Lyme disease is a feminist issue

Yesterday a friend of mine suggested I watch The Punk Singer, promising that I would not regret it. She could not have been more right. I loved every single part of the documentary about Kathleen Hanna, from the feminism to the music to the coverage of her late-stage (chronic) Lyme disease. I laughed and I cried, and felt a real connection to the movie.

And today, just like that, I came across this article where Sini Anderson, the director of The Punk Singer, is interviewed, and wowza! I was so happy reading the whole article (and equal part heartbroken, of course)! I agree wholeheartedly that health issues such as Lyme disease are feminist issues and need to be approached from that angle as well. I have often felt and known that my health issues were not being taken as seriously as they should because I was a young healthy-looking young woman. And I did not always have the strength to stand up for myself. As mentioned in previous posts, I consider this to be the one true mistake I have made on this journey.

But as Sini Anderson says: “I feel like we are so deeply ingrained in our society, especially geared towards women, to tell them that, you know, they may be exaggerating a little bit, or that… it’s really not that bad, you’re being hysterical.”

And “I think that what is happening is that women are going to their doctors and are presenting with these symptoms and they are being brushed off by their doctors in a way that I don’t think men are experiencing at the same rates. So what ends up happening is they just say, ‘Oh, yeah, I must be making this up’ or ‘I must be making this worse than it is. And I should suck it up.’ And then they go a few more months and then something else happens. And, you know, often times by the time they end up getting so incredibly sick that their systems can’t take it anymore, we’re talking 10 years down the line, 15 years down the line. And they’re so sick at that point that it’s really hard to get them well.”

Sini Anderson is working on a documentary film called So Sick about Lyme disease amongst feminist artists.

The full article: Lyme Disease Is a Feminist Issue: An Interview With Sini Anderson.

One thought on “Lyme disease is a feminist issue

  1. I have been saying this all along! I totally agree. The concept of women as being seen as ‘hysterical’ has a long history.

    Like

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