My friend got pneumonia two weeks before graduation. And you know what? It really sucked. She was achey, tired, and got the chills. But did it stop her from graduating? No. Did it impede on her judgement? No. Did she drop dead in the middle of senior ceremonies? Absolutely not. She has now just completed her third week at Emory University, and something that happened to her three months ago will, by no means, affect her for the next four years.
So what really got me this past week was when it was revealed that presidential nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton, had pneumonia. With her diagnosis, came a media firestorm that could have made a common cold look like a death sentence. Every year, almost 1,000,000 American’s are diagnosed with Pneumococcal Pneumonia and only 5% die from it. You know what that means? Some members of the media who are producing these demeaning and degrading stories about Clinton have experienced
pneumonia, and they even know it is usually no big deal. They are using her status as a woman to poke at her “vulnerability,” yet they know that pneumonia is treatable and few die from it.
From our periods to pneumonia, men and women in the media find power in criticizing women for their so called, “shortcomings” because apparently, no one loves anything more than seeing a woman struggle. Donald Trump is overweight with an obvious jilt in his step, and people are only criticizing him for not releasing his medical records.
Yet Clinton has followed protocol, released her records, and is still the victim of false media headlines everywhere. A recent heavily photoshopped image of her was featured on the National Enquirer with pale skin, sunken eyes, and the headline “3 strokes.” I would like to see Donald Trump on that cover instead. But why isn’t he? Because he is a man; therefore scary. Clinton is a woman; therefore weak.
I want to make it clear that this is not a political opinion piece. This is not an endorsement of Clinton or a put down of Trump. This is a piece on sexism that American women endure every day. However, Clinton is going through this on a national level and it seemed relevant to highlight her experiences so men and women can learn from them, whether they are members of the media or just participating in a casual conversation.