Bitch: noun – 1 a female dog: 2 a female of canines generally.
Just when you think that the already-villainous bureaucracy couldn’t get any worse, lawmakers in Massachusetts step in to set the record straight by proposing legislation that will outlaw saying the word bitch in certain contexts. Seriously.
State Rep. Daniel Hunt (D–Boston) thinks that the citizens of Massachusetts — whose state motto is “By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty” — should not be allowed to say the word bitch when attempting “to accost, annoy, degrade or demean” another person. The legislation, H. 3719, quite literally makes it a crime to call someone a bitch and mean it. According to the bill:
A person who uses the word “bitch” directed at another person to accost, annoy, degrade or demean the other person shall be considered to be a disorderly person in violation of this section, and shall be subject to the penalties provided in subsections (a) and (b). A violation of this subsection may be reported by the person to whom the offensive language was directed at or by any witness to such incident.
What, exactly, are the penalties for calling someone a bitch, you ask? Well, for a first time offender, saying bitch could net you a $200 fine or up to six months in a cage. That’s right.
According to the bill, anyone who is called a bitch can report this to the police or, anyone who has witnessed another person call someone else a bitch, can also report this to the police.
Imagine what the state of law enforcement would look like in Massachusetts if people started calling 911 to report being called a bitch. Cops would have to pry themselves away from disproportionately arresting black people for weed to investigate someone being “annoyed” by a bitch-caller.
As Boston.com reports, the Massachusetts Republican Party criticized and mocked the bill Monday, writing on Twitter, “Beacon Hill Democrats like (Rep. Dan Hunt) are fearlessly taking on the biggest problems facing the commonwealth.”
The bill was introduced in May and has already moved through the house and senate. A hearing was scheduled for Tuesday but the results of that hearing are not yet available.
Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a bill to ban the word “bitch”.
Bill H.3719, submitted by State Representative Daniel Hunt, would punish people who use the word by either imprisonment for not more than 6 months, a fine of not more than $200, or both. pic.twitter.com/RmAEeJuhzf
— Only In Boston (@OnlyInBOS) October 22, 2019
Naturally, such a tyrannical and First Amendment-shattering law has constitutionalists up in arms.
“There’s a certain category of legislation that’s patently unconstitutional. This is among them,” Cambridge civil-rights attorney Harvey Silverglate said. “This is just the latest futile effort by the word police to control what other people say and indirectly control what they think.”
“As the Supreme Court has said there’s no happy talk requirement in the First Amendment. You cannot ban a word when it’s used to annoy someone but let them use the word when they are using the word in a positive way,” Jim Manley, an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), a public interest law firm that litigates free speech issues, tells Reason. “There’s no confusion about this point of law.”
“Legislatures,” he says, “can’t just pluck words out of the dictionary and ban them.”
Despite all the ridicule and mocking coming from the opponents of this tyrannical legislation, Hunt is defending his bill. In a recent interview with the Boston Herald, he claimed to be filing the bill on behalf of some unnamed constituent.
“Any time a constituent approaches me with something that is of concern to them, I follow through with it,” Hunt told the Herald. “In this instance, someone asked me to file a bill that they deemed was important and I thought it was a good exercise to let that bill go through the process.”
Hunt went on to say that even if his bill doesn’t pass the constitutional litmus test, that it could still be used to help stoke important conversations among complacent citizens about what freedom of speech really is.
“This might also illuminate the exhaustive legislative process for people that might not normally be engaged,” Hunt added.
There you have it folks. In the land of the free, in which police are shooting unarmed 16-year-old boys in the back of the head and getting away with it, government is working overtime to limit your ability to call someone a bitch — going so far as to threaten to throw you in a cage for it. What a bitch!