October 4, 2005

"Jane, You Ignorant Slut."

jane_curtin.gif dan_aykroyd.gif

Sure, I was asked to submit some writing samples like everyone else, and I'm glad to see that one of the funniest, smartest dad-bloggers out there got the gig instead. But Oxygen TV's new Oh Baby! Opinionated Parenting blog is off to an oxygen-deprived start.

It's classic TV "journalism": he-said/she-said, the kind of artificial confrontation that made CNN's Crossfire such an insightful, informative source of useful dialogue. The inaugural topic, vaccinations, is a controversial one, too, at least in some circles.

But Mother-in-Chief's self-absorbed "pro" ["Yes, there's guilt from letting my kid spend a few minutes in the life of a pin cushion, but imagine the guilt if he ended up in the hospital with a preventable disease..." Yeah, my kid got polio, sucks for me.] completely ignores the benefits to both children and society that are the imperative behind widespread vaccinations.

Meanwhile, Laid-off Dad, bless his heart, rattles off a scare-mongering list of vaccine ingredients and talks of deciding to delay vaccinating their kids until absolutely necessary. Thimerosal raises its ugly head, too. Now there are plenty of questions to be asked and answered about Thimerosal, I totally agree. But that risk is now largely past, frankly. And so you're left with deciding whether to buck near-universal recommendations of the pediatric community based on your own half-formed opinion of the scientific reasoning behind vaccines?

I would've called that crazytalk, but then I saw "just some dad" in the comments--just some dad with an oxygen.com email address, actually--who raves about doctors just regurgitating "some crap they learned in med school." I have to imagine LOD was trying to help out, gamely trying to hit the right controversy buttons to make his new TV overlords happy.

Opinionated parents are great. But the idea of encouraging parents to parent by weighing their own opinion--however uninformed, incomplete, unexamined or self-centered, or flat-out wrong for that matter--against something empirical like, say, the accumulated history of vaccines' impact and effectiveness, starting with the first smallpox vaccines made from cow pus, is just ridiculous.

And what, exactly, does the debate over vaccine have to do with he- and she-said? Do dads approach medical questions differently? Is the producers' secret, shocking point that MIC's argument was guilt-based and LOD's was all protect-my-kid-based? Somehow I doubt it.

There's a world of benefit for parents--moms and dads--who open their minds to other people's approaches to raising a kid. The producers of Oh Baby would do well to have its bloggers look at issues and challenges parents face where, because of social, economic, cultural, emotional, and biological reasons, men and women DO differ: discipline, taking time off from work, combing the kid's hair, decorating the nursery, post-partum blowjobs, expectations of 'equal' parenting...

The list is endless. But that's just my opinion.

Oh, Baby! Oxygen's Opinionated Parenting Blog [parenting.blogs.com, nice url, btw]

Mom-in-Chief on vaccines: conflicted, but grateful

Laid-off-Dad on vaccines: bucking those doctor's orders. Until pre-school, anyway.

4 Comments

I agree, they could really have started off with a slightly less um, inflammatory subject. I suppose less inflammatory means less readers though. Ho-hum.
Of course, I am a non-vaccinator ever since my son was hospitalized with breathing difficulties and a horrible swollen rash less than 24 hours after a dose of DTaP.
Further reading had made me decide that the next child will have delayed shots, and only then if I can resolve my moral issue with vaccines that contain human diploid cells from aborted fetuses.

[yikes, no controversy there. -ed.]

All 5 are vaccinated. As are both parents, both dogs, the cat.

Silly argument. I didn't even realize there was an anti-vaccination contingent of society until my best friend (currently preggers) started rattling off about her own belief-system re: vaccinations, shes against them!!

Ahhhhh, I threatened to sneak into her house at night and vaccinate against her will!

[ah, good. because the history of medical interventions without their consent for the good of society has such a bright, blemish-free track record. -ed.]

Just the other day, we had an elderly lady begging us not to have our daughter vaccinated (little late for that) telling us this horror story of how he grandson had problems from even a half dose of vaccine. How she knows it was FROM only a half dose and not BECAUSE OF only a half dose, I don't know.

We politely nodded, then trusted our own research and comfort level with our decision.

Besides, we all know these problems are caused by mothers not breastfeeding when they all should. (please, new people, this is an inside joke - don't lynch me for the comment!)

I was talking to the wife about this other day. I asked the question...out of all the Physicians and NP's you work with that have kids, (about 20 practitioners and 2/3's have kids) how many vaccinate? Maybe I already knew the answer (because it comes up in her office all the time). Every physician and NP had their kids vaccinated. Apparently they never got the memo about all the problems there may be. I guess some concerns are legitimate but the benefits FAR outweigh the negatives. (the wife has taken care of kids in the ICU that hadnít been inoculated, mostly whooping cough, real horrible stuff).

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