First it was the denial (vaccines are 100% safe), then it was the overstate-the-science (no evidence of harm), then it was the insults and the 100,000-shot-Offit, but now vaccine advocates have sunk to a new all-time low.
This new low is a social media campaign that is being promoted by Left Brain Right Brain and the Autism Science Foundation that attempts to appeal to the inner caveman in all guys.
The name of the campaign is "Real Guys Immunize".
I kid you not.
This new campaign was created "in 24 hours" by attendees of a conference, and it shows. Just in time for fathers day, this campaign is a crude attempt to appeal to the desire to be macho in all men. The message is very simple, as it says on their website -
Hey there, big guy! If you're a Real Guy who cares about your family's health, then this campaign is just for you. On this site you'll find tips about immunization, answers to questions about vaccines and tools for taking action. Dads have a vital role in protecting families and we're here to help you learn about protecting you and your family from vaccine-preventable diseases.As is blatantly obvious, the message here is that if you want to be a "real" guy and a good father, you will immunize your children. And if you don't, well I guess that makes you wuse and a bad dad.
On behalf of all males with a brain, I have to say that I am offended.
Important medical decisions, like immunization, should be made based on medical information and the specific facts of your child's situation. Sure, vaccines are important and do safe many lives each year. But at the same time, there are times when vaccines aren't a good idea either.
To make an important decision like this you need to understand the issues, the benefits, the risks, and, most importantly, how these factors apply to your child's specific situation. What you don't need is a an advocacy group attempting to goad you into blindly following their lead by telling you that you aren't a "real guy".
All of the "real" guys out there know better than to respond to name calling and peer-pressure. All of the "real" guys should know that is is far more important to do what is in the best interest of your child rather than to blindly adhere to a one-size-fits-all campaign like this.
On in other words, real guys think.