Trending Topics

99 Problems, But This Word Ain’t One: Folks Ridicule Massachusetts’ Bill to Ban Folks From Saying B–ch

Calling someone a b—- has long been a no-no, but under a proposed bill in Massachusetts it could one day be illegal, punishable by up to six months in jail.

“A person who uses the word ‘b—-‘ directed at another person to accost, annoy, degrade or demean the other person shall be considered to be a disorderly person…” legislators wrote in the bill’s text.

“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,” legislators added in the text.

Gavel on desk
A stock photo depicts justice scales, books and a wooden gavel. (Photo by Getty)

Democratic Rep. Daniel Hunt introduced the bill in May and it was up for a joint hearing Tuesday on Beacon Hill, according to the Boston Herald.

Critics of the measure are calling it “patently unconstitutional” and the latest push from the “word police,” the newspaper reported.

Penalties for violating the measure would, if passed, mean a disorderly conduct conviction and a $150 fine for a first offense and $200 or 6 months in prison for any added offenses, the Herald reported.

“There’s a certain category of legislation that’s patently unconstitutional. This is among them,” Cambridge civil rights attorney Harvey Silverglate told the newspaper. “This is just the latest futile effort but the word police to control what other people say and indirectly control what they think.”

Hunt said he filed the bill after getting a request from a constituent he said he would not identify.

“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.”  

Social media users have delighted in making fun of the effort.

“So lawmakers in Mass have nothing better to do than to ban a word that means female dog. Seriously get with it. There are so many other words- like the N word you can ban or maybe work on fixing a broken system but banning the B word. My god this is who we voted into office,” @KCoyle2012 said on Twitter Wednesday.

“I think we should also ban the b word and ‘the between a and c word but also the a word and the c word. Followed by the d word,'” @RossDixonEllis tweeted Wednesday.

“‘Bitch’ is so benign that I thought they had to intend some other, worse, ‘b word.’ Also, hello First Amendment,” @J_Dot_J tweeted Wednesday.

Back to top