Let me list a few of the awesome, top ten “Anti-vaxxer” definitions provided by Urban Dictionary:
#1: A particularly toxic kind of narcissist who places their own science illiterate beliefs in woo over the welfare of their own children and that of the general population.
"Oh great, another measles outbreak, thanks to those dumbass anti-vaxxers."
#5: A sub-cult of anti-science, Google researchers that, when gathered in groups, have the innate ability to reduce their collective IQ to a level proportional to the inverse of the collective sum. Also usually have a strange obsession with marmot feces and believe it will protect them from contracting Autism during their adult lives since the practice of rolling around in it has been anecdotally linked with their ability to not contract autism as adults.
Person 1: Why are those people rolling around in marmot poo?
Person 2: Oh those are just anti-vaxxers.
#6: Someone who does not know what the definition of "research" is, has a Google phd, in anti-science or lacks the critical thinking skills to determine real science from pseudoscience, and parrots other people's ill-informed conclusions about vaccination.
There are no intelligent, well-educated people that are also anti-vaxxers.
#7: a person who opposes vaccination/immunization, claiming that the practice is harmful. the term typically carries a derogatory connotation, implying both science illiteracy and a failure to think critically.
#9: Someone who completely rejects science in favor of endangering themselves and others with preventable diseases.
Anti-vaxxers are dangerous idiots.
“Anti-vaxxer” has obviously become a VERY derogatory term. I've repeatedly stated that "anti-vaxxer" is an inappropriate label for many reasons. Though we have been labelled "anti-vax," I feel a more appropriate label, though all labels are inappropriate in a sense, a more appropriate label is pro-choice, because we believe you should be able to accept for yourself, or reject for yourself, any and all vaccination. Regardless of the label, recognizing that we are a minority who now can be ACCEPTABLY hated and attacked, society is now treading in VERY DANGEROUS territory. As I said in the previous article:
The personal safety of pro-choice people is under threat. Bullying is frowned upon in society today, UNLESS you are attacking a "delusional idiotic anti-vaxxer," then bullying is widely supported and ACTUALLY ENCOURAGED. Rex Murphy's video comparing the intellectual power of people who are vaccine cautious, to that of a "dead tree stump" is perfect example of this. And the "anti-vaccine" attack has now surpassed bullying, it's crossing the line into full blown discrimination. In the last couple of years, I've heard it repeatedly stated that pro-choice parents should be jailed and their children should be removed from their custody. A Boston Globe article actually proclaims that "dangerous anti-vaxxes" need to be hung. Employment options are limited for nurses who refuse to be vaccinated themselves, childcare options for unvaccinated children are also limited, as are preschool options, public school options, and post secondary schooling options. In some places teachers are refusing to teach unvaccinated children. In some countries, the Government is imposing monthly or annual fines on parents who refuse to vaccinate their children, fines for each child that amount to hundreds or thousands of dollars each year. Families are struggling to find doctors who will provide care to their unvaccinated children. And in some instances, children have been vaccinated against the parent's wishes, purposefully, unbeknownst to the parent. One article stated, "Nurses will, in fact, go and look for the unvaccinated kids [at school] to see if they can get them vaccinated." In specific areas, the Health Authority is actually enforcing policy, which has been objected to for having the side effect of "visually labelling" unvaccinated people. Unvaccinated nurses and hospital visitors have been required to a wear masks (and sometimes a sticker) while in the hospital all flu season long. This may sound minor, BUT but it's no different than requiring Jewish people to wear a star. The policy that forces unvaccinated nurses to wear a mask and sticker, is resulting in preferential treatment and discrimination because patients know what the masks mean and are now asking for the vaccinated nurse (or they ask for the unvaccinated nurse). Recognizing that the Health Authority has stood by this policy, despite the way it visually labels a minority, a minority which has now come to be widely hated within society, is shocking.
To the provaccine: You’ve launched a hate campaign on us, to attack and overpower us, to beat us into a brutal submission. And like with each hate campaign used before throughout history, with devastating effect, your hate and attack has ignited us, it’s impassioned us, united us, and it is DRIVING us to fight back and protect ourselves, protect our families, and protect YOU - because we care deeply about you too.
Unfortunately, the labels you’ve placed on us, the hatred you have for us, has PREVENTED you from hearing us, prevented you from hearing and addressing our concerns. There’s no need for you to listen to us - society says - we’re that stupid! We’re so stupid that many of you agree that our children would actually be better off without us!
You've labeled us “anti-vaxxers,” a term now synonymous with “anti-science” and “delusional dangerous idiot,” because you have ABSOLUTELY no idea what we stand for or what we’re trying to accomplish. You think you know. You don’t! You think those labels represent us well. They don’t, don’t even come close! To understand though, you have to listen. You might think we’re hypocrites for asking to be heard, because you feel we refuse to listen to sound science. What you fail to see is that our refusal to AGREE with you and our refusal to accept current vaccine messaging, is not a refusal to listen. We do listen! How could we not? The vast majority of people in society support the practice of vaccination. And most of us were actually pro-vaccine once too! The pro-vaccine voice is louder, stronger and is projected in surround sound. We could try and shut out your overpowering voice, but instead, many of us seek out more. We seek out the articles and lectures produced by your experts, we CHOOSE to listen to what they say, very regularly, so that we can thoroughly research the vaccine science they point to, to understand how it compares with the rest of the science we’ve learned. There is TRUTH in all of the science you point to. ALL OF IT! What you don’t realize though, is that in VACCINE MESSAGING, that science and truth you point to, despite being true, has become so exaggerated, so contorted and distorted, that the MESSAGING has actually turned TRUTH into absolute science fiction – I know, more delusional rantings from a dangerous marmot poo lover.
Peter Doshi of the British Medical Journal reached out to us pro-choicers, and I genuinely appreciate the comments he made. To quote him:
"Medical journalists have an obligation to the truth. But journalists must also ensure that patients come first, which means a fresh approach to covering vaccines. It’s time to listen—seriously and respectfully—to patients’ concerns, not demonize them."
CONTINUE to the next post: Safety & Efficacy - Part 20