Vaccination and Sexism in the Media

by Sarah VaccinationComments: 78

Katie Couric_mini
I have one simple question to pose to you in this article dear readers.

Is it just me or have you also noticed the sexism that is rampant in the mainstream media where the issue of vaccination is concerned?

Why is it that male celebrities can speak their minds about the vaccination issue without as much as a whimper from media outlets, but when a woman attempts the same thing, she is vilified in a media firestorm, her name dragged through the mud and in at least one case, summarily fired?

This blatant sexism should outrage you no matter whether you are for or against vaccination.

Prejudice is prejudice, and it is disgusting, inappropriate and unlawful. The worst part is that these media bosses are getting away with it unless the court of public opinion intervenes to shame them into silence.

Here are a few examples for you to ponder ….

Dr. Oz Questions CDC Vaccination Schedule; Wife “Absolutely Refuses” H1N1 Jab for Children

On more than one occasion, Dr. Oz has indicated that he and his wife deviate from the CDC recommended vaccination schedule.  In an interview with Joy Behar (transcript here), Dr. Oz divulged that his wife absolutely refused the H1N1 (Swine Flu) shot for their children and that they spread out the vaccine schedule for them instead of following recommended immunization guidelines.

In another interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Dr. Oz said that neither his wife or his children would get the H1N1 jab.

Here’s a video clip of another television interview where Dr. Oz says that when he goes home he’s not “Dr. Oz”, he’s “Mr. Oz” and his wife isn’t going to immunize their four children (this occurs at 1:12 into the video).

Dr. Oz suffered no public or media backlash from these comments and as of this writing is still enjoying a solid contractual relationship and huge ratings from the Dr. Oz Show which airs on NBC.

Actors Who Express Vaccination Reservations

Actors Charlie Sheen, Aidan Quinn, and Rob Schneider are all opposed to vaccination and have suffered no tar and feathering at the hands of the media as a result.

According to a TMZ report, Mr. Sheen is extremely opposed to vaccination, so much so that he apparently paid for a $380 doctor visit with a box of 7,600 nickels as a form of protest when his ex-wife took their children in to be vaccinated.

Aidan Quinn has openly blamed his daughter’s autism on vaccines.  He maintained in an interview with the Irish Independent and reported by Parent Magazine that after receiving the vaccination, his daughter Aida who was developing normally until that point, became nonverbal, did not recognize who she was and was suddenly uncoordinated. He describes the regressive event in the following words:

“So we had a normal child that was walking, talking, doing everything way faster than she was supposed to.Then, after an MMR, she got a 106 degree fever and turned blue and woke up the next day with dark circles and not knowing who she was. And uncoordinated.”

Aida is now 19 years old and still nonverbal with a diagnosis of autism.

Comedian Rob Schneider is openly and vocally opposed to all vaccination. He actively worked to stop the passage of a California law that requires parents to obtain a physician’s signature in order to prevent their child from receiving vaccinations. He said in an interview with a California news station:

“The doctors are not gonna tell you both sides of the issue… they’re told by the pharmaceutical industry, which makes billions of dollars, that it’s completely safe.  The efficacy of these shots have not been proven, and the toxicity of these things — we’re having more and more side effects. We’re having more and more autism.”

Did any of these four male celebrities suffer any significant public or media backlash for their views on vaccination?


Now let’s examine what happened to women who expressed similar reservations.

Jenny McCarthy Regularly Dragged Through the Mud for Her Anti-Vax Stance

No one has endured more public and media ridicule for her stance on vaccinations than model, comic actress, and author Jenny McCarthy. It all started with the 2008 interview on Larry King Live regarding her newly released book Louder than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing AutismDuring that interview, McCarthy asserted that vaccines cause autism. The huge media and public backlash from that interview has continued to this day.

Even after McCarthy clarified that her position is against the toxins in the vaccines and not the vaccines themselves, the vitriol continued.  Huge public and media outrage ensued when she was considered as a co-host on The View. Kudos to Barbara Walters for not caving to public pressure and offering the job anyway.

Despite scoring The View gig, Jenny still endures public humiliation for her position. As recently as the past few days, McCarthy endured nasty comments on her Twitter account due to her stance opposing vaccination.

Congresswoman Michele Bachman’s Presidential Bid Killed by Vaccination Views

Congresswoman Michele Bachman’s bid for the Republican nomination for President in the 2012 election was going along swimmingly until her comments about the HPV vaccine in a debate sponsored by CNN.  She even won the Iowa Straw Poll cementing her top tier candidacy for the nomination.

In that CNN sponsored debate, Bachmann criticized Texas Gov. Rick Perry for signing an executive order requiring middle-school girls in his state to get vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV).  Shortly after the debate ended, Bachman explained her comments on the Jay Leno Show:

The concern is that there are potentially side effects that can come with something like that. But it gives a false sense of assurance to a young woman when she has that, that if she’s sexually active that she doesn’t have to worry about sexually transmitted diseases.

Ms. Bachman’s Presidential bid was dead on arrival after expressing views that deviated from the CDC party line. She also endured extensive media and public ridicule as a result.

Katie Couric Gets Slammed for Interview with Mothers of HPV Vax Damaged Girls

Even huge profile celebrity newswomen apparently have to keep their mouths shut about vaccines.  Consider how the enormously popular Katie Couric, whose ABC syndicated news show Katie was ranked #1 in 2012-2013, was canned after only 2 seasons not so coincidentally after she dared to invite two mothers on her show in December 2013 to tell their story about how their daughters had experienced adverse reactions after being vaccinated for HPV (Gardasil).

Couric even clearly stated that she was pro-vaccine and had her own daughters vaccinated.

