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Antifeminist crusader Erin Pizzey bravely tells Redditors that “never in the history of the world have men been so unprivileged, if you think about it.”

How Erin Pizzey imagines most middle-class whtie women live, apparently
How Erin Pizzey imagines most feminists live, apparently

Longtime antifeminist crusader Erin Pizzey recently did an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit. Here are some highlights — by which I mean lowlights — from her answers.

Ms. Pizzey wants to ban feminism as a hate movement:

Personally, I would like to see the feminist movement described as a hate movement, so that we can then ban them from the government, from university faculties, from anywhere where they can destroy the minds of young women and men.

It’s just a teensy bit ironic, I would say, that she characterizes feminism as a hate movement at the very same time that A Voice for Men, a site she has very publicly aligned herself with, is leading a hate campaign against an individual feminist activist. (More on this to come tomorrow.) Indeed, Pizzey herself adds to the vilification of the activist here.

And speaking of A Voice for Men, she apparently agrees with AVFM’s Paul Elam that feminists are only interested in the issue of rape because they have rape fantasies and are angry that they’re not getting enough attention from men:

If you’re referring to Paul’s statement that many or most women fantasize about being taken, I’m sorry but that’s the truth. That doesn’t mean they want to be raped, but it’s a fantasy I think almost all women have. And I think he went on to say that feminists like Andrea Dworkin who were and are so obsessed with rape are really projecting their own unconscious sexual frustration because men don’t give them enough attention. Andrea was a very sad lonely woman like this–I didn’t know her but I knew of her, and I knew Susan Browmiller and you can just read her stuff to see it there.

Yeah, I’m thinking that Dworkin’s “obsession” with rape might have had less to do with her wanting “attention” from men than it did with the fact that she had been raped.

In response to a question about using Title IX to increase the number of women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), Pizzey argues that most women’s brains aren’t equipped to handle all that sciencey stuff, and that most women would rather be raising children:

what will happen is that a few women will come out of that world in those areas that suit men’s brains better than women’s, and do well, but most of them won’t, and they’ll just leave and go on to other professions or to have children or family. That’s what’s been happening all the time when they’ve had quotas.

But what about the men who get excluded because of that? That’s the tragedy isn’t it, and the waste of money. Harriet Harman has proposed quotas for women in parliament, quotas for women in all the high-status fields, and women have flocked in but do not want the gruelling hours that men are willing to put into their professions because most of them–MOST of them–want to be spending time with their children at home, and that God for that.

Pizzey believes that most feminists are “mental patents” who deserve only condescension:

Personally, I don’t get into arguments with mental patients, which is what most feminist women are. Look at them with pity and compassion if you can, speak the truth as you know it.

But if you want a real reaction, pat her on the head and tell her not to worry her pretty little head about it. That’s what I do! I think men have to start using their sense of humor as a weapon. You must get past any sense of anger when you do such things though!

She believes most prominent second-wave feminists were feminists mainly because they hated their dads:

One of the early mantras of the feminist movement was to make the personal political. Therefore, those women who had bitter and violent experiences of the first male their lives (e.g. their father) then branded all men as violent and dangerous. They are also what I call the walking wounded. As far as I’m concerned the prominent feminists of the day virtually all had appalling relationships with their fathers. So if feminism grew out of a justified sense of grievance, and created a platform where they did not attempt to heal their own damage, but to project onto all men… so yes it’s very cultlike that way. But it’s any cult group that works that way, they all have either a figure they adore or a hate object that keeps them together. And their hate is against men, even when they deny it.

Yes, that’s right, she says all this and somehow does not notice the hatred of women amongst the MRAs she’s aligned herself with.

While she dismisses feminists with “daddy issues” she urges those who have been abused by their parents to forget the abuse they’ve endured, forgive their abusers and “move on.”

[T]each yourself that the past is truly the past, it is done and you cannot change it, all it is is a loop in your brain that needs to be closed down so that you can move forward. Because those patterns are deep within you, it takes a lot of hard work, but in the end you FORGIVE YOURSELF and you FORGIVE YOUR PARENTS and move on.

Meanwhile, she thinks that it makes sense for men who don’t like feminism to “head for the hills” and Go Their Own Way.

