Living in Utah: A Rant

Most of the time I love living in Utah. Well, up here in Logan anyway. But this past weekend we went down to Happy Valley to see my husband's cousin and his wife and their new baby. My husband's aunt was visiting to help out. So, as we sat there, thinking about living in Utah, well, the complaints started. Josh's aunt doesn't even live in Utah. And none of the rest of us are originally from here. But the ranting, oh the ranting. We're all Mormon, so what bothers us is how un-Mormon the legislature can be…among other things. Here are some of the highlights of things that drive me crazy about living in Utah:

Lack of consumer rights. Business almost always gets preference. This is especially true for renters. Renters' rights are horrible. When we lived in New York, everything was fixed in a timely manner (it had to be) and there was no “shampoo cleaning cost” deducted from our security deposit. In Utah, there doesn't seem to be any enforcement of landlord obligations to tenants. And don't even get me started on taking advantage of married college students by offering “free” rent to manage…

Environmental issues. For some reason, having good stewardship over the earth seems to fall by the wayside. Instead of realizing that alternative energy would be more cost-efficient, less dangerous (remember the mine collapse a couple months ago?), and pollute less than the current outdated fossil fuels we use. But everyone just focuses on the part that it would be good for the environment. And for some reason, that is grounds for immediate dismissal.

Last legislative session, our benevolent (and mostly LDS) legislature decided they needed a new parking garage. Can't have them parking their nice cars in places that “we the people” have access to as well. Oh no. Must spend millions of taxpayer dollars on perks for themselves. And we can't forget school vouchers (props to “we the people” for fighting this one), cuts to programs for those with disabilities and the bare minimum effort to give more of the surplus to education, like a poll showed most of the residents of the state wanted. Utah and education is a completely different rant that could take hours.

Sex and women's issues. Where to begin? How about efforts to avoid giving the new HPV vaccine. Because a vaccine that can protect against cancer will encourage more sex? That's the reasoning. I don't get it. And sex ed. Or the lack thereof. Chlamydia is on the rise, and teen pregnancies aren't going down (I'm talking out of wedlock teen pregnancies, BTW — not the 19 year olds that get married and pregnant). Apparently the way Utah handles sex — by trying to avoid it — isn't working. Here in Cache County, we had a big blow-up earlier this year about how the county attorney wanted the rape response team managed (hint: it was about not treating rape victims unless they would testify against their attackers). Rape in Utah is generally under-served. Also, current attempts to make things harder for midwife and home births is also a bit of a sore point. I'd never have a home birth, but shouldn't it be up to me if I did want one?

At any rate, that's probably a long enough rant. But it does cover the essential points of my disgruntlement. And for those who tell me if I don't like it I can move? You can rest easy. When my husband is done with his degree, we probably will.

Tags: living in Utah, environmental issues Utah, rape in Utah, home births,
HPV vaccine

0 thoughts on “Living in Utah: A Rant”

  1. Hm, I have to agree it has been interesting living here. I wrote an editorial about the whole home birth thing earlier this year. It’s not just an issue in UT, actually. The fight for women to be able to choose where to birth and whom to have in attendance is happening in several states right now. Anyway… As for the HPV vaccine, the reason I have a problem with it is that I don’t think it’s been researched enough. I don’t think it’d encourage people to have sex (I don’t think people abstain from having sex for fear of contracting HPV…). So if that’s the reason for the campaign, well, it’s silly. But I do think there needs to be more research on long term effects of the vaccine before it’s made mandatory. Like the chicken pox. Come to find out, over the years, it’s not really effective if given before 18 months. And it has a tendency to wear off over time. And it may increase risk of shingles. And and and… See where I’m going with this? Vaccines contain a lot of ingredients besides the things they’re supposed to protect against, think preservatives. Some of those are categorized as neurotoxins. Ironically, ingredients in a vaccine that’s supposed to protect against cancer may actually cause cancer. I’m not anti-vax per se, but I do think we have to be wise about what vaccines we give our children, how many at a time, and at what age. Rather than mandatory vaccination for everyone, one should consider personal circumstances, way of life, etc. (like, is HepB really necessary for every single newborn? Last I heard, it showed to be beneficial for babies of HepB positive mothers. What if I don’t have HepB???). Anyway, lots to think about. Including where current research on the vaccine is coming from (pharmaceutical companies, anyone?). :o)

  2. I agree with you about being careful about vaccinations. They were debating making the HPV vaccine available to 14 year olds and up. Almost none of the Utah geniuses made reasoned arguments that you did about the possible problems. Instead, most of the debate focused this line of reasoning: STDs can cause HPV. Therefore, if we make this vaccine available, more teens will have sex because they don’t think they’ll get cancer from their STDs.

    Happily, the Utah Health Department is offering low-cost vaccines to some now. But the point, of course, is the flawed reasoning behind SO MUCH of the thinking by those in charge in this state.

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