Thursday, November 10, 2005

I (heart) Dan Savage

From this week's installment of Savage Love:
STRAIGHT RIGHTS UPDATE: As I mentioned a few months ago, a vaccine for two of the most common strains of HPV, the virus that causes genital warts, is currently moving through the federal approval process. HPV can also cause cervical cancer in women, and the cancers caused by the virus kill 4,000 American women every year. Who could possibly be against the introduction of a vaccine—one that has proven 100 percent effective in clinical tests!—that will save thousands of women's lives every year? Those "culture of life" assfucks, that's who.

"A new vaccine that protects against cervical cancer has set up a clash between health advocates [and] social conservatives who say immunizing teenagers could encourage sexual activity," the Washington Post reported last week. Doctors want teenage girls to receive the vaccine as a matter of routine when they hit puberty, something the religious right opposes. "Because the vaccine protects against a sexually transmitted virus, many conservatives oppose making it mandatory, citing fears that it could send a subtle message condoning sexual activity before marriage... 'I've talked to some who have said, "This is going to sabotage our abstinence message,"' said Gene Rudd, associate executive director of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations." (To his credit, Rudd said he would want his daughters vaccinated.)

The right's abstinence message has bigger problems than this vaccine. Studies have shown that young men and women are still having premarital sex—no shit—despite the billions of dollars the Bush administration has poured into abstinence education. A study conducted at Texas A&M University found that kids who've been subjected to abstinence-only sex education, the right's preferred brand, have more sex than kids who aren't subjected to abstinence-only sex education. So what the right is saying is this: We're willing to kill American women in order to avoid "sabotaging" our ineffectual abstinence-only message. Nice.

Who ultimately gets to determine the government's position on the HPV vaccine? Thanks to George W. Bush, the Christian fundies do. From the Washington Post: "The jockeying [around the HPV vaccine] reflects the growing influence social conservatives, who had long felt overlooked by Washington, have gained on a broad spectrum of policy issues under the Bush administration. In this case, a former member of the conservative group Focus On The Family serves on the federal panel that is playing a pivotal role in deciding how the vaccine is used." W stands for women—that's what he told us when he ran for president. But, hey, it wasn't a lie. George W. Bush never said anything about standing for live women.

I've said it before, straight folks, and I'll say it again: The right-wingers and the fundies and the sex-phobes don't just have it in for the queers. They're coming for your asses too.


  1. Some of the most insecure trash i've ever read. Making things mandetory just takes the rights away from everyone. Once the person starts going into puberty it's the right of the parent to dicide if they want to give this vaccine for the good or not give it. Just because there are stupid radicals on both side of the issue does not mean that most parents have a better handle on what to do or not.

  2. The Savage column simply expresses the fact that there is a core of conservatives that don't want women to have access to a life-saving vaccine because it will derail their ineffective but Red-State friendly "Abstinence only" message.

    Dan's not going all Brave New World and telling us that all women should get lined up and shot with this vaccine. He's advocating its production and use as a positive addition to the medical arsenal. He's not saying it should be made "mandetory," or as most of us would say, "mandatory," for all girls entering puberty.

  3. plus, don't you think not making it available AT ALL is ALSO taking away rights? i mean, if there's a vaccine there, we should have access to it, right? plus, last time i checked, HPV can be contracted by other means while still abstaining from intercourse and remaining technically "abstinent" right?

    ps. guy at local bike-repair shop gave me a discount on my little valve thing that i bought today because we talked politics for awhile and he said i'm a "good democrat." whee for politics and bicycles!

  4. Yet another example of why the far right is out in left field, I suppose.

  5. Way to work the moves and the political angle, Ass. You should have gotten his phone number!

  6. The righties line of reasoning is well, unreasonable. Denying the vaccine will stop unmarried women from having sex? Yeah right, it didn't stop me. It hasn't stopped any other woman from having sex. Bangs head on table. O.K. now I have a headache.

  7. Way to go on one of the most pointless, beside-the-point comments ever, anon.

  8. are these the same "christians" who let their daughters wear $100 jeans so low their thongs show? because that sure supports their whole "abstinence" logic.