I spent twleve years covering this stuff as a public radio reporter. Trust me; I know what I'm talking about here.
But recently the House Speaker hit a homerun in the utterly absurd department when he chastised a member of the chamber for using the term "uterus" in a debate. State Representative Scott Randolph, an Orlando Democrat, was making an argument on the floor of the House, defending workers' rights against Republican attempts to bust unions. He repeated a comment that his wife had made to him at dinner one night as they discussed the GOP's 18 anti-abortion bills:
"If my wife incorporated her uterus, you all would say hands off. If my friends incorporated their bedroom, you'd say hands off. But now we're standing here and we're saying we're going to increase regulation on a specific type of membership organization. And that's unions."
Shortly after that, word reached Rep. Randolph through the Minority Leader that he was not to use references to body parts in debate. Apparently, House Speaker Dean Cannon was concerned that the teenagers working as pages in the chamber would be scarred for life by hearing "Uterus".
No, I am not making this up.
Had the Speaker left well enough alone, nobody would have given a damn about Randolph's statement. But now, "Uterus" has become the word du jour or mois!
Legislators and lobbyists are sporting pink buttons with the word in big, bold, black capital letters. And there are postings all over Facebook as women flaunt the fact that we have a uterus. You've heard of "penis envy". Well, clearly the House Speaker is in want of a womb. Perhaps this is what really lies behind the Republicans insatiable appetite for anti-abortion legislation. Perhaps these men are feeling incomplete, inadequate, and they long for a pair... of fallopian tubes.
As one friend pointed out, perhaps the Speaker didn't hear what was said and thought that Randolph's wife wanted to "neuter us". Hmmm... yes. Be afraid, Mr. Speaker. Be very, very, very afraid!