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37 Responses

  1. Julie
    Julie July 1, 2006 at 11:22 am |

    These people make me sick. I personally hope my daughter does wait until she’s much older to have sex (well, obviously way older than she is now, because she’s only two, but a bit older than 11 would be nice too) but I will have her vaccinated as soon as she’s old enough. Two reasons, 1)If she’s raped, I want to know she has some protection against HPV and 2)Because if she chooses to have sex earlier than I would like, I don’t think cancer is an appropriate “punishment”. Seriously, she’s already been vaccinated against Hep B, Chicken Pox, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, etc… without any explanation on my part. I don’t see why this would be any different. Plus, there are still plenty of scary diseases out there to scare kids with, why do they have to worry about this one? As common as HPV is, it’s amazing to me how many people really have no idea what it is, how you get it, how it’s transmitted, etc… I know as a teenager, I wouldn’t have made the connection between sex, HPV and cervical cancer. If I was scared of anything, it was AIDS or pregnancy and possibly herpes.

  2. R
    R July 1, 2006 at 12:21 pm |

    I got immunized for hepatitis when I was young. Amazingly, I didn’t immediately become convinced that getting back-alley tattoos and engaging in intravenous drug use would be completely safe, now that I’d had my magical immunization.

    Maybe I was an unusually intelligent child – but I don’t think so.

  3. evil_fizz
    evil_fizz July 1, 2006 at 12:36 pm |

    How about telling young teen-agers instead that sexual promiscuity is not only a bad idea but actually dangerous to their health?

    You mean we’re not doing that already? I could have sworn I read something about abstinence only ed somewhere…

  4. junk science
    junk science July 1, 2006 at 12:55 pm |

    How about telling young teen-agers instead that sexual promiscuity is not only a bad idea but actually dangerous to their health?

    Even better, how about keeping it as dangerous to their health as possible just because we can? That’ll learn the little bastards.

  5. F-Words
    F-Words July 1, 2006 at 1:54 pm |

    Irresponsible Women’s Forum

    I don’t doubt for a second that Ms. Allen knows all of this, but she is still willing to misrepresent the CDC and put women’s (and men’s) lives on the line just for the sake of demonstrating her opposition to premarital sex.

  6. Natalia
    Natalia July 1, 2006 at 3:33 pm |

    What a callous, reactionary bitch. You can pretty much sum up what’s wrong with America when you look at these people.

  7. Matt Browner-Hamlin
    Matt Browner-Hamlin July 1, 2006 at 6:54 pm |

    I got immunized for hepatitis when I was young. Amazingly, I didn’t immediately become convinced that getting back-alley tattoos and engaging in intravenous drug use would be completely safe, now that I’d had my magical immunization.

    Funny, my hepatitis shots were more persuasive. Isn’t an autoclave some kind of sex toy?

    What scares me is that this sort of bullshit, anti-health policy push by Allen and her cohorts is likely to come up again the day after we find an AIDS vaccine or cure. Their perceptions of good and evil will be given as much weight in the forum of public discourse as the common sense need for people to be healthy and live safe lives. Allen’s views represent a tremendously dangerous marriage of puritanism and Luddism. Oh, and this crowd votes.

  8. Irving Karchmar
    Irving Karchmar July 1, 2006 at 8:06 pm |

    This crowd votes Republican. God-willing, her and her ilk will not be seting health policy based on their version of morality much longer, or science education based on Biblical metaphors. May God bless them and forgive me.

  9. Marksman2000
    Marksman2000 July 1, 2006 at 8:54 pm |

    “You have cancer.”

    That’s one thing you don’t want to hear when you go see the doctor. And here we are: fortunate enough to discover a vaccine that’ll prevent a virus that causes certain kinds of cancer. Gawd must’ve just decided to miracle it onto our asses. And lo and behold some dimbulb doesn’t want us to use for all the wrong reasons.

    Well, I don’t know. Maybe she’s not dumb–maybe she’s just ignorant.

    Sure I disagree with much of what you all say here. But not this time.

