, but it would certainly be a nice touch!

    Monday, April 4, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Permalink
  12. Em wrote:

    Emily, look around for bookmarklets for the sites you want to share to. I have a few in my toolbar and they greatly simplify things.

    Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 11:43 am | Permalink
  13. dihutenosa wrote:

    @Garland by all means, goforit.

    Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Permalink