15 March 2007

Interesting news from Texas

A little while ago, I wrote an outraged rant about the Texas governor Rick Perry sidestepping the legislative process by signing a law that requires girls going into the sixth grade to have been given the new HPV vaccine. My issue with that is that I think if the shoe were on the other foot, and it were a boy cancer prevention vaccine, no one would be talking about requiring it for anyone.

My header at the top of the page used to say that I wrote about the disparity between expectations of public male and female behavior, but I took it down because I so rarely do anymore. Yes, society expects vastly different public behavior from men and women. Yes, it still pisses me off. But pointing out every single instance of it solves nothing and only makes me mad, so it takes something special, like this issue, to make me put that hat back on. And I've been very busy blathering on about something else lately. What?

The news today is that the Texas legislature is firing back, passing a bill with 119 votes to 21 to overturn the law. The Texas legislature doesn't work the same way as the federal Congress does, so there is no surety that this will pass, or that they would override a veto if Perry chooses to veto the measure. They also only meet every other year, so if it does not pass this year, it will be 2009 before they consider it again. (How do you get a gig like that, working only every other year? I'd like to know.)

Now here's something that makes me vaguely unsettled. Conservative Christians are also against this law, not because they think that it was really wrong of the governer to usurp the legislature, but because they feel the vaccine will encourage promiscuity. Heh. It doesn't happen very often that I am on the same side of any issue as conservative Christians, but in this case we are on the same side for different reasons.

My stance on it is about personal choice and privacy. It should be the decision of the person getting the vaccine (or their legal guardian). Not the legislature. The privacy thing is that once you've gotten this shot, mandated by the government, then you must have a record of it to show the school. Are we puppies, with our 'papers' or people? I suppose that you could look at any government issued identification the same way, using that logic, but this is very different from, say, a passport. And it also reminds me of some of Twisty's recent posts, tagged with the label Men Hate You. I never really thought about it that way until I started reading her, but the more I look around and think about it...yeah. She's right. *Sigh.*

Reading the Bloomberg article that I linked above a bit further, I find that Rick Perry has ties to Merck, the vaccine's manufacturer. Dun dun DUN! And people wonder why I'm a conspiracy theorist.

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