  10. kate
    kate July 1, 2006 at 9:33 pm |

    At $360 for the three-shot regimen, it is among the most expensive vaccines ever. Because cervical cancer is mostly a disease of poverty, those in most need of the vaccine will be the least able to afford it. State vaccination programs, already under financial strain, may refuse to provide it.”

    Maybe its more prevelent among the poor because of poor preventive health care all around? And since poor cancer patients usually end up on Medicaid for long term care, wouldn’t a $360 vaccine be cheaper in the long run?

    But alas, sequential thinking like that might lead to other conclusions, like the idea that a few pennies less in the wallet now means a better society for all of us in the long run.

    In third world countries run by plutocrats, dictators and puppet governments, the collective misery and suffering of the impoverished majority is ignored and exploited. Is that what these people are shooting for here when they continuously harp about not ‘paying’ for those less fortunate than they?

    How does that philosophy of ‘its all about what I want’ mesh with the great society they are always crowing about protecting?

  11. Daniella
    Daniella July 1, 2006 at 9:43 pm |

    Ha, when I was reading Allen’s words, I set to shouting at my computer about the vaccine being a preventive measure…only to see you address that immediately thereafter.

    Yikes. Her first couple of paragraphs are more than a little scary. I think someone could have benfitted from preschool. I’m pretty sure that “kindness” was a word of the day somewhere during my time there.

    Regardless, I’m curious to know how long the (radical) right will continue to ignore science for their baseless medieval rhetoric and beliefs. Frankly I’m prepared to defend myself against burning at the stake for heresy some day in the near future.

  12. digamma
    digamma July 1, 2006 at 9:43 pm |

    When I got my tetanus shot, my parents told me it was just fine for me to step on all the rusty nails I wanted, ’cuz now I’d be vaccinated!

  13. Amy J.
    Amy J. July 1, 2006 at 10:13 pm |

    There’s no doubt that Allen’s article is inflammatory and misguided, but then again so is your review of it.

    And they don’t screen for racists, either — check her preceding comments on universal preschool and HIV testing.

    Huh? You’re as bad as Allen at logical writing. Also, your title is misleading for Allen is not arguing that she wants young girls to get cancer rather than have sex, what she’s arguing is that the risk of catching the virus whichmay lead to cancer should be weighed against the impression that young women will get that the vaccine will protect them from the consequences of sex. No parent has to come right out and declare what the vaccination was for, if it is universally provided, then the teenage grapevine will fill in the blanks, for all of the girls will know that they’ve been vaccinated. Further, there is a danger of a little bit of knowledge, and misconception, being ridden to bad outcomes, for we all know that teenagers are not the most rational, nor the best informed, thinkers.

    You portray Allen as arguing that it is preferrable to face 100% certainly of cervical cancer rather than entertain the possibility of young girls having sex and that’s outlandish. Why not portray her argument accrrately, such that the benefits of reducing cervical cancer incidence from 7 per 100,000 without vaccination to 0.6 per 100,000 with vaccination need to be weighed against the behavioral modification that vaccination is sure to induce in the community of young women.

    I certainly that that Allen’s argument is wrong and she is certainly guilty of being sloppy with her argumentation but you of all people shouldn’t be casting stones in her direction.

  14. Julie
    Julie July 2, 2006 at 8:26 am |

    Why not portray her argument accrrately, such that the benefits of reducing cervical cancer incidence from 7 per 100,000 without vaccination to 0.6 per 100,000 with vaccination need to be weighed against the behavioral modification that vaccination is sure to induce in the community of young women.

    Ok, I was a teenage girl not that long ago. I fail to see how this is “sure to induce” some sort of radical change in behavior in a whole community of young girls. First, there are several other STD’s to worry about… herpes, chlmydia (I have no idea how to spell it and am too tired to look it up right now, sorry), gonorhhea, syphillis, HIV, some of which are far scarier to teenage girls than HPV. I know as a teenager, it didn’t even occur to me to abstain from sex because I was afraid of HPV, it was mostly because a)I knew I wasn’t ready to handle a sexual relationship and b)I didn’t want to get pregnant. Even when I became sexually active (as an adult, I might add), HPV was the furthest thing from my mind. Knowing I had been vaccinated against it would have caused zero behavioral changes in me or any of my friends… HPV’s connection to cervical cancer was rarely known (in fact, I didn’t know about it until I had an abnormal pap and had to be tested for it, although it turned out it was just pregnancy induced cervical changes) and anyone who is not having sex out of fear of STD’s still have a plethera of them to be scared of.

