A thought experiment: Imagine how people might react if Taylor Swift released an album made up entirely of songs about wishing she could get back together with one of her exes.
We’d hear things like: “She can’t let go. She’s clingy. She’s irrational. She’s crazy.” Men would have a field day comparing her to their own “crazy” exes.
Yet when Robin Thicke released “Paula” – a plea for reconciliation with his ex-wife Paula Patton disguised as an LP — he was called incoherent, obsessed, heartfelt and, in particular, creepy.
But you didn’t hear men calling him “crazy” — even though he used it as the title of one of tracks.
No, “crazy” is typically held in reserve for women’s behavior. Men might be obsessed, driven, confused or upset. But we don’t get called “crazy” — at least not the way men reflexively label women as such.
“Crazy” is one of the five deadly words guys use to shame women into compliance. The others: Fat. Ugly. Slutty. Bitchy. They sum up the supposedly worst things a woman can be.
WHAT WE REALLY MEAN BY “CRAZY” IS: “SHE WAS UPSET, AND I DIDN’T WANT HER TO BE.”
“Crazy” is such a convenient word for men, perpetuating our sense of superiority. Men are logical; women are emotional. Emotion is the antithesis of logic. When women are too emotional, we say they are being irrational. Crazy. Wrong.
Women hear it all the time from men. “You’re overreacting,” we tell them. “Don’t worry about it so much, you’re over-thinking it.” “Don’t be so sensitive.” “Don’t be crazy.” It’s a form of gaslighting — telling women that their feelings are just wrong, that they don’t have the right to feel the way that they do. Minimizing somebody else’s feelings is a way of controlling them. If they no longer trust their own feelings and instincts, they come to rely on someone else to tell them how they’re supposed to feel.
Small wonder that abusers love to use this c-word. It’s a way of delegitimizing a woman’s authority over her own life.
Most men (#notallmen, #irony) aren’t abusers, but far too many of us reflexively call women crazy without thinking about it. We talk about how “crazy girl sex” is the best sex while we also warn men “don’t stick it in the crazy.” How I Met Your Mother warned us to watch out for “the crazy eyes” and how to process women on the “Crazy/Hot” scale. When we talk about why we broke up with our exes, we say, “She got crazy,” and our guy friends nod sagely, as if that explains everything.
Except what we’re really saying is: “She was upset, and I didn’t want her to be.”
Many men are socialized to be disconnected from our emotions — the only manly feelings we’re supposed to show are stoic silence or anger. We’re taught that to be emotional is to be feminine. As a result, we barely have a handle on our own emotions — meaning that we’re especially ill-equipped at dealing with someone else’s.
That’s where “crazy” comes in. It’s the all-purpose argument ender. Your girlfriend is upset that you didn’t call when you were going to be late? She’s being irrational. She wants you to spend time with her instead of out with the guys again? She’s being clingy. Your wife doesn’t like the long hours you’re spending with your attractive co-worker? She’s being oversensitive.
As soon as the “crazy” card is in play, women are put on the defensive. It derails the discussion from what she’s saying to how she’s saying it. We insist that someone can’t be emotional and rational at the same time, so she has to prove that she’s not being irrational. Anything she says to the contrary can just be used as evidence against her.
More often than not, I suspect, most men don’t realize what we’re saying when we call a woman crazy. Not only does it stigmatize people who have legitimate mental health issues, but it tells women that they don’t understand their own emotions, that their very real concerns and issues are secondary to men’s comfort. And it absolves men from having to take responsibility for how we make others feel.
In the professional world, we’ve had debates over labels like “bossy” and “brusque,” so often used to describe women, not men. In our interpersonal relationships and conversations, “crazy” is the adjective that needs to go.
Men really need to stop calling women crazy - Harris O’Malley (via quentintortellini)
way to be condescending as fuck. i'm not a louis stan, at all, but you can't seriously say you think someone is unattractive and claim to be objective. re-read the definition of 'objective' pls.
Ooooookay, anon. Honestly, I thought I was approaching your message in a light-hearted way, considering we are literally talking about members of a boy band, rather than, you know, Really Important Shit. I’m sorry if you took it in a different way than it was intended (the internet can make that hard sometimes).
As for the concept of “objective,” here’s the definition:
(of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.
So maybe “that’s how I feel” wasn’t the right way to start the sentence, but it’s one of those linguistic things that I just so happen to repeat a lot, both in verbal and written communication. Let’s look at the whole sentence again. (Tip: Here’s where I actually become condescending. Are you ready?)