It was many years ago I was talking to a very eligible bachelor, who was a lawyer, and asked him about American feminists. He laughed and he said “what they never banked on was that men would get together and take to the hills.” This is where that expression comes from. He and his male friends would get together and have a wonderful time, they did not make permanent relationships with women, because they realized they would have too much to lose: their homes, their children, and their money. I always remember this. When 40 year old feminists complain that they can’t find any men to commit themselves, why is it men’s fault? I can’t blame men who feel this way in today’s legal environment. If the so-called women’s movement, the feminists, want men, they have to care equally about men’s desires and men’s need for protection.

This sort of makes sense, given that Pizzey seems to live in an imaginary world in which women, not men, are the truly privileged.

The actual irony of this situation is there is nothing more privileged than white middle class women, who are most of feminists. Very very privileged, because they know when they are born that either the state or a man will take care of them if they do not choose their own career. Men on the other hand are born underprivileged, particularly now, even as small boys they are demonized and discriminated against. …

 I cannot see how sane sensible educated intelligent woman can consider that men are privileged. It has always been rich and middle class women who have been protected, and they are the truly privileged.

Indeed, she’s managed to convince herself that “never in the history of the world have men been so unprivileged, if you think about it.”

Naturally, all of her comments were happily upvoted by the Reddit masses, and her “Ask Me Anything” post itself got more than 1200 upvotes. Evidently pandering to Reddit’s collective fantasies about the oppression of men pays off big in the upvote department.

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Fade
7 years ago

I didn’t know that. So yay for your cousin’s son! Sad that his mom won’t vaccinate their younger brother, especially considering it’s b/c what happened to the older one. I mean, that kind of strikes it to me like you think that you’re kid is a… like … trying to think of a way to say this

Like idk you’d go back and try to make things different to prevent it? And I could swear we have a thread where people mentioned whether they thought their mental conditions were part of them, or afflicting them, and lots of times it was part of them (though I will admit, I mostly feel my depression afflicts me. The only possible bright side is that I mellowed out and learned how to live with myself since it got worse)

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

Yeah, it’s the fact that anti-vax ideas are so common among people that I generally agree with on other things that makes me want to tear my hair out.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

18 cases so far this year, versus 41 year to date in 2012.

So on one hand, MMR for fucks sake yes. On the other…most countries can forgo polio vaccine at this point, it’s dead in all but a handful of countries. Haven’t turned anti-vax, just that polio can be reintroduced from vaccine caused cases, and those cases are beginning to equal the number of wild cases. May you live in interesting times?

Marie
7 years ago

@cassandrasays

Yeah, it’s the fact that anti-vax ideas are so common among people that I generally agree with on other things that makes me want to tear my hair out.

::gets demotivated::

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Marie — not there yet, but damned close!

Fade — yeah, idk if he’d say similar, he’s 13~ but I can’t imagine what I’d be if not bipolar. I’ve always been this way and it’s a part of who I am the way…idk, my eye color is almost? And idk about his mother, she definitely loves him, fought to make the school still classify him as special needs since “if he can make a movie…” *tears hair out* but yeah, I get the impression she’d have preferred he be “normal”

Better than the husband of one of my other cousins, who left not long after his daughter was born with an easily correctable birth defect. She talks a bit funny still, but is a perfectly normal happy kid…who he can’t deal with because she isn’t perfect. So compared to that I can’t fault other cousin, she definitely loves him, just, loves him “anyways”?

Fade
7 years ago

Ah, I didn’t doubt she loved him. Just to clarify. XD

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
7 years ago

Whooping cough…

In my family, we are all vaccinated. My mother would have no truck with putting her kids and the larger community at risk. That being said, my brother got whooping cough anyways when he was five. He cough so long and hard he’d turn blue and pass out. All that coughing made breathing an agony for him, the muscles in his chest were so overworked and abused. Couldn’t eat much, because the coughing made him throw up and he couldn’t sleep because being anything other than verticle set it off.

That was a moderate case. I pray I never see a worst case scenario, because I wouldn’t be surprised if the coughing fits broke ribs.

