Wow. I never thought I’d write a post defending Michelle Bachmann.
The NY Times is reporting that one of Bachmann’s staffers has publicized Bachman’s severe, sometimes debilitating migraines. The staffer’s comments have lead some of Bachman’s critics to question her fitness for the presidency. This criticism of her fitness (mostly from political bloggers) appears to be both deeply ableist and deeply sexist.
Being an hysterical female, Bachmann cannot handle the stress of political life – that’s why she suffers from migraines! (Migraines, the thought goes, are more common in women than men and sometimes triggered by stress; therefore the women who have migraines are women who can’t handle stress; a lot of women can’t handle stress, which is why a lot of women have migraines.) Moreover, being a person with a health impairment, she obviously would not be able to function adequately as President. You can’t be a capable president if you have any sort of serious disability or chronic illness, as everyone knows (unless you’re JFK, FDR, or Woodrow Wilson. . .).
This criticism is as needless as it is upsetting. Michelle Bachmann is clearly unfit to be president. But she’s unfit because she’s batshit crazy and defends policies which are downright hateful, not because she has migraines.