Ms. Couric backpedaled with the following statement in a post-interview article for the Huffington Post:

I felt it was a subject well worth exploring. Following the show, and in fact before it even aired, there was criticism that the program was too anti-vaccine and anti-science, and in retrospect, some of that criticism was valid. We simply spent too much time on the serious adverse events that have been reported in very rare cases following the vaccine. More emphasis should have been given to the safety and efficacy of the HPV vaccines.

No matter. She was viciously and mercilessly skewered by the media, forced to apologize (for what anyway? Is vaccination a religion now for heaven’s sake?) and her daytime show summarily cancelled.

Why Can Celebrity Men Speak Their Minds About Vaccination But Not Women?

The question remains as to why there is such blatant sexism in the media regarding a celebrity’s position on vaccination.

To this, I will venture an answer.

The reason is because, in general, mothers call the shots with regard to medical decisions in a household.

Pun intended!

Dr. Oz said it himself that when he goes home, he is no longer “Dr. Oz” he is “Mr. Oz” and that his wife absolutely refused the H1N1 shot for their children even though he himself received the shot.

Doctor or no Doctor, Mrs. Oz clearly makes the medical decisions in the Oz home.

The pharmaceutical industry, a primary advertiser/sponsor of the mainstream media, knows that keeping mothers in line is key to maintaining high vaccination rates. By whipping the public into a media-induced frenzy regarding any celebrity woman who dares to question or stray from the CDC recommended vaccination schedule, a subliminal message is being sent to all American mothers:

“No woman is big enough to survive questioning vaccines. If you dare to do so yourself, you will get crucified too – by your peers, your family and your doctor.  Beware.”

What do you think about sexism in the mainstream media regarding the issue of vaccinations?  Are there other reasons you have observed for women paying a huge price for their beliefs and men seem to get off scot-free?


Kristin CavallariWithin mere hours of this post getting published, yet another celebrity woman has been viciously attacked for her personal views on vaccination.

27 year old reality star Kristin Cavallari , wife of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, announced that she has never had her son Camden vaccinated for anything and she doesn’t plan on doing it for her soon-to-be born child, either, because of research she’s read about the possibility of autism developing from vaccinations. According to ABC News, she said:

There’s really scary statistics out there, and to each their own.  Autism wasn’t prevalent — like it is now — years ago, so something is going on, whether it’s the chemicals in our food or the vaccines. Something is happening, and we can’t really ignore that. I choose to believe that I think it’s in the vaccines but, again, to each their own and that’s where I stand on it.

The media induced flogging of Ms. Cavallari has only just begun as of this writing.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Comments (78)

  • Carol

    The real issue here is, Dr. Ego absolutely hates, hates, hates it when Dr. Mom outranks him. He considers it an affront to his education and authority – an “unqualified” mother thumbing their nose at everything the MD has went through (which is alot), to get a license and hang out a shingle.

    It doesn’t matter if Dr. Mom is informed and making an intelligent decision. In fact, it has nothing to do with that.

    March 24th, 2014 1:05 pm Reply
  • Joseph

    It’s because the phrase, “As a mother, I believe…” carries a lot of weight in our society. Being a mother gives you authority to comment on child care. However, these women couldn’t explain the difference between a T-Cell and a B-Cell and they are influencing healthcare and causing real harm to children. They should be bashed and ridiculed for the harm their ignorance causes. Sure, Cavallari, you read a few blogs and books from the clearance section, (neither of which were reviewed by anyone for accuracy). That doesn’t qualify you to speak on behalf of public health.

    March 22nd, 2014 10:31 pm Reply
    • Carol

      @Joseph I feel sorry for you.

      March 24th, 2014 1:06 pm Reply
  • Melissa

    The media is certainly sexist, but Michele Bachmann’s campaign crashed and burned because of her denial of climate change, her homophobia, her anti-feminism, her jingoism…. etc, etc.

    March 20th, 2014 1:23 pm Reply
  • Corrine

    We had our second son age 10 now vaccinated @ 18 months she (the doctor) said we needed to get him back on track for the government’s vaccine schedule so he received 3 shots that day. That’s what they say just three pokes. When in reality he received 7 different vaccinations that day. He went from saying ma ma and da da and eat to nothing! With no speech until he was 5. At age 8 he was diagnosed with autism. I hate what this has done to our family. He has now become violent because he has trouble expressing his emotion. He also gets people’s intentions misinterpreted. We are goin I broke trying to help him. With food, aba therapy, and speech therapy.

    March 19th, 2014 2:05 pm Reply
    • Beth

      Please consider looking into the GAPS diet, perhaps with the help of a certified GAPS practitioner at least to start out, and seeing an experienced homeopath familiar with CEASE therapy. Best wishes for healing for your son.

      March 19th, 2014 9:02 pm Reply
  • Alek

    I think it’s the TYPE of woman who’s targeted, as well. Jenny McCarthy is an easy target b/c she was a Playboy Bunny, sex symbol – so COURSE that means’ she’s an idiot – what does that dumb blonde know? (sad, but that stereotype is alive and well. Though obviously, Katie Couric doesn’t fall into that).

    Oh, but don’t you know we’re all just conspiricy theorists anyway??

    March 19th, 2014 10:58 am Reply
  • ricki

    While I applaud the position and article, I am increasingly convinced that silent noncompliance is the best avenue. What I am noticing is more regulation with increased resistance, whether it be with local farms or immunizations.

    March 19th, 2014 10:03 am Reply
  • Darlene

    I didn’t vaccinate my first child, he is the healthiest child in his playgroup. And at 37 weeks pregnant I do not intend to vaccinate my second child.

