More ridiculous knee-jerk right-wing fundamentalism
September 6, 2006
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La la la, Zoe Williams again, this time talking about the proposed vaccine against the Human Papilloma Virus which is a major cause of cervical cancer. Apparently there’s a group of right-wing nutcases arguing against vaccinating young girls against HPV because it ‘could encourage earlier sexual activity’.
*bangs head on the desk*
At the moment the only way to detect cervical cancer is the hated smear test, which – in a straw poll of my friends – seems to be usually performed so hideously, painfully and invasively that it puts women off going back ever again. So yeah, let’s have this vaccine! Stop the women of the future going through the horror of the smear! But oh no, cos then we’d have to explain to 10 or 11 year-olds why they’re having it and that could make them want to have sex.
However, Zoe misses a trick in this article; 11 year-old girls are already routinely vaccinated against rubella, for the sole reason that if a pregnant woman contracts rubella the foetus can be seriously harmed. But if we’re using the same ‘logic’, why are we vaccinating 11 year-olds for something that will only affect them when they’re pregnant, i.e. something they have to have sex for? Why aren’t the same right-wing lobby up in arms about the rubella jab? (Perhaps they are and I just missed it, but somehow I doubt it. It sounds oh-so-very similar to the anti-abortion arguments that fetishise the foetus and demonise the woman.)
Ah yes, the Catholic Church are one of the objectors; another offshoot of the Catholic dogma that takes Eve’s ‘sin’ in the Garden of Eden and says that all hardships that befall women as part of their physiology – childbirth, menstruation, other gynacological issues – should be borne without complaint because Eve brought sin into the world, perhaps?