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 account and Hancock's eponymous app, which was set up last year to much mockery – and a number of more serious security concerns.
It was prompted by government ad campaigns that seek to suggest there has been a drop in the number of women having cervical smear tests – a quick swab taken to check for abnormal cells showing cancerous or pre-cancerous growth – because they are too embarrassed to go to the doctors.
While a smear test isn't pleasant, many women have instead pointed out that the real problem is in getting an appointment – an issue often echoed by many who've been turned away on the groaning GP surgery lines – which has been blamed on budget cuts.
When women do try to book an appointment with a GP surgery, they are often only available between 9am and 5pm or come with long waiting times.— WomensEqualityUK (@WEP_UK) April 15, 2019
The campaign, reported by The Sun, pokes fun at the idea the government would blame shyness and fear rather than NHS funding. It called on the government to ensure there is "properly funded and reintegrated" sexual, reproductive and HIV healthcare services.
The group has encouraged women to share their "public cervix announcement" alongside photos of a violet that looks an awful lot like a woman's genitals.
But we're sure any other X-rated floral images you happen to have would work just as well. Certainly El Reg reckons they will be more pleasant than a campaign centred on beard-sporting shellfish. ®