    I am a veterinarian and took quite a u-turn because I was educated to be pro-vaccination. But before the first was born did a bit of research and came away appalled. Although it is not the only reason for autism (all diseases are multi-factorial) it seem to be the final nail in the coffin for more and more children who are sitting ducks due to other issues.

    No health professional has ever questioned me or try to bully me because I know too much. Once you have medical training and refuse to vaccinate, no one is willing to take you on. Whereas my friends who refuse to vaccine gets bullied by those same people.

    March 19th, 2014 6:15 am Reply
    • Christine

      Good comment, thanks.

      March 23rd, 2014 4:14 pm Reply
  • Andrew Rule via Facebook

    I wonder if one reason why women are so attacked for being anti-vax is that they will be more likely to be listened to by young mothers than men will be. Therefore, the opposition must desperately destroy them to keep fooling young mothers from researching the information for themselves.

    March 18th, 2014 11:23 pm Reply
  • Charlotte Sanders via Facebook

    And strange how Holly Peete Robinson doesn’t get attacked, when she has come out and said that her son’s autism was triggered by vaccines.

    March 18th, 2014 6:33 pm Reply
  • Charlotte Sanders via Facebook

    I think this is all a distraction from the Pandemrix tragedy triggering virulent narcolepsy, a neuroautoimmune disorder, which is most likely what the new wave of the autism epidemic is. There has been practically a media blackout about the event in the US, yet multiple stories and Facebook campaigns against Jenny McCarthy, and I can’t understand why. I know she’s been in the press because she was hired to be on The View, but that can’t explain what seems like an orchestrated smear campaign against her.

    March 18th, 2014 6:29 pm Reply
  • Ginger Taylor

    You have really hit the nail on the head here. I am tired of being treated like I am an idiot that can’t make her own decisions. I have had enough of this.

    March 18th, 2014 5:06 pm Reply
  • JC

    Hey Minnesota readers:
    Did you notice Sarah’s comment about the CA law saying you need a doctor’s signature to opt out of vaccines?
    There’s a horrible bill proposed in MN right now that would strip away your right to opt out of vaccines for your kids and would require a doctor’s signature. There’s also one that would force all health care workers to get the flu shot or wear a mask around patients.
    Speak up by calling your state-level Senator and House representative to say that you oppose these bills. Find your 2 legislators for your neighborhood here:

    Urge them to oppose:
    1) HF2170 and SF 2544: would strip exemption for parents who choose not to vaccinate their school children

    2) SF 2212: would require health care workers to get flu shots or wear a mask during patient care

    March 18th, 2014 3:09 pm Reply
  • Journey

    What about Mayim Balik? She is a neurologist and an actress on the most popular comedy show on TV right now, and she does not vax.

    March 18th, 2014 1:57 pm Reply
  • Stephanie Fetzer

    I was just discussing this the other day. Someone mentioned Holly Robinson Pete not getting the same backlash. Mrs. Pete doesn’t fit the “dumb blonde” stereotype like the other females being attacked and made fun of. Also, Bill Maher has made several statements about vaccines on his show, but is he ever attacked for his stance on it no. And unlike Ms. couric, I guarantee he’d never cave into pressure.

    March 18th, 2014 10:21 am Reply
  • Michael Hofmann via Facebook

    Research is not believing everything you read on the web as true. Come on people, stop living in a fools paradise.

    March 18th, 2014 10:05 am Reply
  • Anna Lea Jancewicz via Facebook

    This is very interesting– I was completely unaware of these male celebrities making these public statements regarding vaccines. It makes me wonder which is the cause and which the effect– do we attack the women because they are the only ones we hear about (which was my first thought upon reading the headline, I admit), or do we only hear about the women because they’re the ones we attack…

    March 18th, 2014 9:43 am Reply
  • Sara Frogner via Facebook

    she brought in an hpv vax injury victim’s parents.and her show is ending so she can put out a documentary about food/fda we need more people like her…

    March 18th, 2014 8:19 am Reply
  • Richard Watson via Facebook

    Looking for mainstream friends in the know. Facebook friend me please

    March 18th, 2014 8:12 am Reply
  • Suzanne Fowler via Facebook

    Perhaps karma is catching up with Katie. She has been no friend to women.

    March 18th, 2014 7:19 am Reply
  • Lon

    Sarah, I’ve subscribed to your blog for a while now and have respected, enjoyed and learned from your posts. This post really prompted me to write a comment. I’ll try and be brief and to the point – but that’s a challenge for me most times.

    Ok, I’m male, but I fail to see the sexism in this. Why does almost everything have to be based on sex(ism) and/or race(ism?) I’d like to put a positive spin on it rather than the negative sexist outlook. Can we agree it’s Big Pharma and the established “mainstream” medical institutions (and government) that are promoting – to the point of scare tactics, to vaccinate our children and in many cases everyone? (flu shots?) If their goal it to convince the masses that vaccines are good and necessary, wouldn’t they want to use the popular and successful – i.e. successful and popular women? At least the way I see it, it’s a compliment (all be it with deceitful intentions) knowing full well they will get the biggest bang for their buck by trying to discredit these women?

    But the bigger point for me is, why can’t those of us who support: whole and natural foods, REAL food, natural remedies, etc. etc., etc.,…. why can’t we focus on the problem of educating the public about real food, fighting Big Pharma, Monsanto and all that goes along with Big Food and Government shoving crap at us and telling us it’s good for us. Sexist? Really? We’re having a hard enough time fighting the big fight for our health. Bringing sexism in to the fight only dilutes the challenges. In the words of one famous person…. “Can’t we all just get along?”

