When choosing between sex and death, conservative religious nuts will choose death every time — so long as it’s women and girls they’re killing.
Bill Maher gets on my nerves for a lot of reasons — his blatant sexism, for one — but when he’s right, he’s right (even if he can’t help himself from making the requisite hot-chicks-in-a-hot-tub and wives-don’t-put-out jokes). His op/ed about the HPV vaccine calls “pro-family” groups out on their hypocrisy in valuing their daughter’s hymens more than their lives:
Now for the bad news: Not everyone is pleased with this vaccine. That prevents cancer. Christian parent groups and churches nationwide are fighting it. Bridget Maher — no relation, and none planned — of the Family Research Council says giving girls the vaccine is bad, because the girls “may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex.”
Which is really a stretch. People don’t get the vaccine for typhoid and say, “Great, now I can drink the sewer water in Bombay.” It’s like saying if you give a kid a tetanus shot she’ll want to jab rusty nails in her feet. It’s like being against a cure for blindness because it’ll encourage masturbation. It’s like being for salmonella poisoning in peanut butter because it’ll discourage weirdos from spreading it on their ass and calling the dog.
Of course, as Bill knows, the right-wing anti-vaccine logic is entirely divorced from reality — and the wingnuts making that argument don’t care. Because it’s not really about protecting girls. It’s about punishing them:
But let’s be frank: These Christian groups aren’t just against the HPV shot; they’re against family planning and condoms and morning after pills — they want to make sure sex is as dangerous as possible, so that kids know, if they sleep around and get an STD, that’s God teaching them a lesson. And the lesson is, you should never have tried out for “American Idol” in the first place.
Bill uses gender-neutral terms, but the fact is that far-right religious organizations aren’t interested in hurting “kids,” they’re interested in hurting women and girls — and gay men, who, in their estimation, are pretty much the same thing.
Now, there are legitimate criticisms to be made of Big Pharma and Merck’s push to mandate the vaccine, especially after Vioxx. But this is hardly the concern of “family” organizations. Their emphasis is on “protecting” girls by letting them contract diseases, become unintentionally pregnant (and then legally compelling them to give birth), and die of cancer.
That’s wingnut morality for ya. Kind of like how saying “fuck” should get you fired from your job, but spending hundreds of billions of dollars to kill 165,000 people (and counting) is totally applause-worthy. Fuck that.
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