A lot is being said in the western media after Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was diagnosed with pneumonia. The scene of the former secretary of state struggling to stand on her own and abruptly exiting a 9/11 anniversary ceremony in New York and the doctor’s verdict later that the diagnosis had come even before her critics who were yet to overcome the impact of Clinton’s “deplorables” remark.

In fact, it was a politically satisfying 9/11 of sorts for the Republicans, including their presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has always been critical of Clinton’s health. But seeing the amount of debate and discussion about the former first lady’s bad health, the question that comes to mind before everything else is: is Clinton being targeted more because she is a woman?

It’s not fair to project the 2012 concussion that a tired Clinton had suffered whenever there is a talk about her health. Even as the health conditions of the older Trump or Bernie Sanders had been questioned this election season, the talks on Clinton’s medical records seem to be more absorbing.

Trump, who is yet to release details of his own medical records, has been calling Clinton all sorts of names and clearly said that the latter lacks the “mental and physical stamina” to take on threats like the Islamic State. He also described his rival as “unstable," “unhinged,” and one who “lacks judgment, temperament” and take this – “moral character." On another occasion, he said that Clinton “doesn’t look presidential." Can there be a worse gender attack?

These are not attacks on Clinton’s shortcomings as a representative of the establishment politics but her as a person and the audacity to launch such diatribe is bolstered by the fact that Clinton, 68, is a woman. Trump has shown his misogynist face several times this election season and his attacks on Clinton speak about the same feeling of disrespect towards women.

Not uncommon in USA

It is not uncommon though in the American political culture, despite the fact that the country is the oldest democracy on this planet. The US has not seen a single woman president in its long constitutional history spanning well over 200 years.

Recently, Clinton spoke with popular Facebook page Humans of New York where she spoke on experiences that taught her to control her emotions to survive as a woman in politics.

Take for example, Dr Edgar Berman – the late American surgeon and author and a confidant of late vice-president Hubert Humphrey – who had infamously said that women were not suitable for leadership positions because of their “raging hormonal imbalance."Berman was a member of a committee of the Democratic Party, the same outfit which Clinton represents today. The late leader had even mocked women by asking what if the situation had so arisen that a “menopausal woman president” had to take the call on Bay of Pigs. Atrocious is an understatement.

The psychological ploy

Targeting Clinton continuously over her health is an indirect way of showing her as an ineffective old lady. Using adjectives like those stated by Trump is part of a deliberate ploy to rob one’s legitimate right to express one’s mind and in case of Clinton, the non-stop discussion about her health asserts the primitive psychosis of ultimately reducing a woman into a body.

The Trump campaign could have played a transparent game by questioning why Clinton wasn't revealing her health secrets but it didn't do that.

If Trump’s allegations over Clinton’s health make him feel vindicated after the Democratic nominee was diagnosed with pneumonia, those observers who are keenly following this year’s eventful presidential election would also note the fact that this has not been a fair show so far. In the oldest democracy, a woman candidate deserves far better treatment.

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