    March 18th, 2014 12:59 am Reply
    • Lon

      couldn’t stop there…. I mean shouldn’t the blog post, the story, the fight be in exposing the media, the big pharmaceuticals and government for pushing harmful drugs because it’s big business? Doesn’t it go something like this, Pfizer exec is out golfing with NBC exec. They’re trying to strike an advertising deal and the Pfizer exec says, “if you don’t put a lid on that Couric chick, we just might have to pull the Viagra spot during prime time….” Ok, just made that up, but isn’t that where the story is? Sexist? Playing that game is exactly what they want to happen. Get a bunch of people all worked up about discrimination against women…. some journalist gets fired… in the mean time Rick Perry signs a LAW requiring school age children to get vaccinated and Pfizer and gang keep on truckin… and all we can talk about is poor Katie Couric. We need to bring people together, men and women, conservative, liberal, gay/straight, everyone for our freedom to chose what’s best for our health; nothin’ sexist about that.

      March 18th, 2014 1:25 am Reply
  • Julie Newmeyer via Facebook

    Bridget McCurdy

    March 18th, 2014 12:09 am Reply
  • Jennifer Garza via Facebook

    It is the way it goes… Sadly! However… We might ask. Are we reaping what we’ve sowed, or sowing what we reaped? Katie might want to remember all the time she has been the abuser to other woman… It’s not cool!

    March 17th, 2014 11:50 pm Reply
  • Joe Anstett via Facebook

    If the media purposely overlooks stories about vaccines causing death and other medical problems, should we be surprised that they are also sexist?

    March 17th, 2014 11:01 pm Reply
  • Nondas G. Toptsidis via Facebook

    One needs to wander why this is?…

    March 17th, 2014 10:45 pm Reply
  • Lauren Jamison Cole via Facebook

    This is why I don’t pay much attention to mainstream media – it’s a rat race. I feel sorry for the people, and more so their children, who don’t don’t their own research.

    March 17th, 2014 10:35 pm Reply
  • Lindsey Reichmuth via Facebook

    so true!!! Great post as always :) I also saw someone post an article today written by a 20 year old mother who lumped all “crunchy” moms together in such a way it was crazy…she basically generalized and apparently if you don’t vaccinate you also believe in CHEM TRAILS …oh man did i laugh so hard. I will find it and post it here you will laugh too.

    March 17th, 2014 10:23 pm Reply
  • Julia Watkins Townsend via Facebook

    Thanks for sharing!!!!!! So so so true!

    March 17th, 2014 10:09 pm Reply
  • Malisa Kuykendall via Facebook

    Lari Anne Nakamura

    March 17th, 2014 10:07 pm Reply
  • Ashley Haynes via Facebook

    So disappointing. The research is available if only people would do it.

    March 17th, 2014 9:57 pm Reply
  • Thepugs105

    I think whether you are a celebrity, a parent, or Dr. Oz, your child’s well being is probably the most important aspect of your life.We can argue the benefits or risks of vaccines until the cows come home, but the bottom line is the facts. So who will give us the true facts? The doctor, the FDA, a scientist, the Vaers Reporting system? All of these have a drawback. Your doctor is bullied by the American Medical Association, who is bullied by the FDA, who is sleeping with the pharmaceutical companies. The whole thing is a mess. If anyone thinks any of these people or entities will do the best thing for your child you are so sadly mistaken. A scientist will give you the ingredients and then you need to decide if these ingredients are actually harmful or are they a daily occurrence in foods, products, and the environment. The whole scenario is so mind boggling that by the time you figure it out, your child will be an adult. What, I do know, is that when your healthy child becomes ill after a vaccine, your world turns upside down. The pressure from the guilt of knowing that you solely changed your child’s life with this decision of a vaccine makes one view themselves as a failure. You failed to protect your child. The doctor will tell you that it probably wasn’t the vaccine. The FDA will tell you it definitely wasn’t the vaccine. The pharmaceutical companies will absolutely guarantee 150% that it was a coincidence and not their extremely researched vaccine. But yet these illnesses are here, in high numbers, and the similarities between the victims, as far as symptoms, seems far more suspecting than coincidence. This is my story. My healthy daughter became mysteriously ill after her first Gardasil vaccine. Seven years later, still fighting the illness, leaving her childhood and teen memories behind as nothing but doctors appointments, tests, and friendless days. My heart breaks and I long for that one moment to be replayed to see if things would have turned out differently. I read the comments from the callous people above and I say to you that I hope and pray you never walk in my shoes. Your views and cold comments will haunt you. You would have no choice, but to change your stand on this topic. Your obnoxious and opinionated views are hurtful and have no place in today’s world. Be a hero to your child and teach them by your actions. Your child would never want to see you bullying other people. The concerned and compassionate people that have commented, I thank you and applaud your desire to educate yourself. If we come together and learn the truth, maybe our children will have a brighter future.

    March 17th, 2014 9:55 pm Reply
  • Zayden Mitchell Ankhstein via Facebook

    both Katie and Anne have been tossed aside by the lovely Matt Laurer monster.

    March 17th, 2014 9:50 pm Reply
    • Bill

      I’m sure that helps (being medically trained) and when you are actually provided with the opportunity to express what you know is likely to be effective but be sure that you are NOT immune (pun intended) to such abuse.

      I, of course, hope that you don’t experience the name calling, blame game sort of abuse that others experience.

      August 24th, 2015 12:40 am Reply
  • MsJob

    Michele Bachman’s campaign was going along swimmingly at the beginning because the most radically right GOP nominees do the best in Iowa which goes first. Then comes New Hampshire which is the most libertarian state in the Union. She would have tanked regardless of her stance on vaccinations because she is not very bright or reliable.and panders to the most extreme of the right wing.

