Quickies

Quickies: Homeopathic Medicine Harmed Babies, Countering Lies with Emotions, and Modern White Feminism

  • Homeopathic remedies harmed hundreds of babies, families say, as FDA investigated for years – “Over a 10-year period, from 2006 to 2016, the FDA collected reports of “adverse events” in more than 370 children who had used Hyland’s homeopathic teething tablets or gel, a similar product that is applied directly to a baby’s gums. Agency records show eight cases in which babies were reported to have died after taking Hyland’s products, though the FDA says the question of whether those products caused the deaths is still under review.”
  • Margaret Sanger Regularly Published Letters From Women Pleading For Abortions – “Whenever Sanger is mentioned, it is worth remembering that she was a proponent of eugenics (which some debate is decontextualized from the cultural norms of the time) and also that she was firmly against abortion. Her anti-abortion stance is important, because unlike many anti-choice proponents of modern times, Sanger believed that birth control and education was a way to prevent women from terminating unwanted pregnancies, rather than treating contraception as ‘abortion lite.’ “
  • Counter Lies with Emotions, Not Facts – “In fact, by trying to stem the tide of untruths, we were probably making everything worse. Repeating a falsehood, even as part of a meticulously researched article that debunks it, actually reinforces the falsehood; the human brain seems to experience fact-checking as a statement followed by a bunch of Charlie Brown teacher noises.”
  • Today’s Feminism: Too Much Marketing, Not Enough Reality – “Akin to the debate over white privilege, the debate over feminism is similarly stuck in a binary construct, largely defined in middle- or upper-middle class white-lady contexts. Variations exist along generational lines: see the Lena Dunham crowd contrasted against the Steinem wing. But the marketing of modern feminism, and the oxygen-sucking place it holds in the public imagination, is largely occupied by white women.”
  • I told my doctor I didn’t want kids. She sent me to a therapist. – “The gynecologist’s condescending smile faded slightly. She wanted to know why I was in such a rush. Why I had come into her office only a week after reaching the minimum age legally required to ask for sterilization without the intervention of social services. ‘You will still be able to have this procedure at age 30 or 35.’ “
  • Why can 12-year-olds still get married in the United States? – “Unchained At Last, a nonprofit I founded to help women resist or escape forced marriage in the United States, spent the past year collecting marriage license data from 2000 to 2010, the most recent year for which most states were able to provide information. We learned that in 38 states, more than 167,000 children — almost all of them girls, some as young 12 — were married during that period, mostly to men 18 or older.”

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Mary

Mary

Mary Brock is a scientist who works on drugs you've hopefully never heard of. She enjoys cooking to Blue Grass music, messing with her cats, and hosting the Boston Skeptics' Book Club. She was born in the South but loves living in New England (despite the lack of chocolate chip pizza). Mary does not use Twitter and don't even try to follow her, because she is always looking over her shoulder.

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2 Comments

  1. February 23, 2017 at 6:34 pm —

    Almost anyone involved in social improvement or health before around 1939 was bound to have brushed up against at least part of the eugenics movement(s).

    The vague, Lamarck-ish hopes of family and social improvement did not require the racist, classist, biological-determinist crap to be meaningful. So there are a vast array of progressives who had some connection with eugenics, without necessarily buying into ALL the repellent parts.

    Sir Charles Sherrington, G.B. Shaw, Aldous Huxley, John Dewey etc. etc. were all a bit besmirched by the pitch of eugenics.

    • February 27, 2017 at 5:04 pm —

      The eugenics movement is still around, to some extent. In political circles. Obviously we can see that in Bannon and Spencer, but also in the “radical centrist” notion of the “creative class” among centrist Democrats.

      Even beyond that, obviously involuntary sterilization was being done in the US into the 70s.

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