In a time of instant-gratification and rampant narcissism, one particular trend disturbs this author and is described in the following quote from a New York Times article by Rick Marin called “Men are Crazy for Women Who Are, Too”.
It states, “Ask a man why a relationship has gone bad and he will very often cite just one reason. Twirling his index finger around his ear, he will lip-sync, if not actually come out and say, ''She was crazy.’”
Being a member of this culture, I am also guilty of this treason to my gender as well. I have referred to my best friends as being crazy. I have referred to women I barely know and their actions I hear about second-hand as crazy. Lastly, I admittedly have referred to myself and my own actions as being crazy too.
But hardly any of the women being called crazy in everyday life are actually insane, just as hardly any of those individuals who slander a woman’s sanity are educated psychologists. So why does it happen? Why is it okay to constantly call women crazy? And why is it acceptable to let such accusations go unchallenged? Well, the aforementioned article elaborates on these points.
The article cites Dr. William Pollack, a psychologist and former teacher at Harvard Medical School, who believes that men are trained early to purge “female emotions and behaviors”. Thus, women embody many of the feelings men are supposed to suppress and are allowed to swing from laughing to crying without chastisement.
Using Pollack’s words, the article elaborates by saying that feminine eccentricity, “is not only attractive to a man because he doesn't have it, but because it's a part of himself he's not allowed to express.’ The woman gives a man ‘vicarious fulfillment of his inability to express himself. And not only that, but he can blame it on her.' Assuming the validity of this claim, that the authors agrees, it would stand to reason that men feel uncomfortable or resentful of the fact that women so freely express themselves.
Regardless of whether or not this is true and justifiable, what possible good can come of the name-calling? Calling anyone crazy is nothing more than an attempt to render the counter party’s emotions or actions as illegitimate. This practice is nothing more than gaslighting, which is the unintentional or intentional manipulation of someone’s behavior in an attempt to confuse or create self-doubt in that person (according to a series called Power in Relationships by PsychologyToday.com).
One article written by Jenna Sauers from the feminist blog ‘Jezebel’, titled ‘On Calling Women “Crazy”,’ explains the gravity of the problem and why we should care, “Reflexively calling women ‘crazy’ is a habit young men need to learn to break. As a term, ‘crazy’ is entirely of a piece with the long and nasty tradition of pathologizing female emotion (and particularly sexuality).”
She is absolutely right, and this practice must end for a number of reasons.
So, the next time it feels necessary to brand a women as “crazy”, remember that the only thing insane is how little understanding and empathy are in the world today.