I recently spoke at a gathering for medical freedom advocates in a little community center in the Hudson River Valley. I cherish this group of activists: they had steadfastly continued to gather throughout the depths of the “lockdown,” that evil time in history — an evil time not yet behind us — and they kept on gathering in human spaces, undaunted. And by joining their relaxed pot-luck dinners around unidentifiable but delicious salads and chewy homemade breads, I was able to continue to remember what it meant to be part of a sane human community.
Children played — as normal — frolicking around, and speaking and laughing and breathing freely; not suffocating in masks like little zombies, or warned by terrified adults to keep from touching other human children. Dogs were petted. Neighbors spoke to one another at normal ranges, without fear or phobias. Bands played much-loved folk songs or cool little indie rock numbers they had written themselves, and no one, graceful or awkward, feared dancing. People sat on the house’s steps shoulder to shoulder, in human warmth, and chatted over glasses of wine or homemade cider. No one asked anyone personal medical questions.
(While I believe that all decisions about how you live your life vis a vis an infectious disease are intensely personal, and I would never recommend to others to assume any specific level of risk or to pursue any specific strategy of risk reduction; I think it’s worth noting, by the way, that to my knowledge, they had gone through the last two years without having lost a soul to COVID.)
Meanwhile, what had been human community outside of that little group, and outside other isolated normal communities — and outside of a handful of normal states in America — became more and more surreal, terrifying and unrecognizable.
The rest of the world, at least on the progressive side in the United States, became increasingly cult-like and insular in its thinking, since March of 2020. As the months passed, friends and colleagues of mine who were highly educated, and who had been lifelong critical thinkers, journalists, editors, researchers, doctors, philanthropists, teachers, psychologists — all began to repeat only talking points from MSNBC and CNN, and soon overtly refused to look at any sources – even peer-reviewed sources in medical journals — even CDC data — that contradicted those talking points. These people literally said to me, “I don’t want to see that; don’t show it to me.” It became clear soon enough that if they absorbed information contradictory to “the narrative” that was consolidating, they risked losing social status, maybe even jobs; doors would close, opportunities would be lost. One well-educated woman told me she did not want to see any unsanctioned information because she was afraid of being disinvited from her bridge group. Hence the refrain: “I don’t want to see that; don’t show it to me.”
Friends and colleagues of mine who had been skeptical their whole adult lives of Big Agriculture — who only shopped at Whole Foods, who would never let their kids eat sugar or processed meat, or ingest a hint of Red Dye No 2 in candy, or eat candy itself for that matter in some cases — these same people lined up to inject into their bodies, and then offered up the bodies of their dependent minor children for the same purpose, an MRNA gene-therapy injection whose trials would not end for two more years. These parents announced on social media proudly that they had done this with their children. When I pointed out gently that the trials would not end til 2023, they yelled at me.
The progressive, right-on part of the ideological world — my people, my tribe, my whole life — became more and more uncritical, less and less able to reason. Friends and colleagues who were wellness-oriented, and who their whole adult lives had known the dangers of Big Pharma — and who would only use Burt’s Bees on their babies’ bottoms and sunscreen with no PABAs on themselves— lined up to take an experimental gene therapy; why not? And worse, it seemed, they crowded around, like the stone throwers in Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery,” to lash out at and to shun anyone who raised the most basic questions about Big Pharma and its highly compensated spokesmodels. Their critical thinking, but worse, their entire knowledge base about that industry, seemed to have evaporated magically into the ether.
Whole belief systems were abandoned painlessly and overnight as if it these communities were in the grip of a collective hallucination, like the witch craze of the 15th to 17th centuries in Northern Europe. Intelligent, informed people suddenly saw things that were not there and were unable to see things that were incontrovertibly before their faces.
Feminist health activists, who surely knew perfectly well the histories of how the pharmaceutical and medical industries had experimented ad nauseam on the bodies of women with disastrous results, lined up to take an injection that by March of 2021 women were reporting was wreaking painful havoc on their menstrual cycles. These same feminist health activists had spoken out earlier, as they should have, about Big Pharma’s and Big Medicine’s colonization of women’s reproductive health processes, and had spoken out about issues ranging from women’s access to safe contraception to abortion rights, to the rights of mothers to a midwifery delivery or to a birthing room, or to the right to labour or the right to store milk at work or the right to breastfeed in public.
But these formerly reliable custodians of well-informed medical skepticism and of women’s health rights, were silent, silent, as such voices as former HHS official Dr Paul Alexander warned that spike protein from MRNA vaccines may accumulate in the ovaries (and testes), https://www.clarkcountytoday.com/news/pfizer-covid-19-vaccine-delivers-less-long-term-protection-from-hospitalization-after-four-months/, and as vaccinated women reported hemorrhagic menses — double digit percentages in a Norwegian study reported heavier bleeding (https://www.fhi.no/en/news/2021/menstrual-changes-following-covid-19-vaccination/). Many women also reported blood clotting, and women even reported post-menopausal bleeding — and mothers reported their vaccinated twelve year olds suddenly getting their periods; but it was two periods a month some girls endured.
Almost no one out of the luminaries of feminist health activism who had spent decades speaking out on behalf of women’s health and women’s bodies, raised a peep above the parapet. Those two or three of us who did were very visibly smeared, in some cases threatened, and in many ways silenced.
When I broke this story of menstrual dysregulation post-vaccination on Twitter in Spring of 2021, I was suspended. Matt Gertz works at CNN and Media Matters. The former is a channel on which I had appeared for decades; the latter, a group whose leadership members I’ve known for years, and in one instance, with whom I’ve worked.
In spite of both of his employers having sought out professional association with me, Matt Gertz publicly and repeatedly called me a “pandemic conspiracy theorist” upon my first having reported on menstrual dysregulation, and elsewhere accused me of “crack-pottery” https://www.mediamatters.org/fox-news/fox-keeps-hosting-pandemic-conspiracy-theorist-naomi-wolf.
Shame on me for doing journalism. I broke the post-vaccination menstrual dysregulation story by doing what I always do: by using the same methodology that I used in writing The Beauty Myth (about eating disorders) and Misconceptions (about obstetrics), and Vagina (about female sexual health): I listened to women, that radical act.