back to article App-y now? UK health secretary spammed with pics of flowers that look like ladies' private parts

Women are today flooding UK health secretary Matt Hancock's social media presences with pictures of flowers that look a little like female genitalia to protest the suggestion they are "shrinking violets" when it comes to getting smear tests. The campaign, led by the Women's Equality Party, aims to bombard both his Twitter …

  1. Gio Ciampa

    Surely more appropriate...

    ...for his predecessor...?

    1. WolfFan

      Re: Surely more appropriate...

      The very thought of the Maybot's... parts... is enough to put me completely off my feed. Fortunately it's still three hours to lunchtime here, so I have time to recover.

      1. israel_hands

        Re: Surely more appropriate...

        Hancock's predecessor wasn't May, it was Jeremy Cunt.

        1. TheVogon

          Re: Surely more appropriate...

          That not a shrinking violet picture looks like an example of blue waffle disease.

      2. Alister

        Re: Surely more appropriate...

        I didn't think the Maybot had all of the necessary parts for reproducing - so backup and restore are the only options.

      3. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Surely more appropriate...

        I think Gio is talking about the walking spoonerism, Jeremy Hunt.

        Did I type that correctly? Ah, good. Wouldn't it be just awful if I spelt his surname with a 'C'?

        Even Prof. Stephen Hawking thought he was a cunt.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Surely more appropriate...

        I've never been put off my feed by removing the covers from anything robotic.

        I would have thought, however, that pictures of queen conches would be even more graphic, as well as being a more realistic colour.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not all smear tests are a quick swab, for some women that will show nothing and is less than useless. My partner was told by the top gynaecologist in the country to refuse all smear tests, which she has done for over 10 years now. Only a gynaecologist that knows her history can properly test her for cervical cancer. The NHS making her feel guilty for not getting a useless test is not helping.

    (anon to protect the missus' privacy)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Another anonymous post to protect the missus.

      My missus ended up with a general anaesthetic just for the smear test. Talking to the doctor, it isn't that uncommon.

    2. teknopaul

      Re Smear test check for cancer. You test for a virus and treat that which massively reduces the chance of getting cervical cancer. If you dont do the tests and wait till you get cancer you are on chemo and fingers crossed.

      Not had a smear test for ten years is risky.

      I think you should get a second opinion.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > You test for a virus

        No, you’re confused. The smear test is for “pre cancerous changes”.

        Yes there may be a virus involved but that’s not what this test is for.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Have a downvote for “the top gynaecologist in the country”.

  3. Cuddles

    flowers that look like ladies' private parts

    If your private parts look like that, a trip to A&E may be more appropriate than trying to make a GP appointment.

  4. Shadow Systems

    Post a pic of Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors.

    Make it of her biting the head off that "shrinking violets" wanker & thinking something like "empty headed = empty calories".

    *Inserts a blinking, scrolling marquis, neon SARCASM tag for those whom missed it*

  5. jake Silver badge

    Anybody interested in participating ...

    ... could do worse than looking into Georgia O'Keeffe's pretty posy paintings.

    With that said, this is actually nothing more than an attempted DDoS attack, when you think about it. What does the Law in Blighty say about ElReg (and now myself) encouraging such things?

    Side note to ElReg: What would mussels and their byssus have to do with it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Anybody interested in participating ...

      Linnaeus noticed the resemblance of certain bivalves to a vulva and what's inside it, and made jokes about it in his book. In Latin, pour ne pas déranger les femmes et les domestiques, si vous me comprenez.

      "disquieting sexual terms"

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Mr. Farage has promised that the NHS will get hundreds of millions more as soon as the UK leaves the EU, so that should help solve the queueing problem.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps the Womens Equality Party should check the original source of the results he's quoting - a quick google seems to indicate that the source (already been quoted on NHS website for about a year) is a survey by

    Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to women, their families and friends affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities.

    where they report results of a survey they commisioned in 2017 into low uptake in 25-29 age group of women where they (an organisation that seems to be pretty women orientated) state

    cervical screening is currently at a 19 year low with only 72.7% of women attending their screening in 2015/16. Uptake drops even lower among 25-29 olds of which only 63.3% attended equating to almost a quarter of a million young women not taking up their invitation in England.

    Key findings include:

    Over a quarter (26.7%) are too embarrassed to attend cervical screening

    Over two thirds (70%) don’t think cervical screenings reduce a woman’s risk of cervical cancer

    72% of the 25-29 year olds surveyed do not feel comfortable getting undressed in front of doctors or nurses however in stark contrast just under one in ten (8.4%) would consider surgery to alter the way their genitals look

    Over half (51%) of the women surveyed reported delaying or not attending screening with almost one quarter (24%) admitting they have delayed for over one year and almost one in ten (9%) having never attended the test

    Reasons for not attending include simply putting it off (33%), worrying it would be embarrassing (27%), or worrying it would be painful (25%).

    but when the health secretary quotes this out the WEP decide to heap abuse on him

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Cursory Analysis

      You're absolutely right that the government is simply (and belatedly) acting upon an old survey. But it's worth pointing out that only 17.7% of respondents were 'shrinking violets' (ie - they had never attended a smear test, despite being eligible and invited to one) while another 4.7% had never been invited (perhaps the gov should launch another campaign, telling GPs' surgeries not to be so prudish?), so questions deserve to be asked about how representative it is, not least because that means only 500 or so respondents were able to discuss why they were avoiding the tests. Further, among the reasons given for either delaying booking or not attending a test, "I was worried it would be embarrassing" was second (26.7%), behind "I just kept putting it off" (32.9%), and only narrowly ahead of "I was worried it would be painful" (25.3%) - why, then, do we not have similarly high profile campaigns urging women to prioritise a smear test, and attempting to put them at ease?

      While I agree that the WEP could perhaps acknowledge and do something about the low takeup of smear tests amongst women, a campaign that addresses only the angst around the tests - and does so by simply telling women not to be scared, employing a dated and patronising phrase - is clearly not the best possible response to the data, either.

      [NB: presumably there was some rounding of results, and obviously not all respondents answered every question, as these percentages lead to very odd fractions when compared against the stated sample of 3002 women aged 25-29 - even the initial question resulted in 0.404 of a person correctly identifying the purpose of a smear test]

  8. Tom 7

    It seems the HPV vaccine makes smear tests pretty much redundant.

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: It seems the HPV vaccine makes smear tests pretty much redundant.

      There are generations of women (and men) who are still at risk of the cancers caused by HPV who never received the vaccine.

  9. TrumpSlurp the Troll


    I have read that the orchids are so called because they resemble female genitalia.

    However a quick search reveals that Orchis is named because it resembles testicle.

    Dirty buggers these flowers!

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