But that’s how I feel, and I think I’m being pretty objective considering I don’t really care if any of them are attractive or not.
Let’s take that first clause out for a minute. It’s also hard to judge one’s own objectivity because one will always be biased, since the person attempting to act objective is the only one who is 100% certain of his/her own motives. So let’s remove the “and I think” as well. And throw in the modifier (“pretty”) for good measure.
But that’s how I feel, and I think I’m being pretty objective considering I don’t really care if any of them are attractive or not.
If you’d like, you can make the argument that physical attraction is not something that anyone can be objective about. I, however, would disagree on a social/colloquial level. If I were to describe a man as “objectively attractive,” I believe everyone in our society (let’s say everyone in America, for this argument’s sake) would have an idea of what that means. Perhaps some people would prefer to say that “objectively attractive” is really another way of saying a person is attractive in a “socially acceptable” way. That’s fine, too. For a woman, this might mean slender figure, perfect skin, blonde hair, big eyes, etc. For a man, this might mean a chiseled jaw, well-defined muscles, broad shoulder, etc. Basically, saying someone is “objectively attractive” does, in fact, make sense when you are talking about someone like Amber Heard or Matt Bomer, or pretty much anyone who has ever been cast as Clark Kent. I believe I’ve heard it used when referencing Zayn Malik, though in that case, I can’t put my finger on what it is that makes him so goddamn pretty, so maybe it isn’t as objective as it might seem (even though it seems widely agreed upon).
I’m not saying I don’t find people attractive in an unobjective way. I’m super into Jesse Eisenberg, and that’s not an objective thing by any means. It has a lot to do with how the things he says make me feel, and how I personally like his little quirks. I fully recognize he’s not a “total babe.” He’s not going to be a supermodel. He’s not going to be universally desired by millions of men and woman the way that someone objectively more attractive would be. Objectively, many might say he’s not attractive at all. (I can’t be objective on this matter, so I won’t even try.)
When it comes to One Direction, as I said, I don’t care if they are attractive or not. I like their music well enough (sometimes a girl just wants cheesy lyrics and a catchy beat when she’s driving), but I have no real feelings for them. (Full disclosure: I was a little obsessed with Niall’s goofiness for a few weeks last year. I’m pretty much over it now.) So there is no reason why I would like Louis for the way he smiles or laughs or repeats a particular phrase in interviews, or anything else an actual fan may like him for. At the same time, I don’t revile One Direction for being a boy band; I don’t begrudge them their fans or their fame. Therefore, I believe I’m more objective than others might be when it comes to this matter. Louis is objectively not attractive, and objectively he is probably the least attractive.
That was my point, and I stand by it. I also stand by my now-clarified point that a person can be objective about another person’s level of physical attractiveness.
TL;DR - If you want condescending, I’ll give it to you. But you can’t handle the truth. (And the cold, hard truth is, Louis isn’t attractive.) And, I don’t even care about Louis as much as I care about the idea that I don’t understand the word “objective.”
current louis? not exactly anything to write home about. neither is current liam, tho. late 2011/2012/early 2013 louis? fuckin' pretty.
anon, honey, you CRAY.
trust me, I have seen young Louis. he is and always has been the least attractive by a very large margin. I will concede that he has only recently actually become creepy looking (he really should not have facial hair).
Sorry, baby. I’m sure he’s a great person or whatever so if you are (and I assume you must be) a Louis stan, I don’t want to make you sad/mad. But that’s how I feel, and I think I’m being pretty objective considering I don’t really care if any of them are attractive or not?
“Certainly, women behave differently from men in the workplace. But is this difference in behaviour really a mistake on the part of women, or is it simply a way of adapting to the difference in the way women are treated and responded to at work? Study after study has shown that while men are rated favourably for behaving in an assertive, even aggressive manner, women acting in the same way are disapproved of and punished, be it through social sanctions like isolation and name-calling, or by being rejected for promotions and denied career opportunities. The same is true when it comes to negotiating salaries. Most women choose not to negotiate for a very good reason — they believe, rightly, that any attempt to negotiate will reflect badly on them, something that would not occur to the same degree if they were male. As researcher Hannah Bowles says, “This isn’t about fixing the women. It isn’t about telling women, “You need self-confidence or training.” They are responding to incentives within the social environment… You have to weigh that against social risks of negotiating. What we show is those risks are higher for women than for men.””—
There are all kinds of complex, interwoven social dynamics involved in the workplace. There is no simple answer to any of it because of how complex the dynamics are.
I used to work for a recruitment firm that placed engineers in a very specialized field of mechanical engineering. Seriously, engineers who only designed and made cable connectors - it was THAT specialized.
