Wednesday, October 01, 2008

More on CCSB and HPV Vaccination

Remember the Calgary RC School Board refusing to allow HPV vaccination in their schools? Well, it seems that Bishop Henry has chosen to respond:

Bishop Henry said the Catholic bishops of Alberta are concerned not only about the harmful side-effects associated with the vaccine, but very particularly about the conflicting message the vaccination program sends to young girls about chastity and sexual promiscuity and about putting schools in a position of "grave moral compromise."

"Catholic teaching is that sexuality is a God-given gift that should be reserved to marriage," they said in a press release in June, warning parents that consenting to this vaccination was condoning pre-marital sex.


I do not believe these people. Dogma rules all for them, reality be damned.

This vacant claim that providing HPV protection (even if it is incomplete) has nothing to do with "conflicting messages" about chastity - it is about PREVENTING DISEASE. No more, and no less.

This so-called "moral" stance is nothing more than an extension of the usual RC Church's view of female sexuality (namely that it should never be seen, heard or thought of, lest it lead one into "sin" - of course, we'll ignore the fact that the whole perspective is so male-focused it's pathetic)

While I agree that there are long term questions around the HPV vaccine in terms of effectiveness and potential side effects, that's quite a different discussion, and strikes me as little more than an attempt to make an irrational decision sound like it is based on something rational.

What is offensive here is that Bishop Henry - a man who will never have or raise children by his own vows - thinks he can decide for all Catholic parents what to do in this matter.

But then again, one only has to look at the kind of moralizing idiocy around female dress to understand how clueless these people can actually be:

Many women hope that in dressing provocatively men will find them attractive and desirable, with a view to a lasting relationship. In reality, however, few, if any, men view a scantily clad young woman walking down the street and gape after her with thoughts like, "What a beautiful girl, I wish I could marry her."


A paragraph that could only be written by a man - and one who is obviously quite clueless about women ... a state which he seems to share with Bishop Henry.

11 comments:

Woodwose said...

CBC had an interview with the Chair of the Board on this issue (It is getting hard to keep the spit buffed off the home radio).

Several points and associated thoughts surfaced:
- No medical opinions were sought in making the decision. By the Board or Fred. No surprise here, they don't consider the potential of anaphylactic reactions for asthmatics in the incense filled churches either
- Nobody in the organization (like Fred) trusts the girls not to go out, once they are "safe", and have wild flings with anything that moves. The other side of this is of course that the loose girls that get the shots at the public schools are waiting for the upright lads from their schools - Mothers beware!
- Nobody has considered that maybe the boys have any role in the transmission process. The girls, after all, get infected from somewhere (Is there such a thing as Immaculate Infection?)
- Nobody considers that even if the girls are chaste, their husbands might bring a little surprise to the marriage bed thanks to their teenage fling. There is no requirement for a certified clean bill of health before one of Fred's boys marries a couple.

MgS said...

Welcome to the double standards applied to women - especially by churches.

Woodwose said...

My family has been fighting this double standard for years. My mother was one of the first women optometrists in the country. She had to fight to be allowed to finish high school (wound up taking classes in a cloak room) and then go to university. Once graduated and in business, she had to promise to have her father check all of her prescriptions to make sure they were right.

My own position is that male, female, or a green leafy shrub a person should be allowed to do the work they are qualified to do.

Anonymous said...

Not fair to say that all churches have double standards when it comes to women. Many churches in our city routinely have female pastors, for example - just to start. Only the very, very conservative churches apply rules of past societies when it comes to gender equality.

MgS said...

Anonymous @ 8:30:

Fair point. A good number of churches have moved considerably beyond the RC Church (in particular) with respect to their treatment of women.

That said, it's been a long, uphill battle and there remain large numbers of churches (both Christian and otherwise) whose teachings do apply a rather nasty 'madonna/whore' double standard towards women - especially where sexuality is concerned.

Cardinal Pole said...

"A paragraph that could only be written by a man - and one who is obviously quite clueless about women ... "

Perhaps instead of consigning him to your 'stupidity' label (how charming) you could enlighten him as to why a woman might want to dress like she's going to a 'vicars and tarts' party? 'Assertion of autonomy' or just bad taste? You tell me.

MgS said...

Cardinal Pole writes:

why a woman might want to dress like she's going to a 'vicars and tarts' party? 'Assertion of autonomy' or just bad taste? You tell me.

Does it matter? Clothing is a matter of individual taste. Frankly, as long as someone isn't streaking, I don't see much of an issue.

The real question is why does the religious set have their knickers in a twist over how women dress? (I suspect it goes hand in hand with the usual obssession over regulating female sexuality)

Cardinal Pole said...

"Does it matter? Clothing is a matter of individual taste.""

Of course it's a matter of taste, but it is also a matter of modesty. Surely you're just being a bit of a contrarian with me by saying that "Frankly, as long as someone isn't streaking, I don't see much of an issue"?

"The real question is why does the religious set have their knickers in a twist over how women dress? (I suspect it goes hand in hand with the usual obssession over regulating female sexuality)".

What does decent clothing have to do with 'regulating female sexuality'?! It's about upholding standards of modesty and decorum. Dismiss this as being 'bourgeois' if you will, but it's quite a leap of logic to link it to some kind of perceived oppression.

MgS said...

No, I'm not being contrarian with you. I simply don't accept the blithe notion how a woman dresses should be held to some arbitrary rules based on some "moral worries" that someone else may have. We certainly don't make such demands of men.

What does decent clothing have to do with 'regulating female sexuality'?! It's about upholding standards of modesty and decorum.

It has a great deal to do with it - starting with it comes from the same people who object strenuously to contraception, HPV vaccination etc. - all on "moral grounds", which when examined boil down to attempting to regulate women in general.

I find it amusing that these same people quietly wink and chuckle over male promiscuity, but seem to think that it's so much worse when it's a girl.

Cardinal Pole said...

"No, I'm not being contrarian with you."

I probably need to stop giving people the benefit of the doubt. So you really think that, basically, wearing nothing but a fig leaf is sufficent for public decency?

"We certainly don't make such demands of men."

I'm not sure how far along the anarchic Western death spiral Canada is, but in Australia that would be because men tend to be pretty much covered up from neck to feet anyway.

"it comes from the same people who ..."

Guilt by association is the best you can give me?

"I find it amusing that these same people quietly wink and chuckle over male promiscuity"

Really? Serious Christians just 'wink and chuckle' over male promiscuity? I don't. Believers in a higher power tend to be averse to the kind of double standards that materialists revel in.

MgS said...

Guilt by association is the best you can give me?

If the shoe fits ... (and I've read enough of your other rantings to know it fits you)