Note: do not read this blog post on the floor of the Florida House of Representatives. If you are currently on the floor of the Florida House of Representatives, close this browser tab immediately.

Why? Because the word “uterus” is apparently not allowed on the floor of the Florida House of Representatives. According to the St. Petersburg Times, last week one Democratic representative ran afoul of the Uterus Ban:

Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando, used his time during floor debate to argue that Republicans are against regulations — except when it comes to the little guys, or serves their specific interests.

At one point Randolph suggested that his wife “incorporate her uterus” to stop Republicans from pushing measures that would restrict abortions. Republicans, after all, wouldn’t want to further regulate a Florida business.

Apparently the GOP leadership of the House didn’t like the one-liner.

They told Democrats that Randolph is not to discuss body parts on the House floor.

So does this rule apply to all body parts and all figures of speech? Could Rep. Randolph have said that in the long term, cutting funding for women’s health will cost the state an arm and a leg? What about apologizing for his uterus remark by admitting that he’d put his foot in his mouth? Does the rule ban mention of arms, legs, feet and mouths? Or is it just, as I suspect, applied in cases where naughty female bits are mentioned? Randolph seems to think so, and he called it “a sad commentary about what we think about sex education in the state.”

Well, fair readers, this is not the floor of the Florida House of Representatives. You can say the anatomically correct terms for human body parts here. Penis, penis, penis, vagina, vagina, vagina. Uterus, uterus, uterus, uterus, uterus. UTERUS!

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/miranda/ Miranda

    Love the diagram! Yay for UTERUS!

  • http://feministing.com/members/kaelin/ Matt

    The Republicans take offense to someone using an academic/medical term to refer to a part of the human body? Really, it’s come to this? But then, it sort of proves Randolph’s point — that Republicans will do about anything to control the individual.

    There is no reason a page should have a problem here, because Randolph does not describe a sexual act. If they don’t know what the body part is (but if they are old enough to be pages, they should be), those kids will be oblivious, and if they do, there should be nothing in it to “shock” them. In fact, the terminology probably seems tame to most of them, who are probably used to hearing actual slang/vulgar terms to describe that general area of the body from their peers at school or from characters in movies.

  • http://feministing.com/members/rustbelt/ Claire

    Can we send a flood of postcards with the word uterus and/or scientific diagrams thereof on them to republican Reps in Florida? I’m serious–who’s with me on this?