One thing I have noticed about vaccines though, is that babies get them way earlier than the CDC recommends the ages. My guess is its to ensure kids get the full shots, especially as they frequently get minor illnesses that would delay the vaccine schedual.

And to think that when vaccines came out for things like polio, people lined up for hours to get their kids vaccinated. Ask someone over the age of sixty what it was like going to school and have friends disappear after being diagnosed with it. It was very very common and the outlook was pretty bleak.

blitzgal
7 years ago

FYI, the one study that showed a causative affect between vaccines and autism is the Wakefield study, which has since been thoroughly debunked. Wakefield not only purposely left out any data that didn’t conform to his desired outcome, but he also falsified data, all on the promise of the money he’d make if he was the guy who proved that vaccines cause autism. The anti-vaxxer true believers just claim that Wakefield was “silenced” by the evil scientists who are bent on making their own money on tainted vaccines that cause everything from autism to HIV and cancer. Somehow, Wakefield doing this all for the money doesn’t seem to matter to them.

We enjoy herd immunity, but only until it dips below the 85% range. This issue is particularly important because infants who are too young to be vaccinated are actually dying over this.

I work with an anti-vaxxer, who has spouted all kinds of nonsense at me over the issue (she brings it up, I try to avoid the subject).

Kittehserf
7 years ago

I read about Wakefield in the local papers recently – quite an eye opener. I hadn’t known the origin of the anti-vaccines nonsense.

blitzgal
7 years ago

And I see Wakefield still has an audience. There’s a measles epidemic in south Wales right now, 700 cases. And The Independent ran a front page screed by Wakefield blaming the government for causing it. He’s an utter egomaniac and a murderer as far as I’m concerned.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/apr/13/department-health-andrew-wakefield

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
7 years ago

Holy shit…whooping cough CAN fracture ribs. Sweet Jesus, why wouldn’t parents want to spare their kids so much pain?

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
7 years ago

What frosts my flakes? Pox parties. My daughter has had chicken pox twice, once as an infant and once as a preschooler. And women wanted my daughter and I to come over for a playdate so their kids could catch it.

Why?

To get the pox out of the way, to make sure all the kids caught it at the same time, because a natural immunity is best.

WTF people? Kids die of this disease! And those infected kids will be going to school and potentially infecting their classmates right up until they have the fever and rash. And those unsuspecting classmatesspread it further and risk infecting younger siblings or their other family members. All of this so a mom can get it out of the way…

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Not to mention they’re putting their kids, and others, and other adults, at risk of shingles, which is fucking painful, among other things! Some dipshit brought their kid into the Museum when they had open chickenpox sores once. We chucked ’em out as soon as we realised.

Fade
7 years ago

Ouch, my dad got shingles recently. It got worsened by the fact that he went swimming, and possibly correlated possibly not, he got a skin infection due to the shingles (and idk if due to the swimming).

So yes. Shingles not fun. (((Protective hugs over Daddy)))

Motty
Motty
7 years ago

If there’s a death in wales from this measles outbreak, I hope they damn well hold Wakefield criminally responsible.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

Yep, broken ribs. Which can be very dangerous in elderly people too.

Wakefield is right at the top of my list of most dangerous woo merchants.

pecunium
7 years ago

bahhumbugi: He’s deployed to Germany? You could send a message to his Commanding Officer, letting him know that one of his soldiers is harassing you.

pecunium
7 years ago

Snappy comeback for, “don’t worry your pretty little head”.

“Did you come up with that yourself? How long did it take?”

Best delivered after a moment of apparent contemplation; so as to make it seem spontaneous. Since the odds are his line wasn’t, it’s got teeth.

WeeBoy
WeeBoy
7 years ago

Tbh, chicken pox as a kid is a lot better than getting it as an adult. A friend got chicken pox from her husband when he got shingles and she was in absolute misery.
But I think there’s a vaccine now anyway, so that is better than getting it at all.

