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ME Affects Four Times More Women Than Men – Dismissing This Terrifying Illness Is Sexist

Monday 8 April 2019


From the Huffington Post UK:


Chloe McNaught
Chloe McNaught

ME Affects Four Times More Women Than Men – Dismissing This Terrifying Illness Is Sexist

Like Victorian women being branded 'hysterical', women like my best friend are being silenced

By Josie Richardson
4 April 2019
© 2018 Oath Inc. All rights reserved. Part of HuffPost Lifestyle.

“ME, that’s the one where you don’t feel like going to work today,” Ricky Gervais once quipped on-stage.

He voices a common feeling. I have heard someone casually proclaim that they must have chronic fatigue after a busy week in the office. A friend once told me in confidence that she thought her co-worker who took time off work for ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) had fabricated her condition. A teacher I know joked over dinner that he suspected that his student who misses school because of the illness was likely having a jolly time at home watching television. Even a recent Sunday Times column referred to ME as “yuppie flu”, an outdated term that implies the illness is the preserve of an indulged youth. It is comments like these that I have become more attuned to since my friend Chloe became unwell. Yet what is little acknowledged is that ME disproportionately affects women – in fact, four times more women than men suffer from it. So we need to ask ourselves, is our dismissal of ME sexist?

I have watched my best friend crawl up a staircase and fall unconscious, unable to drag herself to the top. I have seen her lie comatose on the stone slabs of a public building for an hour because she didn’t have the energy to sit in her wheelchair. Once, I had to help her drink through a straw as she lay corpse-like on my bathroom floor unable to lift her head. I have seen first-hand the extent that ME can completely upend a woman’s life.


Full article…



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