Bourgeois Decadence

The name of the writer is The Rude Pundit”, so you shouldn’t be surprised by the language that follows, but obviously if you click through to the full rant, you will come upon more, so be warned.

Refusing to get your children immunized against measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, whooping cough, hepatitis, diphtheria, f**kin’ polio, and other nasty sh*t is one of the great expressions of bourgeois decadence in the latter days of this dying empire. It is a ludicrous convergence of voodoo-like pseudoscience, worship of individuality, and selfish helicopter parenting. You do not get to have an opinion” on vaccinations because your failure to act has an effect on everyone else. The science on vaccines is so overwhelmingly in favor of making sure your kids get them that, qualitatively, there is no difference between the anti-vaxxers and climate change denialists.

-The Rude Pundit, Vaccinate Your F**king Kids”

I came across this item completely randomly, but as a parent, I felt the need to share it, especially given the amount of media coverage the measles outbreak has gotten of late.

A few months ago, Lexi and I swapped out Eloisa’s car seat with a forward-facing one because we were having some difficulty with her infant seat and thought it would be OK. One of Lexi’s high school friends, who is now in her residency, told us to go back to a rear-facing seat immediately. Due to our trust in her—and after reading up a little more on the subject—we decided to follow her advice because frankly the studies have shown that it is safer for Eloisa to keep her rear facing until at least two years of age.

While not a strict one-to-one example, I don’t think Lexi and I ever thought twice about getting Eloisa vaccinated. In part, I think that has to do with the fact that we both see ourselves as intelligent individuals who trust the science that time and time again studies and doctor friends backed up; there is no proven link between vaccinations and autism. But I think it also has to do with the fact that, as parents, our first and foremost thoughts in making decisions surrounding our daughter deal with her safety.

What resonates most with me about the measles coverage and The Rude Pundits rant surrounds the entitlement that some people feel about their children’s lives and those of the other children with whom their kids come into contact. Prior to becoming a parent, I had a heart-to-heart with my older sister (a social worker and badass community activist), who will probably never have kids. That conversation dealt with keeping me in check once I became a parent and helping me to realize that every child’s life matters when I make a decision; these are the values by which I personally try to live.

When I make a choice—even something as seemingly simple as whether or not to vaccinate—I am making a choice that affects every child, not only my own; this ideal is far reaching in my mind and includes the choices of where to send her for day care, what media to shield her from and expose her to, and the importance I place upon public transportation as she grows, among many other things. Vaccinations are a small, but important step toward making every child (in the world) more healthy and selfish desires to withhold such things due to fear have the potential to do a lot more harm than good.

Posted: February 2, 2015

In 2022, I am participating in two leadership training programs. This should be a social experience, so I am writing about it. Check out the full list of posts in the series here.

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