A question: would you rather have your child have polio or autism? Forget the whole vaccine issue. Would you rather your child have polio or autism. Did you pick autism?
Even back in 1955, your kid had approximately a 1 in 13 chance of dying if they contracted Polio. Don’t like those odds? Well, if your child has Autism, they have a 1 in 1 chance of always having autism. You could throw back that polio is infectious and therefore you’d rather your child have autism than polio. I’d say that argument betrays much about the kind of person who would make it. We’re not talking about other people’s kids, or even other people in general. I’m not saying you should go around flipping people off as you let your kid pour acid on his classmates face, but isn’t the whole point of parenting to ensure your offspring have the best chance at survival and doing well in life? Or do we just have to guarantee that they survive? What would that say about you to yourself as a parent if you believed the latter?
Pro vaxxers don’t have to humor any argument anti-vaxxers make at all, current medical knowledge available clearly tells us vaccines don’t cause autism. So why do people still feel the need to post shit like this? Is it because there’s a lot of misinformation on the internet and you’re just trying to combat it? Well, certainly not the above post, whose goal is to shame others that don’t believe as she does. Not only that, but who would this even reach on the side of the trenches? No one who is an anti-vaxxer is going to read this post or anything like it and say, “You know what? I’m going to re evaluate my opinion.”
And you have to know that. Posts like these aren’t meant to contribute anything to any conversation except one thing, “Look at me! I’m on the right side of this conversation! I’m smart! No really, I really am!” These posts have nothing to do with combating misinformation of any form and everything to do with self-advertisement. You’re selling yourself by picking the side you think all of the smart/cool/whatever people are on, and joining in the condescension of the opposition, which is why that makes you a bigger asshole than an anti-vaxxer whose raising a little plague bearer. By the way, there’s that one question I asked a little ways back, so I’ll clarify and ask again:
Your child can have either polio or Autism. Your child may survive polio but they will always have autism. Which one would you rather your child have?
I have a friend that works as a stocker for a retail chain, let’s call him Joe. Joe has an autistic co-worker on his team who can barely keep up with the duties of stocking. A job most people would think is absolutely brain dead keeps his co-worker in circles the entire time. Tell me, where else could his co-worker flourish or function? He’s told me the kid tries his hardest and I take him at his word, and what this means is that even at his co-workers maximum capacity, it’s still not enough.
Thing is, what if that’s the standard of autism? What if that is the normative expression of the disorder? Not the quirky and lovable Sheldon Cooper style of autism, but the I can barely function doing basic tasks style of autism. What do we do then? I mean, as a society, how do we care for these people?
How do we care for those that cannot care for themselves?
How do we lift up those who can’t stay afloat?
These aren’t easy questions. In fact, they are insanely difficult questions to confront, and even more taxing to try and solve. This is why these conversations continue. No one wants to deal with this reality. It’s much easier to posture and feel good than it is to face problems like these. Regardless, these are the questions that need to be dealt with. The only logical response to “Do you think vaccines cause autism?,” shouldn’t be to shame anyone or try to make yourself look cool, it’s this:
Who gives a shit about whether or not vaccines cause autism. The world gets more complex by the fucking day, and there is a whole segment of people that simply cannot keep up. Autism, Down syndrome, mental retardation. What are we going to do about it? We can’t do nothing, that’s leaving them to a fate no one deserves. We need to figure out a way to get these people to not only function in society, but function well in society. And they need to be able to function well, or at the very least we need to give it everything we got in the attempt. Otherwise, the only thing their existence proves is that we pity them too much to let them die but don’t give enough of a shit to help them, which is a disgusting thought we should not allow ourselves to feel comfortable with.