This week, at the height of the flu season, a group of Anti-Vaxxers came forward with a special request, though the request wasn't to get caught up on their vaccines.
Twitter has been pushing back at the group since Sunday when they requested to retire the term "Anti-Vaxxer," claiming that it was a derogatory term that didn't tell the whole story.
Crazy Mothers is an informational site on all things anti-vaccination, leading with the tagline, "The Rebellion Starts At Home."
The team requested that the term "Anti-Vaxxer" be exchanged with "Vaccine Risk Aware," claiming that the prior term marginalized women and their experiences.
Crazy Mothers tweeted:
Please retire the use of the term "Anti-vaxxer." It is derogatory, inflammatory, and marginalizes both women and their experiences. It is [dismissively] simplistic, highly offensive, and largely false. We politely request that you refer to us as the Vaccine Risk Aware."
Dear Media, Please retire the use of the term “Anti-vaxxer.” It is derogatory, inflammatory, and marginalizes both… https://t.co/NBjtcLShfw— Crazymothers (@Crazymothers) 1575209110.0
Within moments, the responses were rolling in, with a resounding "no."
@Crazymothers1 Hard pass. I shall keep reporting what you are: anti-science zealots creating biohazards and public… https://t.co/SX5khk8N2Z— Victoria Brownworth (@Victoria Brownworth) 1575387152.0
Followers reminded Crazy Mothers that "anti-vaxxer" means just that: someone who is against the use of vaccinations.
Some went so far as to say that the term was meant to be derogatory and judgmental, because the rejection of following standard medical procedures has led to real problems, including the widest spread of measles in decades.
This whole conversation caused an immediate spike in the use of the "OK Boomer" response, adapted just for this occasion.
@Crazymothers1 OK, Anti-vaxxer.— Gary M. Sarli♿️ (@Gary M. Sarli♿️) 1575330264.0
@Crazymothers1 OK Anti-Vaxxer— Mathew O'Shaughnessy (@Mathew O'Shaughnessy) 1575422937.0
@Crazymothers1 okay antivaxxer— Dr. Samantha Hancox-Li (@Dr. Samantha Hancox-Li) 1575335077.0
Some are reminding the Anti-vaxxers of how basic terminology works, stating that "anti-vaxxer" is a perfectly reasonable term to use for someone who is against the administering of vaccines.
@Crazymothers1 Gonna go with the dictionary. https://t.co/jCIsDRsx3v— Traci M. (@Traci M.) 1575298926.0
@Crazymothers1 Referring to you as Vaccine Risk Aware marginalizes the reality that vaccines aren't black magic and… https://t.co/gI4FXZtHuq— Sincerity Lynn Murphy (@Sincerity Lynn Murphy) 1575331692.0
@Crazymothers1 No. It is accurate to describe a group of people that make unsupported claims that impact the lives… https://t.co/tozuoCOF4Q— Sasha (@Sasha) 1575337331.0
But most are taking the opportunity to create their own names for Anti-Vaxxers.
@Crazymothers1 What about pro-plague?— Oh right, that bitch 🌈💝 (@Oh right, that bitch 🌈💝) 1575392072.0
@Crazymothers1 Plague enthusiast— Joe Kassabian (@Joe Kassabian) 1575361539.0
@Crazymothers1 Would you prefer "pro-disease?"— Ari Drennen (@Ari Drennen) 1575317169.0
@Crazymothers1 But "women who cavalierly expose their children and society to deadly illnesses based on wing-nut sc… https://t.co/2Fknkx5UHQ— DukeofOmnium (@DukeofOmnium) 1575383031.0
@Crazymothers1 FINE. “Bioterrorist” it is, then.— Blue Collar Heathen 🎩 🎃 (@Blue Collar Heathen 🎩 🎃) 1575390597.0
@Crazymothers1 Sure thing anti-vaxxer. But sometimes I’ll switch it up with pro-dead kids just to keep things inter… https://t.co/VvNJZGGTtE— NotRichardMaddensWhiteStripe (@NotRichardMaddensWhiteStripe) 1575337763.0
@Crazymothers1 How about Peter Pans since you don't like when kids grow up— Adam Cerious (@Adam Cerious) 1575333187.0
Even leading physicians and scientists started coming up with their own suggested names.
@Crazymothers1 Immunologist here. The answer is: NO You are not "Vaccine Risk Aware", you are "Dangerously unin… https://t.co/c8Otz9zEAJ— JulieS (@JulieS) 1575335386.0
@Crazymothers1 Vaccine risk biased. No vaccine is without risk, but the risk of a severe reaction is vanishingly sm… https://t.co/EqekbLrePn— Dr Benjamin Janaway 🧠 (@Dr Benjamin Janaway 🧠) 1575296394.0
@Crazymothers1 If you actually were "Risk Aware" you'd not be anti-vaxxers, because the risk of vaccine side-effect… https://t.co/o7WOtQulsc— Dr. Dennis Eckmeier (@Dr. Dennis Eckmeier) 1575307900.0
After all of this push-back, it doesn't seem very likely that the name "Anti-Vaxxer" is going to go away any time soon.
Whether or not all of this push-back will lead to deeper, more meaningful conversations about vaccines, and what it truly means to be "aware" is yet to be seen. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem likely.