Why Sick Women (and Men) Must Rise Together



By Jennifer Brea in The Mighty.


The longer I am sick, the more I view what has happened to my body as a political problem, not only a medical or scientific one. We underinvest in health research for chronic illnesses, autoimmune diseases in particular. Many of these diseases hit women hardest and also render the millions of men who suffer from them invisible. Those decisions devalue our lives, in impact if not intent.

A part of what has allowed this to happen is that we as a community are often disconnected and demobilized, struggling just to find a treatment that will help, and divided by diagnosis into parallel conversations. Yet, we share experiences, of sexism, of discrimination, of having to fight for disability benefits or basic accommodations at work or at school. The same failures in science and medicine impact all of us. And some of our diseases are connected by science, whether by common genetics, triggers, mechanisms, symptoms or treatments.

And so I think that even as we fight for each of our diseases, we also need to ally and fight for each other.


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