    March 17th, 2014 8:24 pm Reply
  • Melinda

    I always read your posts with interest and often find useful information. I appreciate the research you put into some (not all) of your posts (still smarting over Costco!) For me, vaccines are not an issue so I’m just generally interested.

    But, really, you should stick to what you know about nutrition and health and stay away, far away from anything political where you are clearly out of your element. The idea that Michelle Bachmann’s campaign was derailed because of her comments about vaccines is so laughable that it tends to discredit all the other information in this important post. Ms. Bachmann’s campaign ran off the rails because she is certifiably CRAZY, too crazy even for the Tea Party and is embroiled in a scandal about campaign funding and payments. So, really, nothing to do with vaccines at all.

    March 17th, 2014 8:24 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Her comments about the HPV vaccine in that debate was the first nail in the coffin however from which she never recovered. She was mercilessly ridiculed in the media for her position long before any of the other things you mention came to light.

      March 17th, 2014 9:17 pm Reply
      • Helen T

        That makes Michelle Bachmann right about TWO things (which is more than most members of Congress); remember the energy saving lightbulbs she was on about?

        Toxic Light – The Dark Side of Energy Saving Bulbs:

        Next day, threw OUT all of these expensive, mercury leeching bulbs.

        March 20th, 2014 7:15 am Reply
    • Thinking Mom

      What do you think is in those vials? Holy water? Get your head out of the sand and start doing your homework and you’ll find that vaccines are the biggest assault on the immune system known to man! I can point you in the direction to many, many doctors and immunologists who are speaking up and out against the danger of these shots, but will leading you to knowledge make you think? People like you are the first to fall and the last to know. I am the mother of a child who suffered a very serious adverse reaction right in the doctors office and the condescending doctor blamed the Tylenol! I was give. A stern wake up call. What’s gonna be your wake up call?

      March 19th, 2014 11:29 am Reply
  • Frankie H

    The mothers who are vaccinating their children, with no questions asked, are just livid when they hear of anyone who dares criticize possible danger to their unborn or infant child. Maternal instinct doesn’t seem to be working where vaccines are concerned, and it’s a darned shame. Mothers have an obligation to open their minds to the possibility that the women, who do speak out, have no ulterior motives other than being a voice for the future health of children. Of course, the moms with their hands over their ears, aren’t ready to admit to the possibilities so I hope they never have to experience them first hand.

    March 17th, 2014 5:07 pm Reply
    • Christine

      For many, the fear of disease, the unknown, and public disdain is much stronger than the fear of vaccine injury. Indoctrination has a long-lasting grasp.

      March 23rd, 2014 4:06 pm Reply
  • Aleta

    Thank you, Sarah, for covering this topic. I believe that your observations are accurate, because women are the main decision makers in their children’s live.

    March 17th, 2014 4:41 pm Reply
  • Heather

    My husband and I always went to our sons “wellness” check-ups together and not once were we questioned or bullied. After nine years of going to the same family nurse practitioner I went alone with our youngest son. It was the first time she asked me our reasons for not vaccinating. I have too many female friends who have been bullied and scared by their doctor or nurse into vaccinating even though they went in meaning to refuse them. I always advise the father go to all appointments or I offer to go with the mother if the father can’t.
    Thank you for writing this excellent article. I think every point you make is correct!

    March 17th, 2014 4:39 pm Reply
    • Laura Hayes

      You make an excellent point, Heather! I, too, know women who went to their child’s “well baby” appointment having already decided with their husbands that they would not be vaccinating their child, only to be bullied, belittled, and harassed into doing it…then leaving in tears and being terribly upset at what they just allowed to be done to their child.

      One of the moms, a close friend of mine, was bullied into giving her 1-yr. old daughter the flu vaccine after having declined all vaccines up to that point. She acquiesced under pressure, allowed the flu vaccine to be given to her daughter, then proceeded to take her daughter home where she immediately began to have severe diarrhea that persisted, non-stop, for months. Her daughter could no longer gain or even maintain her weight. The pediatrician was unable to help as her daughter continued to lose weight, and her daughter was diagnosed with “failure to thrive” by a different doctor. At that point, my friend took matters into her own hands, researched, found a specialist who was helpful, and nursed her daughter back to health. After attending a presentation I held featuring 2 of the authors of the book “Vaccine Epidemic”, she filed a VAERS report to document what happened to her daughter as a result of the flu vaccine. That vaccine nearly killed her precious 1-yr. old daughter. She will not succumb to the machinations of a coercive doctor again with regards to vaccines, and hopefully, not with regards to any other medical treatment or procedure, either.

      Like you, Heather, I encourage mothers to have their husbands accompany them to their pediatrician appointments and I have offered to accompany mothers myself to their pediatrician appointments if they were concerned about being harassed about not vaccinating. I have also encouraged other mothers to ask themselves why they are going to the appointment in the first place if their child is healthy and developing normally. If they are going for something other than a “well-baby” visit, and they have made the decision to not vaccinate, I advise them to put their hand up in a stop gesture and state that they are not there to discuss vaccines if the nurse or doctor brings up the need to vaccinate. After they have made that clear, I advise them to then matter-of-factly state what they are there to discuss. If the nurse or doctor persists to pressure them regarding vaccines, I advise them to pack up and leave immediately.

      Parents, remember to think of your doctor as a consultant…one whose advice you can take or leave as you see fit. You are free to decline any and all medical procedures and treatments, free to get more opinions, free to do your own research, and free to leave a doctor’s office at any time during an appointment. If you begin to feel uncomfortable at any point, please remember that you are free to leave.

