Sunday, February 7, 2016

Shame On You, You Drunken Slut




The CDC’s Alcohol Warning Shames and Discriminates Against Women





“We’re having a baby,” her husband crowed, before shrinking back in mock terror and hugging his wife for dramatic effect. “What have we done?” My husband and I laughed heartily, thankful that we weren’t the ones having a child. We poured more wine. We boggled at the turn his brother’s life was about to take.

After Christmas Eve came Christmas. Then a wedding. Then New Year’s Eve. I was 25, at the height of my life, working hard and enjoying the perks of being responsible for only myself, with money to burn and youth to spare.

I was also pregnant. With twins. And hadn’t known it. We found out in early February. What had we done, indeed?

Doctors said my conception date was Dec. 13, meaning I went through three major drinking holidays and an open-bar wedding without knowing my state. When I found out, the booze stopped immediately. But what if I was too late? What if fetal alcohol syndrome, a blanket term for disorders that can cause mental or physical birth defects, had already taken hold? I was constantly worried.

This is one of the many reasons why the scare tactic masquerading as a health recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control this week is deplorable. Since drinking alcohol is the only cause of fetal alcohol syndrome, and some women of child-bearing age drink and are not on birth control and sometimes have sex, the CDC deemed it appropriate to state as if it were scientific fact that “more than 3 million US women are at risk of exposing their developing baby to alcohol because they are drinking, having sex, and not using birth control to prevent pregnancy.”

Those are some shady numbers coming from a public health organization. Since birth control wouldn’t be a factor in women already developing a fetus inside of them, we must assume that the CDC is telling all women of child bearing age not to drink at all, in case they might accidentally fall pregnant. They are protecting a fetus that doesn’t exist. They are talking down to women who have the right to privacy, the right to monitor their own health like adults and somewhat of a right to bodily autonomy (unless they’re pregnant) and taken those away in the name of an imaginary baby.

The paternalism is stunning. Suddenly, it’s no longer a political question whether a mother’s right to her body outweighs the right of an unborn fetus inside of her. Instead it is a medical guideline that a woman’s right to her body vanishes if there is a mere possibility that a fetus might reside there someday.

Women are not incubators for people. We are people. People who can make choices about our own health and bodies, particularly when there are no phantom babies floating around in them.

This one recommendation is only the tip of the iceberg of problems with the CDC’s new guidelines.

In an infographic, they state clearly up top that drinking too much alcohol puts women at risk for increased violence, sexually transmitted diseases, and unintended pregnancy. This is patently untrue. It is a blanket statement that stretches over a river of decisions that must be made by two people, not one. Unless alcohol grows arms and attacks a woman, or grows genitals and has sex with her, alcohol does not beat or impregnate women. Men do. These recommendations are another drop in the reservoir of blaming the victim and putting the onus of pregnancy on the woman’s shoulders. Getting unintentionally pregnant is not solely a woman’s fault.

In my case, I was on birth control when it happened to me, so what then? What are my recommendations? Turns out, I didn’t need shaming recommendations because my twins are healthy, happy, intelligent, well-behaved seven-year-old girls. I either dodged the world’s largest bullet, or, like science says, the occurrence of FAS is small.

All this aside, women are thinking, feeling, sentient beings who probably care very much about the wellbeing of their future children. We’re already scared we’re going to mess something up. We worry constantly about the welfare of our kids. We don’t need the extra, condescending guilt from our professional health services.

This message is unclear, it’s discriminatory, it blames victims, and it has no place on a governmental, science-based website that deals with health.

Take your shaming and get it out of my health care.



When I saw the CDC guidelines for alcohol and women, I knew that this was not about health or safety but about the CDC and their "agenda"

To understand the CDC is to know that alcohol has been an obsessive issue for them for decades. They have long been affiliated with MADD and their agenda (read that dated survey and not the gender and marital issues that seem to be of import and the 4.2% based on phone survey data, once again showing bizarre morality, junk science and bullshit lead to policy)  and in turn this is the sudden science behind dropping the alcohol safety levels for driving. It was at first .15, then it was or is .08 and now they are recommending .05.  So which is it? And why did it change?  Did the science improve on  showing how alcohol affects the human body or have humans  evolved that alcohol now is absorbed at  a much slower rate and in turn suddenly now more dangerous?

