Health Wars: Women Attacking Women

Hostile rhetoric on emotive topics like health is nothing new, but for anyone reading mainstream media in recent times you may have noticed things have turned up a notch, and women are at the forefront of it.


Just looking at the Sydney Morning Herald over the last month, you can begin to see what I mean. Three examples of what I’m talking about include;  Bikini Body’s Ashy Bines receives death threatsScience Babe takedown of Food Babe and then most recently Tanya Plibersek’s Refusing to vaccinate children is not a conscience issue .   The common thread is largely women attacking other women, and if you take a look at the comment sections of these articles, you’ll notice the vitriol backing them up is mostly coming from women.

Of course women are entitled to say whatever they like, but when we don’t stand up against this sort of violent rhetoric, we run the risk of allowing mobocracy to take over.  In a world where testosterone driven insanity continues to take us down a path towards a very unpleasant future, Lord knows we need more heart-felt compassion. The sort of change our world needs will only happen when there is a mass revolution of spirit, but this will only come after we reconnect our individual hearts and minds. Our health is the foundation on which all of this is set, so women who have always had a deeper connection to these matters and are in so many ways the custodians of our future.

Although the above mentioned articles cover different topics, each of them replay common themes. Being topics that relate to matters such as body image, diet and parenting, they are close to the heart of most women.

Ashy Bines has close to a million social media followers after her success marketing her diet and exercise program to achieve a “bikini body”. This it seems has also attracted a band of militant haters who obviously don’t like what she represents, so gleefully try and drag her down.  Some may be concerned about the body image message she is sending out to young impressionable girls, but at the end of the day she is fundamentally promoting healthy lifestyle habits.

With the emergence of Health Bloggers, Personal Trainers, Health & Life Coaches etc, we often see these days that as soon as they achieve success, you get the familiar cries of “she (or he) isn’t qualified to give health advice, they’re not a Doctor or Scientist, they’ve only got a diploma”, etc etc.  It was that angle that Yvette d’Entremont​ AKA the “Science Babe” emerged herself in the blogger-sphere in reaction to Vani Hari who has built a very successful empire blogging as the “Food Babe”.  A recent post by d’Entremont​’s, a childish rebuttal of everything Food Babe says went viral so now she is busy building her own empire preaching to the converted. The less said about this episode the better, one thing for certain though, both “Science Babe” and “Food Babe” are very happy with the outcome from their public spat – an enormous surge in traffic to their respective websites.

There is nothing wrong of course with opposing views and certainly some of these “celebrity health experts” can be a little annoying when they pass themselves off as being “holier than thou”. I wonder at times though if some of the spite, isn’t at least partly because of good old fashioned jealousy? And would people like Ashy Bines and Vani Hari attract so many haters if they weren’t also physically attractive?

I do accept that we need to cast a critical eye over what we learn from the internet, and respect our institutions which have been built on empirical, science-based logic. But those who attack the naivety of those who learn from “google university” fail to acknowledge that in the everyday world, truth is very much relative (even for them).

An inconvenient truth for those espousing “peer reviewed science” over “less scientific / anecdotal” evidence is the Observer bias which arises out of unconscious assumptions or preconceptions harboured by the researcher. In addition, for those who are branded as naive for not basing their beliefs on “empirical peer reviewed science”, many of them point their finger back at their accusers labeling them too as being naive enough to believe that their truth isn’t tainted by research funding that guarantees a certain outcome.

Perhaps nowhere more so, than on the subject of vaccinations is this clash in evidence.

It’s safe to say that 99% of people are one side or the other and it doesn’t matter what facts are given to you, you’re staying on your side of the argument.

Indisputably though our mass media tows its corporate line telling us that the only science to be taken seriously is that which tells us that we all have to be vaccinated. Others say that isn’t true, (partly for the reasons stated above) but also because there is in fact very reputable science that demonstrates that herd immunity doesn’t work.  Further, if herd immunity isn’t what its cracked up to be then shouldn’t it be a bit concerning that in the case of measles vaccinations,  the vaccinated person (when given live measles vaccine) is thereafter a possible infectious carrier for at least 2 weeks?

Again, you’ll read what you like from the science and you can always jump on the back of what the masses are saying but the fact is, this isn’t an open and shut case.  For this reason, I believe our Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek crossed the line in her recent article, not because she took a side on this debate but because she gravely insulted those that didn’t agree with her. To accuse parents of lacking responsibility in choosing not to vaccinate their child violates a fundamental truth all of us hold, that we want nothing more than the absolute best for our children.

Truth is relative, we can respectfully disagree and maybe then in that shared space we create, we might both learn something.

The Floor Is Now Yours 

I’m never entirely correct with what I write,  your truth is different to mine, if you have a different point of view, or would like to share your own experiences, I’d love to hear them.

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Aaron Travers is author and creator of “ The Boda Cleanse– The 4-Step Intermittent Fasting Program to Detox, Burn Fat and Restore Vitality. ”   Aaron writes at giving tips and personal insights on how to bring more health promoting simplicity into our lives .


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