When I worked in executive recruitment, we had the devil’s own time placing women candidates - and it was only *partly* because the companies didn’t want to hire them. That was part of it, but it wasn’t the only reason.
The actual biggest reason we could only very rarely place women candidates is basically because of a whole lot of interrelated Freakonomics type of issues that aren’t obvious on the outside, that most people don’t even think of.
These freakonomic issues were the direct by-products of a society with strict and specific gender roles. Sexism in some companies affected the culture of the rest of the companies in surprising ways and affected applicant behavior and career planning in surprising ways.
Here is where some of those freakonomic issues came into play:
Almost all recruitment firms identify an “ideal candidate” who is their easiest candidate to place.
Many of the “ideal candidate” qualities are things that the company is looking for. I.e., 5-10 years of experience, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, has worked for no more than 1 company every 5-6 years - any more and they’re a job hopper, any fewer and they’re a lifer and too “set in the ways” of that one company.
But among the things that made someone an “ideal candidate” - they had to be easy to place, and many things that made someone easier or harder to place, would be something intrinsic to the candidate, not to the client (employer).
The ONLY women candidates that we ever had while I was working there, who were on the market and actively looking, were too new in the industry to be very placeable - and if they were an experienced employee who had been fired or who was trying to flee a hostile work environment. And here’s the freakonomics of it.
Employed (white, privileged) men often jump into the job market to look for better opportunities or advance their career. The women often tended to stick it out with a company because there was no guarantee that the next company wouldn’t be hostile. They didn’t quit jobs, jobs quit them. They tended to tolerate companies that weren’t advancing them because of a feeling that they should just be grateful to have an engineering job at all. And as a former computer person, I connect to this and have experienced this.
The other thing is that the cultural expectation of women to prioritize their husband’s career, resulted in almost all heterosexual women being removed from the most desirable demographic of candidate.
Consider that we mostly placed people in the 5-10 year experience range. Consider that most people get married, and factor in the average age range of marriage for middle class people. Also consider that women most common marry men who are slightly older. This means that the average woman who was close to an “ideal candidate” on paper, was probably married. And we could not move married women. At all. When a woman moved to an area, she commonly met a husband in that area… and more or less ended up tied down there (which created a huge two-body problem if the man was also a professional, unless she prioritized his job above hers). Once children started coming, she was unlikely to want to change companies (unless things got hostile), because there was a huge fear that a new employer would be less flexible.
And women in the same field will often make less than men, so the man’s job is going to be prioritized, even if it’s the same job. Being married to a fellow engineer did not help the woman’s career.
Sorry if I rambled a bit. Just pointing out that there’s more to the problem than ANY of these authors want to admit.
Women will be able to demand more in the workplace when we stop feeling like we’re lucky just to have a job at all, and when women’s careers are equally prioritized in male-female relationships. And lots of other sociological factors will have to be there, too, that aren’t immediately obvious.
“And then I saw that Melissa Fumero had been cast as Amy Santiago on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and I felt my guts roll up into my throat and try to escape out of my mouth. Omgomgomgomg that’s it then. There’s no way in hell a major network is gonna cast two Latina actresses in such a tight ensemble show I AM SCREWED.
And then next day my agents called and told me I’d booked it.
I couldn’t believe it. I had been saying to my boyfriend the night before how there was JUST NO WAY. Normally, The Latina is a singular element of the ensemble she is working in. She’s there to provide contrast, or sexuality, or humor. Or she’s there to clean the floors and/or steal your man. There are some serious stereotypes very much alive in film and TV today, and The Latina is one of them.
Here’s the thing though. The world is changing. Slowly but surely, television is changing. The character stereotypes are changing, or being turned inside out by some fantastic writers and actors (I’m looking at you, Orange is the New Black, Scandal, and The Mindy Project). People of color are on TV playing roles that are fleshed out, complex, human. And yes, some of those characters are maids. Some are sexy heartbreakers there to steal your man. Some own BBQ joints, while some are Chiefs of Staff. Some are prisoners, and some are cops. All are real people with hopes, dreams, ambitions, fears, and all the other vast human emotions and desires…
This is important. Because young women are watching TV, and they are getting messages about who they are in the world, who the world will allow them to be. And in big important steps, television is showing a reflection back to those young women that YOU CAN BE WHATEVER THE HELL YOU DAMN WELL PLEASE, and that two Latinas on one show is NORMAL. I think that’s a win for everybody.”—Stephanie Beatriz Shares Why Diversity On TV is Important (via amysantiaago)