The Radical Notion

Encouraging women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians

Denial isn’t a river in Africa, just because I said so! December 19, 2008

I’ll tell you, there is nothing like a good defense mechanism to expose someone’s secret, somewhat pathetic, inner workings.

Take denial. Say you are confronted with direct and incontrovertible evidence that something bad has happened – for example, the Federal Department of Health and Human Services has passed a rule making it easy for any Joe Six Pack with a health care-related job and a dream of inflicting his morals upon someone else to do so with complete impunity. You, being (at least ostensibly) a fairly reasonable person*, fully agree that if this were to happen, it would be disastrous. But it didn’t. So stop worrying! Silly girl.

Wait, what?

If I may…

[viewpoint switch: an exclusive look into the mind of somebody in severe denial, or perhaps merely criminally misinformed]

That’s ridiculous. It’s just not true. Why, somebody could not have a prescription filled, even though their doctor ordered a pharmacist to give them that particular drug, if the pharmacist had some axe to grind! How nuts would THAT be?! What’s more, employers would be forbidden from “discriminating” against employees who refused to do the job they were hired (or are applying) to do, as long as they did so while exercising their “right of conscience”. Why, any nut job with a holier-than-thou complex and a can-do attitude could really fuck up someone else’s health care! I agree that this would be catastrophic – IF it were true. Thank god we dodged that bullet, eh?

I’m sorry, what’s that? You’re saying that’s exactly what happened yesterday? Don’t be silly. You, with your silly little angry faces and noises and worrying about the Bush Administration and reproductive rights and pompous Godbags messing with your personal life¬† – why, you make me giggle! I myself know that such a thing could never come to pass, because I — wait for it — work in a pharmacy. So I know firsthand how devastating such a precedent could be. Think about it. Think about how ridiculous you sound! Why, if this were true, then pharmacists could refuse to fulfill emergency contraception prescriptions, among other things! Fertility doctors could refuse to help gay couples conceive! Catholic hospitals could refuse to perform abortions or the procedures associated with one – for example, a D & C – even in the case of miscarriage (if you were unmarried, that is. If you were married and miscarried, it must have been God’s will! We’ll help fix you right up. We had the instruments right here, we just don’t give a fuck about your well-being unless you’ve slapped a ring on it, sister).

Oh, just shut up. Now you’re not even making sense. I would know if people were already doing that. I’m a very well-informed and intelligent individual, you see. I would be aware of it if people were already taking advantage of their relative positions of power to force their ideology on people who just wanted health care. I’ m just saying – that’s what could happen, if what you are saying happened were actually true. I’m really happy it’s not. I mean, if what you’re saying were true – and all the stuff I mentioned was already happening, then that’s a pretty big thing for me not to know about. Then to top it off, this new rule would only increase people’s latitude in using their arbitrary beliefs to fuck patients over! Now you understand why I just don’t believe it.

I also feel slightly morally superior to you, as I am able to squelch such baseless fears and just get over it. I guess it’s because I’m so much smarter than you. Also calmer. You might want to work on that. Now, if you don’t mind, I have some mindless frolicking to do, as I rejoice in my autonomy and safety, and in the impartiality and accountability of our government.

[switchback]

Like I said. Being a psych major has its perks – among them, being able to spot someone’s defense mechanisms a mile away. And having little to no truck with them.

More reading on the HHS rule change: Astraea has a round-up of blogosphere posts on the matter. I like Melissa’s in particular (but what else is new, eh?)

Oh, I’m back, bitches. Back with a VENGEANCE.

*Don’t even get me started on the people that “applaud” this rule. Seriously, don’t. Maybe tomorrow.

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4 Responses to “Denial isn’t a river in Africa, just because I said so!”

  1. Laughing Cat Says:

    You’re back! And with a vengeance! It’s good to see a psychologist’s opinion of that girl’s thought processes, because it’s been driving me up a wall trying to figure her out. “Well, obviously it can’t be true because pharmacies would never allow that!” But pharmacies already allow people to refuse medications. “No, they don’t! They’re really strict and stuff. I should know, I worked in a pharmacy.” Newspapers and lawsuits say otherwise. “Well, obviously they’re going to get hit with a lawsuit and fired, because, duh, against pharmacy policy!”

    Trying to think like her made my brain hurt. I’m glad you were able to capture her thought process so nicely in your post.

  2. didntmeantolaugh Says:

    Hot damn! You’re back! I have to say, trying to have this argument was so frustrating, but it really does highlight the ridiculousness of the “right of conscience” rule. She’s not a stupid girl, nor does she seem to think that this is a good idea, but this is so surreal I don’t think she believed it possible.

  3. theradicalnotion Says:

    I know. I guess this post is a little ad hominem, a fact of which I’m not proud, but it’s just so frustrating. I think I managed to make my point about the new rule change, though.

  4. […] legislation passed by the Bush Administration, subject to review. Among the affected policies? Our old favorite, the HHS “conscience clause” rule! According to California NOW, While the regulatory […]


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