      March 17th, 2014 6:25 pm Reply
      • melinda johnson

        I brought my very large intimidating husband to all of my well baby visits. That is why no one bullied me. My children were never vaccinated, and are healthy to this day, thanks to our decision not to vax them.

        March 17th, 2014 8:13 pm Reply
  • Susan

    I don’t give Charlie Sheen much credit for anything, but he is supposedly a listener of Alex Jones, so that’s cool.

    March 17th, 2014 2:55 pm Reply
    • Helen T

      You are behind the curve on Alex Jones. He was invited to address the Oxford University end of year symposium (yes, THAT Oxford).

      Take this from a ultra-liberal – you’ll be amazed at how ‘awake’ people can be on the same page no matter what politcal spectrum you adhere to. Often times, Alex and Ralph Nadar are saying the same thing.

      Okay, he swats us liberals as ‘trendies’, but when the March Against Monsanto happened last year, Huffington Post had it buried in their financial pages four days later. Of course Alex was covering it.

      I love the guy – nobody is more articulate, a real genius and doesn’t shy away from tough topics.

      March 20th, 2014 6:52 am Reply
  • Shirley J

    I think Michelle Bachmann’s campaign was killed by much more than her stand on vaccinations. As for Charlie Sheen who thinks his opinions are credible?

    March 17th, 2014 1:33 pm Reply
  • Deb

    I’ve enjoyed your information and blog—up until this article. Sorry, just MHO, but using Jenny McCarthy and Katie Couric discussing vaccines as rationale to demonstrate sexism in the media, and as to why they are unpopular, is like using the coyote and roadrunner to make a case for violence in the media. Katie’s show has had low ratings since it’s inception and was kept running despite this fact for far longer than it should have. I think a segment on non-vaccinating moms was the least of her issues in being cancelled. As for Jenny McCarthy…. well, I don’t want to be unkind, but giving her credibility about any important issue in the media is laughable. Let’s just say that putting librarian glasses on her and propping her up on The View panel doesn’t raise her credibility level or relevance. There is rampant sexual bias in the media, and everywhere else, but using these two women’s discussion of vaccines to demonstrate this makes both arguments appear ridiculous. I’m a nurse and happen to agree with many of the concerns about vaccines, but tying the argument about vaccines to sexism in the media by using these examples made me laugh out loud. Though I usually enjoy most of the information you give on your blog about other health topics, this piece has made me wonder about the credibility of some of that information now…

    March 17th, 2014 1:24 pm Reply
    • Frankie H

      You are putting down two very intelligent women who do their homework. If they aren’t popular enough to justify listening to, it’s because they are saying what isn’t popular with people who hold your view. BTW The argument on autism being caused by vaccines is not over and never has been. A wannabe reporter and a “rag” editor in England tried to discredit a study conducted by Andrew Wakefield, and in fact, did their best to destroy the doctor in the process. He sued, and the truth came out about their sleazy attempt. Dr. Wakefield’s study reported on cases on autism in which parents felt their child was fine until they were vaccinated with multiple “combo” shots. He did not claim the result was autism but let the results speak for themselves, and to me, it does not put vaccines in a very good light.

      March 17th, 2014 5:25 pm Reply
    • watchmom3

      Deb, just look at the facts and try not to let someone’s looks sway you. It is rude for you to question Sarah’s cred, just because you disagree.. Please make your point in a way that doesn’t have to demean others. Thank you.

      March 17th, 2014 5:31 pm Reply
  • Laura

    It will be interesting to see if there’s any backlash toward Kristin Cavalleri who has made news in the past couple of days. She stated she didn’t vaccinate her first son and won’t be vaccinating her soon to be born second son. She stated, ‘We didn’t vaccinate. I read too many books about autism and the studies.’
    When she had her first son I remember reading that instead of store bought formula she gave her son homemade formula using goat milk. Back then I thought, well, here’s someone who cares and researches what she puts in her sons body.

    March 17th, 2014 1:19 pm Reply
    • Helen T

      My family is clueless, no matter how much you inform them. When my niece was unable to breastfeed, the doctor put her son on the standard soy GMO formula. When I raised a stink, my niece switched him to the organic version, which the doctor switched back to soy GMO the next visit! Then the little guy wasn’t doing so well, so another health practitioner switched back to organic.

      Question: why are doctors the Merchants of Death? At this point in time they can’t be this clueless, so I feel they are corrupted by the medical establishment.

      March 20th, 2014 6:44 am Reply
  • kelli

    Media is always sexist.
    Society always thinks women should keep their mouth shut and be obedient.

    March 17th, 2014 1:17 pm Reply
  • Kierstan

    Ugh I know, poor (reality star) Kristin Cavalari just for skewered for speaking her mind against vaccinations. Good Morning America just had a segment on it this morning and invited their “medical specialist” to comment and she completely dismissed her saying “And here we thought this argument (about the link between vaccines and autism) was finished”. She went on to say there is no link between the two and that you needed to talk to your doctor. I’m sorry but I don’t need a doctor in my life to tell me how to raise my children. How in the world did we get this far before doctors were “invented”??

    March 17th, 2014 1:07 pm Reply
    • melinda johnson

      Dr. Robert Mendelsohn said that two pediatricians are worth one grandmother. I agree with him.

      March 17th, 2014 8:10 pm Reply
    • megan

      Kierstan well said!

      Melinda they are trying to put you and those like you in the grave before your time and make all the money they can in the mean time. and you just let them suck you along. enjoy being sick.

      March 18th, 2014 8:06 am Reply
    • Barbara

      This is not a ‘freedom of speech’ issue, it’s a public health issue. By not vaccinating your children you are putting everyone’s children at risk. I don’t care if man, woman or animal is condoning these rubbish theories, they are irresponsible in doing so.

