Perry’s Good Intentions: Vaccinating Texas Girls
Doctrine Man asked for our opinion on Republicans’ misguided attack on the equally misguided Perry over the HPV vaccinations in Texas.
My opinion is fairly straightforward: I think both of these spoogecanoes need a firm spanking.
First, let’s look at Perry’s intentions:
“I am always going to err on the side of life. And that’s what this was really all about for me,” he said Monday night.
ORLY, Mr. >200 executions? Err on the side of life, you say? I doubt that. Regardless, this could be a very good idea.
Now let’s look at what the other Republican candidates object to:
“It can have very dangerous side effects,” Bachmann said on NBC. “There’s no second chance for these little girls if there’s any dangerous consequences to their bodies or for their parents.”
Rick Santorum, a social conservative, went after the governor on the grounds that “this disease is spread through sexual contact” and “unless 11- and 12-year-olds in the state of Texas are somehow encouraged to participate in that activity, this is not something that the state or federal government should be doing,” the former Pennsylvania senator said on the Fox News channel.
On the one hand, I understand the chafing against forced inoculation and vaccination. I don’t like that I take my kids in for a check up, and they come out with five needle sticks…at six months old. It seems excessive to me, and when we look at the immune issues cropping up in Americans these days (e.g. holy shit peanut allergies and other auto-immune WTFkery), I have to wonder if we’re doing the right thing by vaccinating against colds and stubbed toes. Dangerous and highly infectious diseases? Hellz yeah. It’s a public safety issue at that point, and only religious and health issues (e.g. I will never take a flu vaccination because two family members have suffered Guillain-Barre, and like effing hell will you catch me chancing that) should pre-empt a government mandate.
So I do see a very good nugget of an idea in Perry’s mandate. Circumventing four vectors of potential cancer in women? Score! Making it possible for low-income and insurance-free girls to obtain the same health shield? Awesome! The man’s working toward the greater good, even if he’s full of “Culture of Life” shit and really more concerned with scoring Merck’s backing for a potential presidential campaign.
And Bachmann…well, she’s f*cking fruitcake, bat guano, stray yowling crazy anyway, so it’s no shock to see her trotting out conspiracy theory fodder here. Let’s just call a spade a crazy-talking freak and go on to the tastier objections. Namely, Santorum’s “family-focused” bollocks.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone say, “I was totes gonna cowgirl ride that hot stud, but then I was like oh shit, what if he has HPVeeeee!” Replace that with HIV or syphilis or necrotic dong syndrome, and yes. I have heard that comment. But HPV? No. So do I think someone who’s had the vaccine is going to take that as carte blanche to connect with her sexuality? Doubtful. Likely she’ll continue on as she would have without the vaccine. And since you can get HPV even with a condom, let’s call it a bit of a win-win, shall we?
Frankly, given the level of slut-shaming by the same groups that are so focused on the family, I’m inclined to believe the anti-vacciners like Bachmann and Santorum are really more concerned about ensuring sluts die of cancer than ensuring the general wellness of the public. But perhaps I’m just being unkind*.
Here’s my biggest beef about this whole hooplah, though. Why are girls the only ones being vaccinated?
Girls bear the brunt of HPV in that it can cause cancer that boys won’t get. But there can be other symptoms of HPV, which boys will suffer from as girls do. Ahem, genital warts, anyone? So why aren’t boys being vaccinated? Isn’t this a general health concern in spite of the worst tolls (of the potentially lethal variety) being those on girls? And boys are just as likely to spread the HPV wealth as girls, after all. Just because all Texas girls** are vaccinated doesn’t mean an Oklahoma girl can’t sneak across the border and spread some warty love, right? We don’t gender-fy measles, do we? We don’t insist the lowest classes (those more prone to malnourishment*** and therefore to infectious disease) be the only ones to receive vaccinations, so why are girls the only ones Perry wanted to vaccinate against something that affects and is spread by both sexes?
Considering the additional money Merck could make off vaccinating all 11-13 year-olds against HPV, my guess is sexist perspective (ie. girls are ultimately responsible for the consequences of sex, those hell-bound Jezebels!) offset greed. But then, that might be an unkind assumption****.
Do I agree with Perry’s desire for “life”, even if I think the route was misguided? Sho ’nuff. Do I agree that Bachmann is mofo-ing crazy? Absolutely*****. Do I think Santorum should STFU? Is that a real question?
I suppose in the end it’s a slightly good sign for Perry’s ability to summon common sense. But only slightly. After all, this mandate seems to negate his belief that abstinence-only educational funding is money well spent.
* It could happen. I guess.
**Minus the handful who manage to opt out.
***Excepting the upper class folks with socially-induced body dysmorphia disorder, natch.
****I wouldn’t bet on that one, though.
*****You can see it. IN HER EYES.