Via Jill comes this amazing evidence of how out-of-touch and extremist sex panicking conservatives have gotten. As I think all grown-ups are willing to admit, this whole shitstorm Michele Bachmann has stirred about the HPV vaccine is just pure sex panic (with a side dose of anti-vaxxer nuttery, but really, this is bigger than that), and Ayelet Waldman was alarmed by all the people who've convinced themselves that all ladies who Do It are Snooki and Paris Hilton (and therefore "good" girls have no need for vaccination against a common STD). In an effort to breathe a little reality into the debate and remind the public that there's a whole sea of women between the categories of "virgin" and "whore", she put up this tweet:
What we learned in the response to this is that anti-choicers have determined there really are two kinds of women: virgins and dirty whores who deserve to die of cancer.
So the 95% of Americans who've had sex before marriage deserve to get cancer and die? But wait, not just them! You can also be a virgin on your wedding day and be a whore who deserves to die of cervical cancer. All you need to earn filthy-whore-who-deserves-to-die status is to marry someone who has sex even once before you. That's probably even more than 95% of Americans.
Man, for people who claim to love this country, conservatives like Thomas Peters here sure do want to see a lot of disease, death and suffering in it.
Not everyone went to the place of deciding that almost all Americans are too sexy to live, but they still went the "ohy my god, sex is SO GROSS and I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU ADMIT YOU GOT AN INCREDIBLY COMMON STI" route.
Look, saying "I've had HPV" is basically saying, "I've had sex." It's that common. There's nothing shameful about an STI, unless you think sex is shameful, full stop. That Waldman has sex with her husband isn't "TMI"; it's a given. I'd find it more personal if she was tweeting that she didn't have sex with her husband. Now that's gossip.
I can't believe we've let conservative shaming get us to the point where having sex with your legally wedded husband is too gross an idea for the public to bear.
Personally, I've had HPV at least twice, which is incredibly common for a woman my age. Probably more; it's so common they don't really put a lot of effort into actually tracking it. I honestly couldn't say where I got it. The way that people know where they picked it up is kind of amazing to me, and I suspect there's a little bit of making shit up when people seem very certain where they got it. All I know is that both times I had bad Pap smears that showed positive for it, I was in monogamous relationships. I could have gotten it from them, or they from me. Or from a former monogamous partner or a hook-up. Who knows? More importantly, who cares? It's the sinus infection of STDs. It's not like getting the clap where there's a value in figuring out where it came from so that a chain of who-needs-testing-and-treatment can be established. There's no real treatment for it, and it usually clears up on its own. I've had it. You've probably had it. Most people have had it. Get the fuck over it.
HPV is like the common cold in terms of severity. Most people are fine, but a percentage of people get sicker and die. That's why we vaccinate against the flu, and why we should vaccinate against HPV. But that doesn't mean we need to have some society-wide panic about the flu. Just get the shot and get on with your life. Sheesh. The only reason to freak out about HPV—and about the vaccine—is that we can't handle the fact that people fuck. Even though pretty much everyone fucks. It's bizarre, it really is.