      March 19th, 2014 6:17 am Reply
      • Cheryl

        Nobody has autonomy over my child’s anatomy…not any doctor, not any level of government, and certainly not big Pharma. All people need to be respected for their choices but that’s hard to do when the mainstream media is controlled by the multi national corps. that make billions of dollars pushing their drugs and shots. It’s sickening.

        March 19th, 2014 11:14 am Reply
        • Bob

          IT AFFECTS OTHER PEOPLE/CHILDREN OTHER THAN YOUR OWN, GOT IT? YOU AREN’T THE ONLY ONE ON THE PLANET, hate people like you. ME ME ME ME ME ME. Must be American, it’s how you’re raised, bunch of chest beating me-first killing machines.

          April 2nd, 2014 5:01 am Reply
      • Thinking mom

        Barbara, what do you think is in those vials? Holy water? Get informed and stop preaching!

        March 19th, 2014 11:35 am Reply
      • Helen T

        During the H1N1 campaign, it was recommended for the newly vaccinated to stay apart from small children and the elderly….now, why do think that was?

        Finally, the whole idea when you’re vaccinated that if you are in a roomful of sick people, and you’re the VACCINATED ONE, you’re going to be protected….aren’t you???

        March 20th, 2014 6:38 am Reply
      • Maggie

        Barbara, Why would my un-vaccinated kids be a threat to your vaccinated kids if you’re so sure that vaccines work?

        March 20th, 2014 10:13 am Reply
      • Bill

        Barbara, have you read any of the NIH’s own reports showing the vaccination itself actually causes the onset of the disease in other children that are exposed to the vaccinated child?

        August 24th, 2015 12:53 am Reply
  • Rick

    Anyone who values the opinion of a celebrity on any topic other than being a celebrity richly deserves the benefit of the advice.
    As to the media being sexist, golly that’s news.

    March 17th, 2014 12:52 pm Reply
    • Laura Hayes

      Rick, regarding your rude comments, just because someone is a celebrity does not negate them from being intelligent, well-versed, and educated on any number of topics. And, again, I thank Sarah for shining a light on vaccination and sexism in the media. It is very important to point this out, especially to make mothers and women aware of this fact.

      March 17th, 2014 1:05 pm Reply
      • watchmom3

        Well said Laura. (:

        March 17th, 2014 5:25 pm Reply
  • Emily Drews

    This is an astute observation but honestly, besides Jenny McCarthy and now Kristin Cavallari, I was not aware of any of these celebrity vaccine stances. Have these particular women gotten so much press because it’s easy to see them as the dumb bimbo? And I haven’t see any of these other people speak out in their defense. I respect the decisions parents feel compelled to make for their children but why is anyone(press) holding up public/pop culture figures as the standard for or against vaccination? Why was Kristin Cavallari asked about it if she is not a physician or authority on the subject in any way. Her individual choice isn’t relevant to anyone else but her child.

    March 17th, 2014 12:51 pm Reply
    • Frankie H

      Ask “a physician or authority on the subject” is like asking big business if they are in it for the money. It’s the people who are facing the problems directly that have to speak out. It makes no sense for money-hungry companies with medical connections to admit there could be a connection to autism. It would cost them dearly because vaccines are the cheapest to produce and have the backing of the CDC. It’s the pharmaceutical companies gravy train, and they’ve shown us every day their lack of concern for public health v.s. their profit.

      March 17th, 2014 5:13 pm Reply
    • Sue Zoerner

      You make it sound so simple! The issue is that mandatory and compulsory vaccines for children make it impossible for individuals to make this choice without condemnation. If you have done your homework you will see that parents are actually getting sued for not vaccinating their kids because someone else wants to make that choice for them. I have no issue with people making an informed choice as long as they don’t compel me to do the same. You don’t have to be a physician or authority on the subject to make educated decisions on what health care means for your family. In my mind, Kirstin Cavallari is an authority….she is a mother and responsible for HER children. Too bad the rest of the world doesn’t see your point, which I agree with….her choice is not relevant to anyone else but her child, too bad the government, the AMA, and Big Pharma don’t agree! They push vaccines as though they have no ill effects, they don’t talk about the negative impacts on childhood development, they hide the statistics that show the vaccines cause harm and parents are rarely made fully aware of the negative side of vaccination. The doctors try to scare us into vaccinating by using phrases like “if you don’t protect your child, he could die!” the fact that vaccines do not protect the way they are supposed to is troubling. What is more troubling is that so many people buy into the scare tactics and the rhetoric without even questioning it!

      March 21st, 2014 5:21 pm Reply
  • Laura Hayes

    Great and much-needed article, Sarah! It is nothing short of unbelievable to see the media go after Jenny McCarthy time and again for what she witnessed firsthand in her own child. If she had witnessed her son being hit by a car and being injured as a result, no one would dare to question her. However, when she, or any mother for that matter, witnesses her child being injured as a result of one or more vaccines, she is told she is wrong, that it was coincidental timing, that vaccines are completely safe…basically, that what she saw happen firsthand didn’t happen. What an absolute CROCK!

    I witnessed, firsthand, vaccine injury in my children, and our middle child (now 20 yrs. old) is now permanently disabled and will be dependent on others for the duration of his life, at great expense to taxpayers (the pharmaceutical companies whose products nearly killed him, and the pediatrician who cavalierly vaccinated him again and again, are not liable for the damage they inflicted without providing or receiving informed consent from me and have walked away scot-free, free to continue harming more and more children). I share our story as often and as loudly as I can. Some ridicule, others however, have the ears to hear and have been encouraged to do their own research and have chosen to not follow the CDC-recommended vaccine schedule…with most choosing to refuse any and all vaccines for their children once they have taken the time to learn more from sources other than their pediatrician, the media, and the CDC.

