In an effort to crack down on offensive language, a Massachusetts lawmaker has launched an effort to make the word “bitch” illegal in the state.
H-3719, championed by Representative Daniel Hunt (D-13th Suffolk, which includes portions of Boston and Quincy), seeks to make the B-word illegal when it’s used to “accost, annoy, degrade or demean” another person.
Violators would face a fine of up to $200 or six months in jail, according to the legislation.
Among the bill’s opponents is Jim Manley, an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation.
“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,” Manley says. “Legislatures can’t just pluck words out of the dictionary and ban them.”
Others also weighed in on the bill, including Breaking Bad star, Aaron Paul, who seemed confused on the letter of the proposed law.
“Ummmm…what if it’s in a nice way?? Asking for a friend,” Paul tweeted.
The bill itself faces First Amendment challenges, as well as the question on how it would be enforced.