Anti-Vax ‘Friend’ Vaccine-Shames Mom For Her Daughter’s Behavior Problems
For people whose argument hinges so much on “it’s my child’s body and my choice, it has nothing to do with you!”, anti-vaxxers sure do seem to have a lot to say about the choices other parents make about their kids’ health. If your kid acts out in a store or restaurant? Must have been the vaccines wreaking havoc on her delicate brain. Your kid got the sniffles from daycare? Probably the vaccines leaching strength from his sensitive young immune system. Your kid has a pimple, a lisp, or a phobia of clowns? VACCINES.
The latest example of do-as-I-say-but-not-as-I-do hypocrisy on the subject of family health choices comes from a thread on Reddit Parenting, where a user named throwaway_madam is dealing with a difficult anti-vaxxer ‘friend’ (and I use that word very, very loosely). After throwaway_madam tried to compare behavioral notes between her and her friend’s similarly-aged daughters, and this woman had the nerve to tell her that any behavior problems her one-year-old child was showing were probably because she had been vaccinated. And in case that wasn’t enough, this is what happened next:
Since I spoke to her yesterday she has been posting constant anti vax rants and sharing what I can only call “anti vax propaganda”. She has never done this before and I know it’s directly aimed at me as my daughter is due for her next vaccinations next week.
The first few posts / shares I simply ignored but now it’s really getting on my nerves.
One post even said “you complain that your child acts out yet you’ll fill her with poison that is known to cause autism… Maybe she has it because of your negligence and stupidity”.
Oooh. Let’s take a little song break – this seems apropos, doesn’t it?
Anti-vax ‘friends’, here’s some advice: can it. If an anti-vaxxer friend or relative came to me worried about their child who had gotten the measles, the first words out of my mouth would not be “neener neener, this is your fault, in your FACE!!” And it definitely wouldn’t be a steady stream of passive-aggressive Facebook jabs. (Remember when Facebook was shiny and new and we only used it to drool over our cute college classmates? Ahh, nostalgia.) It would be something along the lines of, “What can I do to help?” Because the word ‘friendship’ is – or is supposed to be predicated on the idea that you have something to gain out of the relationship besides a sick idea of ‘winning’ based on your friend’s hardships.
So, anti-vaxxers, go ahead and waggle your finger in your friends’ faces and post your weird, unscientific vaccines-cause-autism-zomg pictures in response to their troubles; just don’t expect a lot of play group invitations or dinner invites when you do. And when you insist that being little public health threat is just your personal choice, remember that the same is true of your pro-vaccination friends – except that they actually have some sound science to back up their decisions. Oh, have you heard of sound science? It’s the kind of science that is found in peer-reviewed publications instead of just in crappy Facebook memes and Someecards mock-ups.