    Thank you so much for continuing to shine a light on vaccine-related issues, Sarah. It is my prayer and my great hope that one day soon there will no longer be any vaccine mandates in our country, as no medical treatment or procedure should ever be mandated.

    March 17th, 2014 12:47 pm Reply
    • Sissaly

      Hi Sarah,

      Men as a group are a convenient target, and they are the wrong target, and targeting men in general like this only helps to separate us women from our men, making us less than optimal. It’s like demonizing Saturated Fat.

      Lets use some Critical Thinking Skills and put away the false memes the media controllers (who are men and women of all races at the top) use to separate us from each other so they can more successfully implement their plan of control.

      Women are promoted and are heard today, and just like men in charge, as long as they say what the controllers want them to say, they are given a voice and rich rewards, to name a few examples: Lets start with Melinda Gates, a BIG promoter of Vaccines, Ellen De Generes, Hillary Clinton Condoleeza Rise, CEO of General Motors Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO of IBM Ginni Rometty, how about Indian-born Indra Nooyi Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo I am sure you will never her talk out against Vaccines, Oh how about DuPont, surely DuPont is a Male Driven Corporation RIGHT, WRONG Chairman and CEO of Dupont is Ellen Kullman, Lets look to the War Driven Corporations, surely you will only find men at the top, so lets see who is the Chairman PResident and DEO of Lockheed Martin, Oh my GAWD another female, Marillyn Hewson, The countris larges Grain Company, Archer Daniels Midland Charman CEO and President Patricia Woertz, Dianne Feinstein, Angela Merkel, Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde IMF Managing Director, Janet Louise Yellen, Oprah Winfrey, South AFrica Westpac bank Managing Director and CEO GAil Kelly, President and CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, dont hear her talking out against vaccines, but Imperial Tabacco, surely some female with her superior sense of right and wrong would never work for a tabacco company, Nope, Alison Cooper, CEO bringing her offerings to Kazakhstand and Russia, Procter and Bamble Group President, Deb Henretta, Denise Morrison, President and CEO of Campbell Soup owned by the Chinese, Johsnon & Jonson Group Worldwide Chairman Sandra E Peterson, Just to name a FEW women in power today.

      Come on Sarah, call it like it REALLY is, the male figures you speak of are ignored, Plain and simple, because what they have to say about children and vaccines is meaningless to most people, no one cares and that is why they are not vilified or condemned.

      Just as you say, It’s the women everyone listens too, especially when it comes to what is going on with the children, so yes, the women who speak out against vaccines are going to be crushed by the same media moguls who promote the above mentioned women of power and prestige.

      This is not an ism problem, it is a central control problem. The media are controlled at the top and the top ranks are full of women and men, so how can the vilification of women who speak out against vaccines be a sexism problem? Spare me! Here are some names of women in positions of power in media who are part of your sexism problem:

      Jill Abramson Executive Editor NY TImes, Arianna Huffington Editor In Chief The AOL Huffington Post Media Group, Christiane Amanpour News Anchor This Week, Diane Sawyer, Ann Curry Co Anchor Today, Greta Van Susteren, On the Record, Editor in Chief Tina Brown of The Daily Beast Newsweek.

      Notice how I did not include Sarah Pope or Sally Fallon Morrel in the above list? You will never be on that list because your voice cannot be purchased with some federal reserve notes like the powerful women above.

      March 18th, 2014 3:46 pm Reply
      • ed burke

        Wow you sure must be a major authority on the topics of vaccination damage! Not to mention women in power! You put it nicely when you said that demonizing men only serves to separate us for our men….as though that is the issue. Your attitude is the exact reason so many women do not speak out, have been demonized, have been kept from REAL power and the fact that you have attacked the person and not the issue makes you sound plain stupid. And just because you are a woman does NOT mean you cannot be sexist! I have seen many of the women you mention here create barriers to other women just because they consider them a threat. Sexism is alive and well, just because women participate against other women doesn’t mean the label has changed, its the same thing but the players have changed!

        To address what you are really saying is that you support vaccination, good for you! I personally have never felt there has been enough SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE to support the efficacy of vaccination and I am vehemently opposed to it in all its forms….if they work, then why do the doctors have to repeat doses every year? Oh yeah because they don’t keep people from getting sick. In fact there is hard evidence that shows vaccines to be the CAUSE of illness, not that the CDC or big Pharma will ever admit it, the guy that invented the polio vaccine even said so! And why is it that people like you get your panties in a knot when anyone disagrees with you? Using phrases like “the women who speak out against vaccines are going to be crushed” and “You will never be on that list” are simply personal attacks. Glad to see you have joined the male tendency (like some of those “powerful” women you reference) to avoid the issue and make a personal attack to hide your ignorance! Personal attacks also serve to prove another point, those that use them are generally emotionally impaired!
        One last thing, in no way did I see this person demonizing or blaming men for anything. I believe the issue is that the media coverage and the general public do not treat both genders the same in expressing their opinions, that is in fact the very definition of sexism…oh maybe you didn’t check your online Websters. Having been on the side of truth in the vaccine battle, I happen to agree with Sarah wholeheartedly.

        March 21st, 2014 5:06 pm Reply
        • Bill

          I’m sorry but I see neither an attack on Sarah nor support for mandatory vaccination in Sissaly’s post.

          To me, Sissaly is making the point that it is NOT (just) male chauvinism that is the problem. It is a control issue and is certainly not driven only by males.

          August 24th, 2015 1:05 am Reply

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