Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Actually, I can handle the truth

No normal, decent person is one thing, okay? I've got some shit I'm conservative about, I've got some shit I'm liberal about. Crime, I'm conservative. Prostitution, I'm liberal!
--------- Chris Rock

This is exactly how I felt today reading a couple of articles in the New York Times.

The first reports a study from the Journal Pediatrics which demonstrates that vaccinating your daughter against HPV is not a short-cut to the land of clear heels and tramp-stamps.
Looking at a sample of nearly 1,400 girls, researchers found no evidence that those who were vaccinated beginning around age 11 went on to engage in more sexual activity than girls who were not vaccinated. 
I know some parents worry that, absent the threat of cervical cancer, girls won't keep their knees together. I guess these are the parents who tell their teenagers to drive without seatbelts, so they'll be extra careful and not make any mistakes behind the wheel. But my son wears a helmet to football, and I'll be getting the HPV vaccine for my kids.

So far, so liberal.

Then I read an article about hospitals ditching the formula samples they've given out forever in maternity wards, and I'm starting to feel a little like Ron Paul. Even though I was a walking cafeteria for years. Even though I know that breast milk is better for kids. Even though the smell of formula makes me nauseous. Even though I know that Enfamil just wanted to get me and my babies hooked on that easy meal before my milk came in.

Because breastfeeding is so damn hard. Because your baby will be just fine with formula. Because most mothers have to go back to work around the time that nursing becomes easy. Because it took three days for my milk to come in, by which time my first baby was starving. Because babies with jaundice often need supplementing with formula.

But most of all, because locking up the formula is like putting the cookies on a high shelf. Don't treat women giving birth like children. Mothers who bottle-feed aren't stupid or uninformed. They've made a perfectly legitimate decision and shouldn't be subjected to a walk of shame to get food for their babies. It's bad enough that Marisa Mayer is taking conference calls from the delivery room. Can we stop making new mothers feel like a failure before they even leave the hospital?

Oh, noes! Am I a libertarian?

Nah, I'm still a big government liberal. Never fear.

Today's $5 goes to the American Social Health Association. Because we're big girls, and we can handle the truth.

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