I’m only partially vaccinated – DPT and polio. My brother got a very severe case of measles just after being vaccinated and lost most of his hearing. Mum wasn’t sure if he got it from the vaccine or not, but she wasn’t giving me the MMR vax, just in case.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

I had the triple antigen as a kid, and we were vaccinated against German measles and TB at high school, iirc. I don’t recall what else I might have been vaccinated against, though I know I had measles and I think I had chickenpox when I was very small.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

Like most Third Culture kids I got pretty much every vaccine on the market, some of them more often than is recommended because we didn’t have records of previous vaccinations. Out of the group of at least 100 kids that I grew up with who had the same experience, the number of kids who’re on the autism spectrum? One.

Wakefield is full of shit.

pecunium
7 years ago

Also, I think part of the problem with the vaccination issue is that a lot of people our age and younger never saw any of the old childhood diseases in action, because past vaccination campaigns were so effective. So they have no idea just how bad it was, and they’re not making a realistic assessment of the risk

This.

Also scary is an article I saw on social networks (twitter, in specific) and the, apparently, differential effect (certainly prevalence) of negative/positive exhortations about vaccination.

The short of it is, this study (a first, and so not as strong as it might be, and we can hope it’s wrong) says that negative tweets are both more common, and more effective. They are certainly retweeted more.

I might’ve had a very mild case of Whooping Cough when I was 17, or so. Would have been in the gap between one set of vaccines and the next.

I coughed myself to the floor; from oxygen dep, and failed to get up for 10-15 minutes, because every shuddering breath was used to fuel more coughing. They gave me codiene (which almost as unpleasant as the coughing). It hurt to breathe for a few days.

Not to mention they’re putting their kids, and others, and other adults, at risk of shingles, which is fucking painful, among other things!

This is unavoidable. You get the disease, or the vaccine, and then you are at risk of shingles. Which is painful, but rarely fatal. Adult chicken pox can be debilitating/fatal.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

I’ve seen conflicting answers about whether the vaccine can make one susceptible (in rare cases) to shingles or actually prevents it, as it does with chickenpox. Either way, though, letting kids get infected and spread a potentially fatal disease, as well as the follow-up one, is an appalling thing to do.

Seconding the “THIS” about the generations who don’t know what these diseases are like.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Add “well I had chicken pox and it wasn’t so bad” — I had it, my brother was vaccinated. And honestly, compared to being a mosquito buffet, it wasn’t at bad. Neither was breaking my big toe, not about to go around breaking other people’s toes though. Why the fuck not prevent something “minor” if you can?

But yeah, I never had to worry about measles, mumps, rubella, polio, no real threat of whooping cough, fuck, smallpox was dead before I was born.

blitzgal
7 years ago

Also, I think part of the problem with the vaccination issue is that a lot of people our age and younger never saw any of the old childhood diseases in action, because past vaccination campaigns were so effective. So they have no idea just how bad it was, and they’re not making a realistic assessment of the risk

I said this to my co-worker when we were talking about a children’s book by an anti-vaxxer called Melanie’s Marvelous Measles — the author argued that measles is good for kids because it strengthens their immune system. Oh, and this author is a conspiracy theorist who thinks that scientists are giving us AIDS with vaccines.

Anyway, my co-worker’s response to my argument that these people haven’t seen thousands of people dying of infectious disease? “Neither have you!” I sort of stared at her in amazed horror before replying, “But I know that it happened.”

According to WHO, measles killed almost 3 million people per year before widespread vaccination in 1980.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs286/en/

lowquacks
lowquacks
7 years ago

How compulsory is vaccination in the US?

And my parents are normally really cool, but bought into some of the hysteria with the HPV vaccine a few years ago when my sister did and encouraged her not to have it. Mild brush with homeopathy for Mum, too, and her and Dad have stuck up for workfare schemes. But otherwise pretty cool.

WeeBoy
WeeBoy
7 years ago

I know only one anti-vaxxer. He has full custody of his son and refuses to get him vaccinated. Something about how vaccines can cause horrible chronic conditions (not autism, but other stuff) and he won’t knowingly give his son something that could cause him serious harm. I don’t know why he picked vaccines and not, say, paracetamol, but there you go. He’s a hippy too…

katz
7 years ago

What frosts my flakes? Pox parties. My daughter has had chicken pox twice, once as an infant and once as a preschooler. And women wanted my daughter and I to come over for a playdate so their kids could catch it.

