A surefire way to bring out the worst in any parenting forum on the internet is to start talking about vaccines. There are anti-vaxers whose rhetoric is more conspiracy theory than logic. Some of them really are just plain nuts. But they are not the worst of the group by any means.You see, there are the others-those with questions and concerns, those who want to see the research for themselves, those who want to know contraindications or discuss a modified schedule with their doctors. But gods help them for asking. As soon as they do they get a large population of Nazi mommies foaming at the mouth, telling them how wrong they are for even thinking twice about anything when it comes to vaccines. Just bringing it up at all makes you suddenly the scum of the earth. And why not? The media certainly supports that rhetoric. I recall the past season of American Horror story where an unvaccinated boy with measles becomes the progenitor of a gang of evil supermeasel ridden vampire kids. Nice. But did you know you can question things about vaccines and not be totally against them? Some people seem to forget that.
There are plenty of people who understand the benifit of vaccinating for highly communicable diseases when the vaccines have been around long enough to be proven safe and effective as most have……..BUT….when they have reservation about the proposed vaccine schedule, or specific vaccines that are questionable in their effectiveness or newer, or wonder if they can’t wait to get their child vacinated for things like HPV which is not likely for most infants to come into contact with and they’re not going to be spreading since they don’t, these are legitimate concerns, and the trend is to shut these people down by turning it into a straw man fallacy. The typical response seems to be “You DO know vaccines don’t cause autism, right? You anti vaxers are as crazy as you are stupid and selfish” And I’m just like…..Wait…….did I even say I was anti vaccine……..
I think this is because our society (especially in the context of social media) has such a tendency towards polarity. People seem to think of things these days as either/or, for or against, without room for modifiers or opinions that don’t fall on one extreme of the spectrum or the other. If you don’t totally agree with someone about something, people start getting just plain defensive real quick and assume that you must be 100% against them.
This is a terrible attitude when it comes to things like vaccines and other medications. Should we simply accept any pharmaceuticals a doctor pushes on us without question just because we are told to take them? Should we simply accept it as safe because it’s on the market and forget that mistakes have been made before? How many lawsuits exist over harmful medications or side effects? Are vaccines somehow immune to this ever happening?
You should Always be allowed to question. You should Always be an informed consumer and make your own decisions. That is not stupid. That is not selfish. That should not get you verbally attacked.
I am not personally against vaccinations but I look at vaccines like I look at EVERYTHING: with a critical eye. The mommy Gestapo may not be comfortable with that and may assume things about me that are completely false but my health and safety and that of my children are far more important to me. All I ask, is that you take the time to understand someone’s viewpoint before you start assuming things and attacking them. When you’re the one with a question or an unpopular opinion, wouldn’t you want the same?