Kaylee Sheppard

This past week, a photo has been circulating around the internet that has captured the attention of Twitter.

The image is of Nancy Pelosi in a White House meeting concerning Syria this past Wednesday. The meeting was held shortly after the House had a bipartisan vote to pass a resolution condemning the Trump administration’s recent military withdraw from the region.

Pelosi is standing in the center of the meeting while all other attendees are seated — and happen to all be middle-aged and older white men.

Trump tweeted the image and captioned it "Nervous Nancy's unhinged meltdown!" Tweeting this was no doubt an attempt to paint a picture of weakness in Pelosi and the Democratic Party, but instead what it did was shine a light on the current state of our American leadership.

Regardless of what party you belong to, it is a major issue that the rooms where the most important decisions, that impact all Americans, are being made only contain one woman’s voice. There is also zero minority perspective being heard in this space.

But Pelosi did not cower at this character attack; instead, she made it her Twitter cover photo. All women should use this as an example of how to handle gaslighting and belittling from their male counterparts. Instead of dismissing the attacks and yielding to them, face them head on and show everyone that you cannot be intimidated by belittling from someone in a position of power.

Pelosi’s voice is the most important in that meeting — she must represent the 50 percent of the population’s perspective all by herself.

Every time Trump tweets something crazy, we want to look away. But we cannot look away from this image — we cannot stop sharing it on social media. It illustrates attacks like this that women all across the country have experienced: A woman using her position for strength only for a man to attempt to silence her by painting her as unhinged and crazy.

Considering the issues that we are facing in this country — we should all be “nervous Nancy.” We should be pressuring our leadership to deal with the many issues we as a nation face to ensure success of future generations.

Kaylee Sheppard is a senior majoring in American Studies and Political Science. She can be reached atksheppa7@vols.utk.edu.

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