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Needlepoint for Little Girls

Uncle Pundit is exercised about the papillomavirus vaccine contemplated as mandatory for 11- and 12-year-old girls.

By 3.5.07

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"It's sex ed at the point of a needle. Now, what about the boys?"

Uncle Pundit was exercised about the papillomavirus vaccine contemplated as mandatory for 11- and 12-year-old girls. Texas is going that way and Virginia's governor Kaine says he'll sign such a bill and the District of Columbia is considering it. "But, whaddaya mean, Uncle, about the boys?"

"So, we fix up little girls against this sex-transmitted disease, but what do we do for the little guys?
Shouldn't we supply 'em with rubbers or something?"

I take it, Uncle, you are referring to condoms.

"Rubbers, condoms, schmondoms. It's all the same. We are telling the little girls, 'we are pretty sure you are going to start sexing pretty soon, and we want you to do it assured you won't catch something that could lead to cancer of the what's-it-called later.' But what if Mom and Dad don't want little Suzy sexing around in sixth grade?"

Then they should say so. And they can duck the vaccine in some jurisdictions.

"But, don't you see if the school or whatever authority hauls them in for a series of three shots it ain't gonna make it a mystery about why. 'Sexually transmitted disease' pretty well tells the story, and after that third shot, little Suzy and her school-mates are gonna think, 'okay, now we're home free.'"

Uncle, what with an erectile dysfunction ad on television every half hour, and some places throwing condom packages on street corners, and half of Hollywood having bastard babies, what makes you think little Suzy is in the dark about anything? The Anna Nicole Smith drama spelled it out without one word of condemnation coming from any corner, any anchor, any guest expert. Besides, on this HPV vaccine deal in many places the parents will be able to opt out, say "no thanks."

"And how'll that look to little Suzy if she's the only gal in the class to be left out? Leaves her a lot to prove, doesn't it?"

Okay, Uncle Pundit. What is the solution?

"Turn backward, turn backward, oh time in thy flight, and make me a child, just for tonight."

Meaning?

"Get back to the old days, when Mom kept the kotex on the top bathroom shelf, and Dad could take junior fishing for a whole day without mentioning anything more risque than Irene Dunne."

Well, now. How old were you when your Dad had a little birds and bees talk? Honest, now?

"Fifteen. I was fifteen. Dad kinda looked away but handed me a condom and said, 'Here, Son, but it's best you keep it in your pants 'til marriage.' I kept that condom in my pants for five more years."

I think you misunderstood.

"A little joke, my boy. But look, in those days nobody was talking about no HPV vaccine. For a young feller there were two dangers in promiscuity -- clap and pregnancy. And there were two antidotes-- penicillin and marriage."

Before Roe v. Wade.

"Long before. And before the death of shame. People moved out of town, for gosh sakes."

Since we can't turn time backward, what is your solution?

"Go all the way."

Yeah, but...

"All the way. Reversible vasectomies for the boys, starting at 11, mandatory. And diaphragms for the girls, mandatory. In addition, of course, to the HPV vaccine and any others that may yet come along."

A terrible infringement on freedom, Uncle.

"On the contrary, son. It is the expeditor of a freedom no one is intended to have."

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About the Author

Reid Collins is a former CBS and CNN news correspondent.