Haha, my parents did that to us! This was a few years before the chicken pox vaccine. Made me pretty miserable (my sister got a mild case, I got a fucking terrible case) but, as mentioned by others, was a matter of getting it out of the way immediately or risking a much more severe case later. I wonder if they would still have done it if they’d known that we could get properly vaccinated later.

lowquacks
lowquacks
7 years ago

a few women will come out of that world in those areas that suit men’s brains better than women’s, and do well, but most of them won’t, and they’ll just leave and go on to other professions or to have children or family. That’s what’s been happening all the time when they’ve had quotas.

Assuming these women aren’t going into STEM just to evilly deny men their rightful place, they do like the fields. How anyone could interpret the more-likely-to-leave-to-have-children-or-family thing as indicative of lack of STEM talent among women instead of the effect of gender norms with a dash of the sexism in the STEM fields? You’d have to start from an idea that women don’t know themselves as well as men do.

blitzgal
7 years ago

Most elementary schools require vaccination as far as I know but all allow people to receive an exemption due to “religious belief.”

I also just read that there is a big measles outbreak in Pakistan because parents are choosing not to vaccinate over fears that “Westerners” are using the vaccinations to secretly sterilize Muslims.

Again, MILLIONS dead per year worldwide before the vaccination became widespread. Within my lifetime. How can people not get this??

Dvärghundspossen
7 years ago

@Fade: Yeah, the ableism also irked me extra much in all that horribleness. I’m a feminist AND a mental patient. And you know what; people get into arguments with me all the time. Actually, you could say arguing is my job, since I’m a philosopher. Somehow my colleagues, even the many of them who know full well that I’m a mental patient, do actual arguing rather than just patting me on the head.

Doug Spoonwood
Doug Spoonwood
7 years ago

“It’s just a teensy bit ironic, I would say, that she characterizes feminism as a hate movement at the very same time that A Voice for Men, a site she has very publicly aligned herself with, is leading a hate campaign against an individual feminist activist. (More on this to come tomorrow.) Indeed, Pizzey herself adds to the vilification of the activist here.”

I don’t see any sort of campaign against that woman. Dan Perrins wrote *an* opinion piece on her. I certainly don’t see how one piece makes a campaign. She did cheer when the fire alarm got pulled at the talk see about :30-:40 here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GO_X4DkwA_Q. She did scream in people’s faces and she did call them names such as “fuckface”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxY-5ISEHPg Pointing those things out isn’t vilification of someone who has acted innocently.

Also, Paul Elam has made it very clear that he does NOT want anyone to reveal her personal details and said ” the only thing we know for sure is that she was exercising freedom of expression. We encourage that, even from the likes of this woman.” http://www.avoiceformen.com/a-voice-for-men/a-request-of-readers/ (which implies that she’s NOT going up on register-her.com unless she breaks the law).

“Naturally, all of her comments were happily upvoted by the Reddit masses, and her “Ask Me Anything” post itself got more than 1200 upvotes. Evidently pandering to Reddit’s collective fantasies about the oppression of men pays off big in the upvote department.”

That comes as fairly misleading. Right now that reddit has over 1200 “points”. As I write, it has 3912 upvotes and 2659 downvotes. So, such “pandering” as described in the original post ALSO pays off in the downvote department.

Dvärghundspossen
7 years ago

@Blitzgal: Seems to me that lots of anti-vax people believe that the measles only BECAME occasionally deadly AFTER people started vaccinated against them, because vaccination has “weakened” us.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Not quite all, but yeah, most. Have a list — http://www2a.cdc.gov/nip/schoolsurv/schImmRqmtReport.asp?s=Religious,%20grantee&d=10&w=%20%20%20%20&t=2

Harder to follow, but here’re the disease requirements — http://www.immunize.org/laws/

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

The thing is, you don’t (at least here) have to prove anything to get the religious exemption, it’s just a matter of signing a form. So you can be part of a religious group that has no position on vaccines, or an atheist, and still claim the religious exemption.

katz
7 years ago

Cassandra, as far as I can tell, that’s an inherent vice of religious exemptions; making people prove their religious affiliations is never going to end well. Which immediately calls into question religious exemptions for vaccines, which in turn immediately calls into question all religious exemptions.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

Yeah, I don’t have any solution as to how to get around that, other than just not allowing religious exemptions for vaccines at all.

