Antivaccine nonsense Autism Medicine Politics

On why misogynists shouldn’t mess with the Goddess…

…Isis shows us why by calling out the anti-vaccine movement in general and J.B. Handley in particular, for sexist attacks on Amy Wallace, who wrote the excellent article for WIRED about how the anti-vaccine movement endangers public health.

True, I did e-mail her for advice in letting feminist bloggers know about this nastiness, being interested in how so many women in the movement could tolerate such behavior from its male members, but Isis took it from there. (Warning, part of the post may be NSFW.)

Also calling out J.B. Handley and other members of the anti-vaccine movement for their misogyny was blog bud Abel Pharmboy. It’s only fair to point out that he blogged this story before I did.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

13 replies on “On why misogynists shouldn’t mess with the Goddess…”

I don’t know about NSFW, but it’s definitely not safe for lunch. But then, when is anything dealing with Handley safe for work, lunch, or logic and reason for that matter? Love how the “Not” was dark font on dark background.

Misogyny comes in all kinds of varieties. Orac you once wrote :

“Well, the stupid has landed. And how. An interview with Jenny has just been published on the TIME Magazine website in which she “surpasses” herself. In fact, so dense is the stupid emanating from what passes for a “brain” in that empty head of hers that words fail me”.

The childish hurling of insults between the pro and anti vaccine camps is as hilarious as a debate about Healthcare between Joe (You lie!) Wilson (R-SC) and Alan (Die quickly) Grayson (D-FL_.

Crash and burn, RAJ. The only question is: do you have the integrity to admit that you were unequivocally wrong? My guess is no, but I’ll apologize in advance if I’m wrong.

RAJ, that comment you quoted contains not the slightest taint of sexism or misogyny. Orac merely insulted Jenny McCarthy’s intelligence, which is not exclusively either a male or a female characteristic — and Jenny earned the raspberries fair and square.

~David D.G.

RAJ seems to have a strange definition of misogyny. To steal Orac’s latest favourite quote…

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means

I won’t touche RAJ’s idiotic claim that Orac’s Jenny McStupid comments were mysogynistic since others have already weighed in on that. Instead, I want to talk about his final point:

The childish hurling of insults between the pro and anti vaccine camps is as hilarious as a debate about Healthcare between Joe (You lie!) Wilson (R-SC) and Alan (Die quickly) Grayson (D-FL_.

1. The anti-vaxxers’ insults aren’t backed up by the facts and the evidence; they’re empty insults. The insults from the science based community on the other hand, are colorful flourishes added to substantive arguments.

2. As for the two congressmen mentioned, what leadership has Joe Wilson shown? Has he proposed anything constructive? Was his insult a part of a larger point he was making? (Answers: none, no, no) In fact, his famous (or perhaps infamous) outburst was not only isolated from substance, it was also demonstrably false as well as a clear breach of protocol. Alan Grayson, on the other hand is actually offering substance. Whether you agree with him or not, it’s hard to deny that there’s more to him than just hyperbolic language. For one, he’s created a website listing names and stories of people who’ve died because of lack of insurance. That sounds a lot (to me, at least) like he’s backing up his rhetoric with real data.

3. Now that I think about it, it seems that RAJ’s analogy was right on the mark after all!

4. Apologies for wasting all your time responding to a troll.

PS: Part of my post was not safe for work? PART? I showed a picture of a dude having intercourse with a horse. I think that makes all of SB unsafe for work.

OK. I’m done here. I am on the verge of becoming a troll myself.

Evidently Orac’s employer has a rather liberal Internet usage policy. 😉

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