  15. Dianne
    Dianne July 2, 2006 at 8:59 am |

    And since poor cancer patients usually end up on Medicaid for long term care, wouldn’t a $360 vaccine be cheaper in the long run?

    Much. A single dose of cis-platinum (the chemo used to treat cervical cancer) costs more than that. Then there’s the radiation, hospital costs, possible surgery, ancillary drugs.

    Of course, hepatitis B is also often passed through sex, so if getting vaccinated against one STD causes people to go out and have sex wildly, it’s too late, they’ve already got their permission.

    But why would kids even think of that? Does Allen expect that pediatricians will tell their 9 year old patients “ok, you’ve been vaccinated against HPV. Now you can go out and have all the sex you want”? Does her pediatrician tell her kids “Ok, time to go play with rusty nails” after they get their DTPs?

  16. Marksman2000
    Marksman2000 July 2, 2006 at 9:55 am |

    Amy J.?

    Is this the same idiot who was arguing that Wal-Mart overpaid their employees?

  17. Mighty Ponygirl
    Mighty Ponygirl July 2, 2006 at 11:30 am |

    One argument I keep turning over and over in my head is — why do the IWF and other wingnuts believe that sex needs to be kept dangerous? A five-minute discussion on the nature of sexually transmitted diseases–and how a marriage license isn’t the most potent form of antibiotic known to them–should have brought them up to speed on how a chaste and Godly girl could marry a boy who had an indiscretion of two, and as a result got HPV and (down the line) cancer. The HPV infection rates, iirc, are obscenely high–Almost to the point of mimicking those anti-sex AIDS commercials back in the 80’s exhorting us that if we had sex once, we would get AIDS and we would die.

    And like it’s been pointed out–there are still numerous baddies out there to come after those who have sex without protection (AIDS being one of them).

    Naturally, we all think it would be nice if the HPV vaccine were only the beginning in a long line of vaccines against STDs. We think it would be jolly good to be able to get frisky with someone and not have a dark cloud of doubt and fear hanging over us. Conservatives, on the other hand, dread this scenario, because they imagine that it would lead to a carnal free-for-all. They worry that the 60’s were only a taste of things to come–if people start having carefree sex again, then all sorts of horrible things will return: civil rights and women’s rights movements, opposition to unjust wars, etc.

    Casting aside for a moment their confusion of causality, it strikes me that their underlying, core value propping up all of this: “God doesn’t want people to have sex outside of marriage” is not changed. By any of this. The lake of fire is still waiting for the fornicators, whether or not they come down with sores and lesions, or with a fresh pine scent. As “bad” as things were in the sixties, I’m going to wager that there were still many a goodly virgin back on the property keeping their legs crossed and saying their devotionals. Even with all diseases wiped out, there are still going to be Christians who respond to the temptation of carefree sex with abstinence because they feel that it’s what God requires of them.

    So again; just like we’ve been called to wonder over issues like prayer in school, the 10 commandments in courthouses, and the holiday war freak-outs–why is their faith so fragile?

    Well, it’s because the millenium came and went and there was no rapture, there was no four horsemen and antichrist and mark of the beast. So all of those people who went into pre-millenium freak-out mode are starting to get nervous that they had some puffy-faced man hold them down in their neighbor’s pool for nothing. They were quite sure that 12:00 am 1/1/00 would be the end, and it didn’t come; so they’re desperately flailing to hold onto their “faith” in God because He didn’t perform on demand. As their desperation grows, they become more shrill and unhinged.

