The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

Send an Awesome Skepchick Some Love as She Kicks Anti-Vaxxer Ass

Posted by mattusmaximus on December 7, 2010

I want to pass along a story to you all.  This story is about my good friend & skeptical colleague-in-arms, Elyse Anders, who is quite possibly the most awesome skeptic I know (and I know a lot of them, folks).  I say this because Elyse not only talks the skeptical talk, she walks the skeptical walk, even if it means walking right into the jaws of some folks who are not very pleasant people to deal with (and that takes serious guts).  You see, Elyse was one of the driving forces behind getting the Age of Autism’s anti-vaccination “PSAs” pulled from circulation at AMC Theaters before the Thanksgiving weekend.

Well, now the folks at Age of Autism are pissed and they’ve started their counter-attack, which is no surprise.  Sadly, also no surprise, they are not attempting to counter our skeptical display of facts with facts, research, and so on; rather, they have started to attack Elyse personally – very personally – and I think it would be good for us to send her some love.  Below I share her account of the events of recent days…

From Ads to Ad Homs

December 6th, 2010 by Elyse · 78 Comments

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… My morning started with a coffee while checking FB to see who’s got good snark and who’s got stupid cartoon profile pictures. Instead of snark and snorks, I got an email from Kim Wombles informing me that Age of Autism has started their attack against me.

I wasn’t surprised. After the AMC awesomeness just before Thanksgiving and the Grant Park rally last May I knew I was on their radar. And Orac’s been warning me for months, and called their shot Thanksgiving Day. I was waiting for them. I was prepared… I thought.

Unfortunately, I’m naive. I expected them to come at me with information. I expected them to be angry. I expected them to call me names. I expected them to take my words out of context. I expected them to paint me as a bad mother. I expected them to use my son’s developmental delays against me. I expected them to show up here and on their own blogs.

But they play dirty.

They’ve taken my FB profile pic and posted it on their FB page with the caption:

This is the woman who fought to pull the SafeMinds PSA’s from the theatres. It’s her FB profile page photo. She is anti-choice and wants to tell you that mercury is safe and that Thimeosal is good – according to her blog. She trolls AofA regularly. As do all the pro-vaccine-injury bloggers.

It’s sly. A thinly veiled call to arms against me. They’ve called me ugly. They’ve called me negligent. They’ve threatened to call child protective services on me. They’ve vaguely threatened violence. They’ve threatened my face. They’ve threatened to rape me with broken thermometers. They’ve posted my full name and my face… and worse…the pic is not just me; it’s me and Delaney, my infant daughter. They dragged my daughter into this. They’re attacking my baby. She’s 6 months old. And she’s being threatened. …

Folks, this sort of thing is just downright despicable.  It is also revealing to see the tactics being employed by these anti-vax loons when their primary response to a grassroots skeptical campaign to stop their pseudoscientific propaganda is to personally attack, smear, and even threaten the organizers of that campaign (not mention, to drag their kids into it all).  Pardon me while I puke…

Go on, read the Age of Autism Facebook post on this, read the comments, observe the vitriol and hatred being expressed there for yourself. And then, send Elyse some love – because what right-thinking person wouldn’t want to give such a charming, awesome, and determined woman (who, after all, is in a real way fighting for all of us) some love, especially in her hour of need?  You can send the love by commenting on her entry over at Skepchick, or (even better) buy some of the new “Hug Me, I’m Vaccinated!” T-shirts from Elyse’s Women Thinking Free Foundation.

Let’s go skeptics: time to get makin’ with the love!!! ;)

 

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4 Responses to “Send an Awesome Skepchick Some Love as She Kicks Anti-Vaxxer Ass”

  1. Sullivan said

    SafeMinds/AgeOfAutism are backing off somewhat. They seem to have deleted some of the worst of the comments.

    Kim Stagliano (who mounted the cyber-bully attack on Skepchick) is now claiming that she only picked the photo out of laziness. She would have picked one less likely to be mocked had she taken an extra 30 seconds to search for one (like, say, on Twitter…)

    It doesn’t really matter what photo Kim Stagliano picked. The point was to call a cyber-bully attack, plain and simple. Any photo would do. Any photo would bring the usual AgeOfAutism attacks, strange diagnoses (anyone they disagree with has vaccine damage or mercury poisoning for some reason).

    • mattusmaximus said

      Good. I think the AoA folks really shot themselves in the foot with this crap; the fact that they even went there to begin with shows the depth of their adherence to a rigid ideology that vaccines are, somehow, evil or bad. Even some of their supporters are looking at this blatant personal attack and thinking “WTF dude?!”

  2. [...] Age of Autism’s latest repulsive behavior – Elyse from Skepchick led the recent letter writing campaign that successfully persuaded AMC [...]

  3. boolove said

    Though I dont vax I am not anti vax either. I am simply as a researcher in ppharma very skeptical of the current trends and wont subject my kids to our curremt vax formulations.
    However attacks of a self righteous nature do not work to convey one s point. I adhere to rigid scientific data as well as my personal experience. Passion is lovely in some cases and a huge block in others I.e. personal choice.

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