Friday, February 02, 2007

Newsflash: Men don't like to wear condoms.

Women have to take birth control pills; men don't. Girls have to get shots for HPV; boys don't.

I'm all for women taking steps to protect themselves, but making it into a law?! And while I like the idea of Women in Government banding together to get things done, in, around, behind, or in spite of, the good-ol-boy network that all too often pervades government, I'm horrified that they seem to be pushing this.

If we're only going to force one sex to get shots, why can't it be the other one? They're the ones who are going to be infecting the women of tomorrow. Let them take the responsibility. Well, ok, maybe both sexes can get the shots.

Still, I'm opposed to making anti-cancer vaccinations required by law, no matter how benign the intent. Required vaccinations ought to be limited to those diseases that are highly communicable and that a whole crowd of people can quickly catch just by being in the same room for only a few minutes or hours with one sick person.

And requiring vaccinations against one specific cancer? How many cancers are there now, that we know of? I dunno, I think the allegations that Merck may have been lobbying a little too hard for these laws might be valid.


Keifus said...

Oh hell, that's lobbyists behaving badly? More like good intentions run amok, I think. Well, it's still bad, but it's not like they're hawking oil and war.

Boys, uh, not so much at risk for cervical cancer, I think... (I still think I'll be getting my daughters vaccinated.)

Buuut, much as I'm in a mood to crack wise, I'm pretty much with you 100% on this one (including the title, I'm afraid).

(Your Mel Martinez is a real piece of work, isn't he? How dare you embolden the enemy like that? Is all of America that simple? I think the only thing more disheartening than the form-letter solicitation has got to be the form-letter response.)


vebit: very bituminous
wfmwj: where the fuck are my widgets?

hipparchia said...

[i'm working on the widgets, i promise]

corporate lobbyists with good intentions? you'll never get me to believe that. from the 2000 census, about 20.5 million kids ages 10-14 years. at $360/kid, that's a lot of dollars.

it's true that boys don't get cervical cancer, but that's not what the vaccine is for, though that's how it's being marketed. it's a vaccine against 4 different strains of HPV [virus that causes genital warts]. 2 of these strains have been shown to account for about 70% of cervical cancers. but both sexes get genital warts, and HPV is implicated in [rarer] cases of genital cancers in men.

anyway, you could eliminate approximately 70% of cervical cancers by either boosting female immune systems so they can fight off the infections that men give them, or you can keep men from ever getting those infections in the first place.

it's great to have this option, i'm glad it's so widely publicized, and if i had daughters of that age, i'd consider getting them the vaccinations.

still, in a just society, women would not have to go around protecting themselves from men. in a just society, men would cease to victimize women. really and truly, in a just society, neither sex would feel compelled [or be compelled] to protect itself from the other.

help! i'm back up on my feminist soapbox again and i can't shut up!

anyways, we have a lot more to worry about from breast cancer than we do from cervical cancer.

i'm glad to see that one of the original researchers on the preventive hpv vaccine is now working on a vaccine for treatment.

ps. you can ask me how i know about that, in the title, but i'm not going to tell you.

ofhcaz: off-hand alcatraz
fzdvp: freeze developer

hipparchia said...

pps. i've considered answering that letter very carefully and at length, point by point, just to see if i get the same response.

the form letter response is not nearly so discouraging as hearing the people i live and work among saying those very same things, harboring those very same ideas in their heads.

Keifus said...

The title: I'll go out on a limb here, and imagine that you've known any men, ever. (Hell, if there's an upside to monogamy...)

Okay, guilty: I don't always follow links very carefully (and to be fair, it was three paragraphs down). HPV causes genital warts too? I didn't know.

Vaccinations and cancer: certain advocates could probably make a case that there's a public health issue here, since the thing is (evidently) communicable. But I agree with you anyway--not so nefarious to the public as to warrant nonconsensual prevention. (Though I suspect it'll be eventually be as consensual as any other vaccination, which is to say, required if you want to do such volutnary activities as attend school...).

When confronted from the soapbox* with breast cancer stats, I usually think how effectively the prostate killed off both of my grandfathers. Each gender has their respective time bomb, no?


*It's cool

xznrjen: xeno's zero never gels
xsdwwb: excess dew web (?)

Keifus said...

and pps: I'm still waiting to hear from my twin patrician buffoons. Evidently they're popular. Maybe I'll have to start haranguing them about every vote. Non-binding?! Listen, asshole...


apdmk: I aped a monkey
lypwnqc: consistency checks for female werewolves...

TenaciousK said...

What neither side is talking about:

Genital warts are often transmitted (to both boys and girls) in the course of sexual abuse. The level of outbreak is often of much greater severity, due to the tissue damage associated with the activities involved.

And it effects little boys more often than little girls.

I think we should vaccinate them all. You can't expect parents to anticipate every potential outcome - some are too hideous to think about.

pzxac: prozac!
gwsppwj: G'wan, 'splain pretty women joke. [wow, I think I need coffee]

hipparchia said...

monogamy has a lot to recommend it. it's my preference.

twin patrician buffoons! mental image that springs up, unbidden: two clowns, one in comedy-mask makeup, the other in tragedy-maks makeup, in the circus ring, making those funny hats and animals out of those long skinny twisty ballons and handing them out to the kids in the audience.

sigh. i know what you mean about those voluntary and consensual activities.

the law says i don't have to give my social security number to the electric company to get my electricity turned on. the law also says that the electric company doesn't have to do business with me if they feel i haven't provided them with enough information to assess my credit-worthiness.

i haven't checked it, but the replies, forms though they be, seem to have come from more republicans than democrats. i haven't decided yet whether this means the republicans are more responsive to their constituents, or whether they're more fearful that their constituents are slipping away.


jdqcabp: [i'm going to wait for the next one to come up. surely i'll get a second chance.]

wwrfuy: world war. pfui.

hipparchia said...

prozac! i dunno, i'm still fantasizing about planting some of those pretty pink flowers in my window boxes this year. i wonder if i could pass them off as nasturtiums.

i'd agree to vaccinating them all long before i'd agree to choosing just one sex or the other.

gwsppwj [reprise]: gypsies, pwoggies, and jeeves

Keifus said...

From teh Science Daily article:

"Men have about an 80 percent lifetime risk of genital warts."


Given a statistic like that, and given that, according to the article, the HPV vaccine is effective against the most common viral strains that cause genital warts, why isn't Merck, you know, marketing it. You'd think there'd be a demand.

Why did they instead focus on cervical cancer (certainly important), and focus on the lobbying route? I was too lazy afterall to research it, so I'll speculate wildly:

- it's thanks to their frighteningly incestuous relationship with government, that required vaccinations seemed like the better use of their marketing bucks

- it's America's natural Puritanical bias against genital warts--no one with minor stds "deserves" a cure. Merck doesn't want the stigma and would rather go through government.

- A little more good-ol-boy paternalism toward women is always an easy sell.


pjnbcqki: pigeon, be quick
fqdam: fuck you, dammit (No, not you, jsut the Tourette's acting up again)

Anonymous said...

heh. have to agree with on all that. and it's ok with me any time the tourette's acts up.

ekocr: ekankar and the o.c.