(Which is in fact the solution I would vote for, if they ever put it on the ballot.)

BlackSphinx
7 years ago

Ugh, I hate anti-vax people for all the reasons outlined above, plus one. My little sister is autistic and has PTSD triggered by the medical environment, due to her almost dying (Stevens–Johnson syndrome) as a young child. Recently my mother had to decide if she wanted to subject my sister to the sheer trauma of going to the doctor and getting a vaccine the school wanted all the students to have, or not doing it. After like a week of debate between her and my dad and my sister herself, she decided to go to the school and request that my sister be exempt from this. Even after explaining why, the first woman she talked to more-or-less called her an awful parent and made my mother feel like dirt. If anti-vax people weren’t so prevalent and dangerous, my mother would have had much less of a hassle avoiding triggering my little sister. :/

katz
7 years ago

As would I. The tricky thing is that it’s hard to think of a justification that couldn’t be applied (reasonably or unreasonably) to most other religious exemptions. I suppose the key one is the danger to others.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

What katz said = QFT – quoting, because it’s right there 🙂

I’m fine with adults making decisions for themselves based on their religious beliefs, and/or what they claim their beliefs to be. Because see, you don’t want a blood transfusion, okay, you’re competent to make medical decisions? Then it doesn’t matter why you don’t want it, whether it be religion, or you just find blood squicky (yes that’s supposed to be a reductio ad absurdum)

Not fine with adults making medical decisions for children/other dependants that go against commonly accepted “best practice” medically. I give zero fucks if your religion says your child’s broken arm will knit back together if you pray, that thing needs to be properly set. Likewise, vaccines are proven — an argument could be made that HPV needs more time, but counter that, that age group could argue they’re competent to decide for themselves.

In short, I don’t think religion, or other views, should have more than minor bearing on how children are treated medically. You want to schedule the vaccine for after your vacation or something, yeah whatever. Fuck, I’m just fine with the “we’re worried about autism” crowd to wait until the kid is 3~4 and would’ve already been diagnosed. But sending the kid to school unvaccinated? Yeah, you can home school if your religion forbids vaccines. Sure state education is a right in the US, but isn’t “a safe education” part of that? (And um, it damned well seems to be with the post-Newtown gun control fight)

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

With some issues I’d be worried that it would lead the parents to home-school as a wide to side-step the school’s policies, but with the crunchy parents or the ones who’ve just bought into the autism hysteria I don’t think that’s so much a problem. And honestly, why should kids be allowed to expose their fellow students to potential harm because of religion? If someone said that their religion required them to take a loaded gun with them to school they’d be told that was too bad. Part of the reason the anti-vax thing has gotten so out of hand is that both school boards and pediatricians caved too easily, imo.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Cassandra — my thinking is that the parents who honestly won’t vaccinate because of religion are going to disagree with curriculum on so many other points that it’s better for everyone if they home school. Granted it sucks that the kid won’t learn, say, evolution, or sex ed. But at least here we’re dumbing down everyone’s education to suit them.

And maybe being forced to home school would make them reconsider if it was really worth the effort. That’s probably biased against religions though huh? But do non-fundies really go anti-vax?

Guess it’s the difference between saying “[thing] is required, no exceptions” and “your child cannot go to public school if you’re [religion]”…though in effect they may mean the same thing?

lowquacks
lowquacks
7 years ago

Religious exemptions in general strike me as bullshit. Most can fit into one of three categories:

1. The Tacit Admission that the Requirement is Bullshit

“We don’t normally let people wear long-hair-and-beards/head-coverings but it’s cool because you’re a Sikh/Muslim” and “You’re not allowed to have peyote unless it’s a part of your religion” strike me as being quiet admissions that the sky wouldn’t actually fall in if people were to start wearing the hair and beards long/heads covered in those jobs, or taking peyote.

The solution here is to get rid of the stupid rule, not chip away at it with religious exemptions.

2. The Backing Down on a Sensible Requirement

The vaccination thing is an example of this.

The solution is probably to not allow exemptions, but it’s a little trickier.