    I suspect we have another 27 years of this. If, on Easter of 2033, Christ doesn’t return, all of this numerological idiocy should start to simmer down and those who don’t outright abandon their “faith” will have to grow up and realize that they’re going to have to live their lives like most of the Christians have done throughout the centuries–with humility and kindness and an understanding that they are not auspicious because they happen to be living in a oddly-numbered which may be a sign of the Exciting End Times, but because they are Christians.

  18. Casey
    Casey July 2, 2006 at 11:33 am |

    As a kid, I was always the one who paled and cried at the thought of getting shots. I didn’t care what they were for or what they did, I just knew there was a giant fucking needle aiming right for me.

    And if she doesn’t want her daughters running out and having sex now that they’ve been vaccinated, why doesn’t she, um, y’know, talk to them? As a parent?

  19. KnifeGhost
    KnifeGhost July 2, 2006 at 1:23 pm |

    Sure I disagree with much of what you all say here. But not this time.

    Yeah, I’ve noticed you’ve been abnormally agreeable lately.

  20. Sara
    Sara July 2, 2006 at 2:23 pm |

    What I think is going on here is that Allen is trying to argue on the terms of people who don’t think that they’ll go to hell for having sex outside of marriage. Unfortunately, she’s letting her assumptions (sex bad, women unable to make decisions about their bodies, physical punishment important to keep sexuality in line, etc.) get in the way of actually arguing her case. If she actually believed that the primary reasoning behind releasing or not releasing this vaccine had anything to do with public health, she just wouldn’t be arguing against it. From a public health perspective, this vaccine is an unadulterated good. She knows that she’s wrong – she has to – she just doesn’t care because this isn’t the primary reason she has a problem with kids being vaccinated against HPV.

    Oh, and Amy J, when she is arguing against the use of this vaccination in the most effective way possible, she is necessarily arguing against protecting people from cervical cancer. Unfortunately for her belief system, not 100% of sluts get cervical cancer. Some women – regardless of her opinion of their chastity – do, though, and there will be far more of them if this vaccine is not used properly. That’s blood on her hands. Again, she has to know this – she just can’t bring herself to care more about the people dying of cancer than she can making a consistent(ly wrong) argument.

    As I’ve said before, it boggles my mind that people would rather stay consistent with ideology than with reality.

  21. Jannia
    Jannia July 2, 2006 at 3:16 pm |

    All I can think when I hear this idiot and her ilk mouth-flapping is “haven’t you people heard of HIV?”.

    Because quite frankly, that’s what kids are going to be altering behavior around, if they bother. Despite the concerted effort of the religious reich, most kids have heard of HIV and AIDS, while HPV is this thing they’ve never heard of.

    Oh! I’ve just had a vaccine for something I didn’t know existed. Obviously I must now run out and have more sex than I was already interested in having!

    I’m not exactly sane or good at understanding how other people will think myself, but these people’s out-of-touchness is stunning.

  22. Ron Sullivan
    Ron Sullivan July 2, 2006 at 3:54 pm |

    One of the pleasures of getting gold and feeble is that when your senses wobble a bit — like misreading stuff at first glance — you have enough of a store of mental orts and collectibles that what shows up can be more fun than the original.

    For example, I read the first linky sentence of this post as: “Amanda calls her a moral hamster, and I couldn’t agree more.”

    We do seem to have a great many moral hamsters in this great nation. They stuff things in their cheekpouches, squeal pointlessly, and keep us up all night running in their off-kilter squeaky exercise wheels. And boy, how they do get exercised, over the damnedest shiny trinkets.

  23. Dianne
    Dianne July 2, 2006 at 5:15 pm |

    One of the pleasures of getting gold and feeble

    Gold and feeble? Is that anything like getting rich and decadent or is it more like turning into a statue made of heavy but malleable metal?

  24. Marksman2000
    Marksman2000 July 2, 2006 at 8:40 pm |

    Yeah, I’ve noticed you’ve been abnormally agreeable lately.

    Ghost: Whereas most people consider themselves a “liberal” or a “conservative,” I consider issues independently, apart from all of that. On some matters, like the Second Amendment, I swing hard to the Right. On other issues, like workers’ rights and protecting the environment, I lean heavily to the Left. Thus, Election Day is a difficult time for someone like me.

