Essay:Why I hate the anti-vaccine movement with a burning passion

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Oh boy, have I been wanting to do this for a loooooong time...

For those of you who don't know, I have Asperger's, which is a form of Autism. As such, I have come to despise pseudoscience about twice as much as a neurotypical person. In particular, I save my loathing for a special beast: the Anti-vaccine movement. While there are many facets of the movement that I hate, there's one in particular that has earned my ire:

The dehumanization of autistic children.


What do I mean by that? Well, it's simple. Whenever a parent posts an anti-vaxx sob story on Facebook, they often complain about how their precious child's autism (real or not) was caused by "vaccine damage". This implies that Autism is something abnormal and should be avoided like the plague, and since these people conflate Autism and autistic people as the same thing, the meaning gets applied to those people as well. They're basically saying that they'd rather have their child risk getting a life-threatening disease than catch the big bad Autisms.

Even worse, there are parents who believe that children with autism are effectively braindead husks of meat. They see autistic people as completely incapable of doing basic activities and showing emotion. They even go so far as to say that their perfect child was essentially "dead" and was "replaced" by Autism, which just dehumanizes Autists further. While it isn't purposefully discriminatory, its nature basically spells out how they feel.

And for those of you who think I'm exaggerating, take a look at the #SaidNoMotherEver movement on Facebook. Most people under the hashtag post statuses that can be boiled down to "My child is dead because of vaccines, but at least they didn't get smallpox!", which is, of course, insulting to both parents of autistic children and parents of children who died to vaccine-preventable illnesses. These posts also include the absolutely idiotic premise that vaccine-preventable illnesses are just as harmless as the cold. Yeah, because all those people who have Measles are just overreacting and are perfectly fine.

The stupidity of humanity never ceases to amaze and horrify me.