Michelle Bachmann and HPV

*I recently realized I have been misspelling Michele Bachmann’s name.  This is because I hate her.  I will not be changing it in any previous work because I absolutely refuse to engage in any behavior that further validates her as a human being beyond what is necessary to point out the depth of her ignorance.  Furthermore, I apologize to the English language and females of every species on the planet for the unavoidable degradation of the pronoun “her” as it references Michele Bachmann in this body of work  Thank you.*

Michelle Bachmann is the worst kind of blind, hateful Fundamentalist.  Apparently she thinks it’s more important for her moral and religious beliefs to remain unchallenged than to stop women from getting cervical cancer. 


Fundamentalist whackjobs have been interfering with “facts” for far too long and this f-king bulls-t needs to come to a close.  I am officially stating my position that I will no longer tolerate -publically, privately, or casually- the idea that one can simply decide “reality” is a commodity that can be negotiated depending on how convenient it is for your politics or your religion.  Sorry.  That time is now over. 

That being said, I also think it is time we stop pretending like the best solution to sexual health problems is to ignore them.  Rick Perry’s decision to make the HPV vaccine manditory for all girls is a huge step in the right direction for saving millions of future women the trauma of going through cervical cancer, or worse, death.  Today, about 20 million Americans ages 15-49 have HPV.  That’s kind of a lot.  How did they get it?  From SEX.  That’s how you get it.  Now how many girls who get HPV intentionally went out looking for it?  I’m guessing…NONE.   

Fundamentalists like Bachmann and Fundamentalist organizations seem perfectly willing to participate in things like Polio and MMR vaccinations, but as soon as something is sexually transmitted, they go from reasonable to sociopathic.  Their policy is as follows:

“You shouldn’t be having sex  if you’re not married.  Therefore, it doesn’t matter what might happen to you.”

That’s horrible.  First and foremost, that’s tantamount to deciding that, if you don’t think someone should be doing something, then it’s OK to make it as menacing and dangerous as possible.  Look at the Catholic Church’s policy on condoms.  “Don’t give anyone condoms because they shouldn’t be having sex outside of marriage.”  Does that mean that if you don’t think people should be drinking then it’s OK to allow lead and cyanide in booze?  Last time I checked, the reason we invented the Constitution in the first place is because we all agreed that it’s OK for people to do and say things we don’t agree with as long as it doesn’t hurt the rest of us. 

I am absolutely sick to death of dealing with lazy, shallow, smug f-king assholes who think that, because something doesn’t appear to directly affect them, they are free to deem themselves the moral beacon of the universe and pronounce morality despite not having any actual experience or in-depth understanding of an issue.  Seriously, how easy is it to say nobody should have sex out of wedlock when you’re already f-king married?  Really easy.  However, the fact that lots of other people aren’t, and because we  live in a free country, and don’t belong to your church, and want to have sex, and are in control of our own lives…it does NOT give you the right to dictate what people “should” be doing  and consequently what’s best for public health. 

This HAS to go:  “If people raised their children Christian like me, we wouldn’t have this problem.” 

Reality should dictate public health.  Here’s the very best example I can give that the above statement is total, delusional bulls-t.  Sarah Palin is a massive, conservative christian.  She believes a lot, A LOT, of wild s-t.  She is also the primary representative of conservative, religious social policy.  Of all the people who should have indelible evidence that the strong teaching and techniques of Fundamentalist Christian morality results in children who won’t have premarital sex , she should the first on the list.  Um, should?  Oh wait. 

Now I’m not saying this because I am making light of Bristol’s situation, I’m saying it because these people treat Christianity as if it’s a guarentee.   Being Fundamentalists does not make your kids any more or less likely to do things, even if you want to believe that.  You cannot control everything in your or other people’s lives, much less your children, and if Palin’s daughter had gotten HPV, don’t you think her mother would have rather “sexualized (god I hate that bitch Bachmann)” her child at 12 by giving her the vaccine rather than sitting around for the next thirty years waiting for her to get cervical cancer?  Well, I guess I don’t really know.  She seems to “know” that, if Bristol had been raped and impregnated by a horrible criminal, she would choose life.  (As in, she’d decide for her daughter she couldn’t have an abortion?  Wait.  How the F-K…can a Tea Partier who bitches about civil rights all the time possibly think…?  Nah, nevermind.  It’s pointless.)    But then again, it’s easy to proclaim morality when it isn’t you, isn’t it.

Look, as crazy as Perry is about a lot of things, making HPV vaccinations manditory is a massive step forward in improving public health.  Now you can argue that parents should be able to decide what’s best for their child, but the fact is this is a public health issue.  Yes, there is such a thing.  If you hadn’t noticed, when other people get sick it ends up hitting the rest of us in the wallet if they can’t pay for it.  Parents who don’t vaccinate their kids end up perpetuating and spreading diseases the rest of us are trying to avoid.  Like polio.  Polio is actually ON THE RISE these days because of this vaccination nonsense.  Kids are getting mumps at Waldorf Schools for f-k sake.  If we can do something now to stamp out future cancer…DO IT!!!

I would like to close with a little parable.  It’s called, the Parable of the Starfish.  Some of you already know it.

“One day, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry were walking along the beach looking at all the little baby starfish who had washed up on the beach.  Rick Perry had a bag full of syringes, and he was injecting HPV vaccinations into all of the 12-year-old girl starfishes because he didn’t want them to get cervical cancer and die later in life, before tossing them back into the sea to continue down the path of their life’s journey.  Michelle Bachmann stopped him and said, “I’m a giant, plastic-faced, willfully ignorant pit-bitch who doesn’t believe in global warming simply because I don’t feel like it.”  Rick looked at her and said, “That’s interesting, you don’t usually like stating facts.”  And Bachmann replied, “Oh wait, what?  Sorry, I meant to ask you why you are vaccinating those starfish.  I didn’t get HPV, even though I probably made the same decision to have premarital sex like most people do, because, frankly, I was simply fortunate enough not to.  Therefore, because it’s not directly my problem,  I get to pretend like it means I’m a better, morally superior person.”   “Hmm,” said Rick, “you are a giant bitch.  And to answer your question, I’m vaccinating them because I don’t use the serendipitous nature of my circumstances to justify callously ignoring the circumstances of others when it comes to  public health issues.”  Michelle replied, through her Stepford smile, “But Rick, in order to do that you have to actually talk to baby starfish about the world in which they live, and because I have a massive insecurity about that kind of thing I choose to ignore it.  I support this ridiculous notion by gloaming onto antiquated religious beliefs and praying that God will allow me to mercifully slide through life without ever having to address anything difficult with my children.  If we therefore decide that ignoring reality is the best way to make the world the way we are praying for it to be, then how could it possibly make a difference to any of these baby starfish?”  Rick injected another baby starfish, and tossed it back into the waves, and the two of them watched it disappear into the surf and sunset, go to college, meet another starfish, and participate in a meaningful, loving relationship including intimacy, growth, and mutual consent, that ultimately ended up not working out for whatever those reasons are that two people just aren’t meant to be, regardless of their religious upbringing or personal affiliations.  “Well,” said Rick, “it made a difference to that one.”

Ben Tomkins is a violinist, teacher, journalist and critically acclaimed composer currently living in Denver, Colorado. He hates stupidity and generally believes that the volume of one’s voice is inversely proportional to one’s knowledge of an issue. Reach Ben Tomkins at BenTomkins@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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