    Just becuase I may seem “agreeable lately” doesn’t mean I’ve plastered rainbow stickers all over the back of my ride. It just means certain issues have surfaced on here in which I concur.

  25. Dreamer
    Dreamer July 2, 2006 at 9:10 pm |

    There are twenty five replies, I haven’t read them all but I’m going through them.

    First of all, I think I love the blog, very in your face and whatnot. Not something you see a lot. Thanks for being that way.

    Anyways, yeah…I would have to think Charlotte is…crazy psycho cold hearted bitch? Is that a good enough phrase? I don’t know, it’s…I want to say something eloquent but I’m kind of floored right now.

    And since when is Cervical Cancer a mainly poor related thing?

    Ok, I’m through, and may I put your blog’s address on my blog? I only have like two or three readers but this is definately a blog to display proudly.

  26. alicia-logic
    alicia-logic July 2, 2006 at 9:57 pm |

    Ron, you made my day.

  27. KnifeGhost
    KnifeGhost July 2, 2006 at 10:56 pm |

    My point was more that, when you disagree, you don’t make any bones about it. Not that you’re trollish, but you certainly haven’t cultivated a “well, what’s a bit of political disagreement among friends?” kind of persona.

    Frankly, it’s a bit refreshing.

  28. Marksman2000
    Marksman2000 July 2, 2006 at 11:02 pm |

    Frankly, it’s a bit refreshing

    I understand.

  29. Therese Norén
    Therese Norén July 3, 2006 at 2:40 am |


    Prevalence of cervical cancer in a group is related to if the women in that group are getting Pap smears (which often catch the lesion in a benign or pre-malignant state). Poor women in the US often don’t get their Pap smears.

  30. Magis
    Magis July 3, 2006 at 10:28 am |


    As an official member of the FOG Club (effin old guy) I fully understand. There are other things to be said about hamsters and gerbils but I think I will leave them unsaid.

    Nonetheless, Charlotte needs one of those cowboy belts, y’know the ones with the name on the back. That way if she ever gets her head out of her a** she’ll know who she is.

  31. Pamela
    Pamela July 3, 2006 at 10:49 am |

    I recently received a host of vaccines – Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Polio booster – prior to a vacation to India. Hep A and Typhoid are spread via contaminated water or food. So after getting the vaccinations did I drink the water and eat any food I wanted? Well, no, because the vaccines may not have protected me entirely and drinking the water in India can cause other illnesses (traveller’s diarrhea for one, yuck). So I was counseled that I was more protected than I would have been, but to still be careful and behave accordingly.

    Also, what were the chances that I would contract these illnesses had I not been vaccinated (and doing the best to protect myself by drinking/eating safely)? I don’t know, 1 in 100, 1 in 1000? Here’s what we do know:
    According to the National Violence Against Women Survey, 1 out of 6 women have experienced an attempted or completed rape as a child or adult. Of the women who reported an attempted or completed rape in their lifetimes, one-third (32%) were between the ages of 12 and 17.
    It should be considered child endangerment for a parent not to vaccinate her daughter against HPV. There’s simply no excuse when considering scientifically proven facts. Those who ignore the facts are putting their children at an unjustifiable risk. And those who counsel others to forego the vaccine are the most culpable of all.

  32. Ron Sullivan
    Ron Sullivan July 3, 2006 at 11:46 am |

    Gold and feeble? Is that anything like getting rich and decadent

    Not at all like getting rich, alas. I’lll cop to decadent, though, in its base meaning.

    Magis, I used to know somebody who tried that with the belt. Now he thinks his name is Ausable Chasm.

  33. SingleMind.Net: Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is LIBERTY!!! » Cervical Cancer Vaccine: A Great Advancement

    […] responded by calling Allen a “moral monster” and Zuzu at Feministe concurred, calling Allen a “dipshit&#82 […]

  34. Feministe » But It Was Rhetorical

    […] ve already established that she’s a racist asshole. Then there was that whole “Immunizing people against cancer w […]

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