3. The Not Actually Religiously-based

Quakers have an easy time getting conscientious objector status in quite a few places, but that’s probably got more to do with the fact that they’re members of an organisation dedicated to peace than with any metaphysical beliefs of that organisation.

There’s not really a problem with these.

This isn’t denouncing religious sensitivity: setting things up so as not to unfairly affect Muslims over Ramadan is still a good thing to do, and it’s important to keep in mind various cultural practices and to accept input and criticisms from people who might be disadvantaged by current setups or rules.

It’s just saying that religious exemptions are generally horrendous ways of doing this and say odd things about which religious ideas are worthy of being recognised (one-person religions are probably far less likely to get them), and suffer from the problems CassandraSays mentioned above about the problems of trying to prove religious affiliation, particularly with non-official organisations (Catholics can prove it easily enough, for example, but other religious affiliations might be harder to show).

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

I might want to approach it differently if I thought that most anti-vax parents were doing it for religious reasons, but they’re not. That’s just a convenient loophole that they’re exploiting so they can “protect” their kids and rely on everyone else’s presumed herd immunity.

lowquacks
lowquacks
7 years ago

If someone said that their religion required them to take a loaded gun with them to school they’d be told that was too bad.

This. Note that most established religions have long traditions of lawyer-y classes who specifically update or interpret the religion to maintain the spirit of the thing but fit in with current social mores. The tiny blunt daggers worn by many Sikhs to cover the requirement to carry a sword with them at all times are a great example!

I don’t think how one could do this with legitimately religious antivax paranoia, but then again I’m not a theologian/rabbi/whatever.

falyne42
falyne42
7 years ago

I hang out online with some good peeps from Pharyngula, and they recently had an… issue… with someone they encountered on an Autism-related page Facebook.

The woman had an autistic kid. She’ anti-vax, pro-Wakefield, disparaging anyone that didn’t have kids because they couldn’t possibly understand, dismissed and blocked most of the self-identified autistic people in the thread because they were obviously unempathetic and incapable of understanding her emotional response, and clumsily tried to pat one on the head to get her on her side (that… did not work).

She expressed that she would rather her son have had a vaccine-preventable disease and DIED than have autism, because she would be able to comfort herself by knowing that she’d nursed him as best she could.

The conversation became rather profanity-filled at that point, with very good reason.

The kicker is? She also works part-time at a school that focuses on the non-neurotypical. >_<

katz
7 years ago

Lowquacks, well summarized.

Of course there are still cases of Sikhs getting in trouble for carrying kirbans :/

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

lowquacks is right about #1, and doing away with all of those would also kill some of the “dreads are unacceptable/not professional” sort of racism. As for #3 yeah I just don’t care any, religious or not your belief applies to you and you have that right (fuck, if we started another draft I’d try CO and I’m not getting any religious exceptions).

It’s where #2 and actual religious sensitivity cross. Like, idk if any vaccines are pig derived or anything like that, but they wouldn’t be kosher if they were. It’d be a legit religious issue, but asking someone to prove they keep kosher to that degree would be unethical (and probably impossible and cue “that’s how it started with Hitler”, and rightly so) — but if you’re so religious that a few pig cells to potentionally save lives really bothers you, you’re going to have issues with everything else about public school and maybe home schooling is a good idea in general?

(Note, there probably aren’t pig derived vaccines and afaik kosher can be broken to save a life, but pecunium would be a better source in that)

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

katz — yeah but if it’s an absolute weapon free zone where a similar thing on anyone else would be banned…it isn’t really discrimination. I mean, if the rule is based on banning Sikhs from carrying kirbans, than yeah, racist. But courthouses and the like where anything like a weapon is banned? Family court in particular is No Fucking Weapons for what are probably obvious reasons.

Another one of those points where idk whether “is it seriously worth not just playing along?” Is discrimination versus this rule is sensible and we’re not bending.

katz
7 years ago

Vaccines are egg-derived, though, so I’d imagine that, say, a Jainist might have a problem with them.

There’s also the case of things that are standardized one way because they’re vastly cheaper/simpler/more efficient/more effective that way, but that go against someone’s beliefs. Hand-counted ballots for the Amish, for instance.