Friday, October 17, 2008

Focus on the Real Problem

I left a comment on this post by the awesome Emily of A Life Less Ordinary?. My comment, which contained an agreement with someone else's, made it clear that I am not fond of Jenny McCarthy and her anti-vaccination crusade.

This caused someone to reply with the following:

Why rip into Jenny? You may disagree with her beliefs about the cause of autism and the best way to treat it but she is a loving mother who works tirelessly for her child and others like him. She doesn't spew hate for innocent children and their distressed parents.

Why not keep the focus on the real problem: unfunny so-called comedians who say cruel and hurtful things about disabled children.

I say 'someone' because this brave soul remained anonymous. I am responding to this comment here because I don't want to crap up Emily's comment thread with an argument. Also, this response is a little long.

Let's look at the comment:

I agree with the first paragraph almost entirely. I have no reason to believe that Ms. McCarthy is not a "loving mother who works tirelessly for her child and others like him". And I have seen no evidence that she has spewed hate.

The second paragraph, however. Hoo, boy! Dennis Leary is the "real problem"?

No, I don't think so.

Dennis Leary's words will piss some people off (they sure made me livid) but they won't cause anyone physical harm. Anti-vaccination campaigns led by people such as Jenny McCarthy and Andrew Wakefield, on the other hand, have harmed innocent children.

There is no scientific evidence that the MMR vaccine causes autism. The fear that these people have spread has driven down vaccination rates and increased cases of measles in both the UK and the US. This is unconscionable.

Also, people searching for a cure for autism are unwittingly harming their children and there are lots of doctors who are taking advantage of the fear to rake in tons of money.

I am the father of an autistic child and I understand the helplessness and fear that goes with it. I love my son more than words can express which is why I would never do anything to harm him. I don't think Jenny McCarthy is a bad mother but I do think that she is horribly misguided and that she is unintentionally doing great harm to all kinds of children. Some of the doctors who subject children to harmful treatments are well-meaning but that does not mitigate the harm.

So, "Anonymous", that is why I'm ripping into Jenny. I will take a thousand ignorant assholes like Dennis Leary over a single loving mother who is doing real, physical harm.

. .


Liz Ditz said...

Hi there, Here's my latest. If it were only just Jenny spouting nonsense.

Vaklam said...

Thanks, Liz! That is a great list. I've added a link to yesterday's anti-Jenny post and you're on my blogroll now.

Anonymous said...

Well said!

Vaklam said...

Thank you, Intrinsicallyknotted! I wonder if Anonymous ever came over here to see the response.