If you have learned anything in this country, our obsession with morality and victimization has a much larger role in laws and policy making as does actual legitimate science  and well researched and studied facts when it comes to  our criminal justice system.

Currently the CDC head is an "activist" Doctor who we can thank for the soda law in NYC,  as well as banning smoking from bars in NYC.  In other words he has a long history of alienating groups of people under the guise of public good.

There is a book, called Saving Gotham,  about Dr. Friedman which I look forward to reading and there is a profile of the man here.  There is no doubt that his politics and beliefs have a significant role  in altering public laws to suit an agenda that is largely a reflection less about science and entrusting people to make their own decisions with regards to choices and behaviors.   He seems to have found the perfect job and place to do that.

As the CDC has shown that they have no interest on the public health as they faltered with regards to the Ebola crisis, and we are now approaching a similar one with regards to the Zika virus and what about Legionnaires that happened last year in NYC and now in Flint?   Or what is the CDC position on the Lead in the water in Flint?

The CDC is now busy devising policies regarding liquor and women and ensuring that women are protected from themselves.   Yes this is Dr. Friedman a man who is making sure that women don't do anything that men have to clean up.

Note the CDC guidelines for men  (not updated or changed since 2013) and liquors role in contributing to more accidents and  violence and to both women, children or themselves as a result.  No, no hypocrisy there.   Where is that groovy modern infographic on that one?

Where is the CDC with regards to gun violence and the health hazard guns cause.  No, lets worry about guidelines for booze, women and sex.  Is there a second message in there that if women do get pregnant the ability to change that situation through abortion will soon not be available so ladies keep your legs shut and if you do get pregnant, drunk, sober or however, accept it and preserve that baby.

And the CDC has failed to deal with the prescription drug crisis that has enabled those to receive drugs and in turn become addicted to pain killers that now are the "gateway" drug to heroin and other  drugs to control pain and deal with mental health problems that result from that issue.  Of course the CDC is busy coming up with drunk slut lists.

Or could they look into this city and its problem with addiction and suicide? Is that not a problem?

Or the methane gas in this California city? Or the groundwater at risk in his former city of New York. That has to be way more dangerous than trans fats or sugary beverages.

Then we have the CDC with regards to the inoculation crisis that has contributed to deaths from diseases that we thought we had eliminated. What is Dr. Friedman doing about those communities that are sure these inoculations are safe and do not cause serious health problems and learning disabilities?  Or ensuring that public health and safety is protected from those visiting or those migrating here who have not had adequate or even any health care?   Will Donald Trump be building that wall anytime soon? Get on that CDC!

And what about food borne illnesses? What is the CDC role there with the sudden outbreak at Chipolte?  Should pregnant women avoid guacamole?  I will have a side with that and a Xanax, but no booze.

Yes what about pregnant women on Medicaid who are prescribed more drugs during pregnancy and then test positive for said drugs (note hydrocodone and codeine which are narcotics)  and in turn are turned into CPS.

Or why women were ignored for this serious issue, depression during pregnancy,  for decades?  Or why it took a panel of Doctors who are not in the CDC to insist women should be screened for depression during pre/post  pregnancy.    Calling Tom Cruise! Maybe he should head the CDC, we couldn't do worse than a crazy Scientologist. 

Or let's talk about nutrition and the reduction of SNAP or food benefits for largely women and children.  Or the dilapadated  run down schools and public housing that are exposing adults and children to asbestos, lead or poor water or air.  Has Dr. Friedman been to Detroit?

But wait if women just kept their legs closed and off the booze this would not be a problem.  So what about rape and drugs added to that single drink one accepts as a normal part of dating or socializing with men that can immediately affect a woman's ability to consent or even know what is happening to them.  Well if these sluts weren't accepting drinks from men, period, then it is not a problem.  Have a coffee or tea and that will stop that, you whore!

Or what about the men meetup who advocate legalizing rape.  Will the CDC explain how that works?

And then did the CDC study Lawyers and booze? They don't call it the Bar Association for nothing! 






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