Monday, 5 April 2010

I am woman, I emote

First of all, thanks to shine and Marie for starting this blog theme and to the many people participating. Many of you ladies and gents have really gone boobs up and balls out and I say "bravo" to that.

For my contribution, I would like to write about the word "crazy."

I feel like this is a word reserved almost entirely for women, and I think that stinks.

I mean, yes, I hear it used in reference to men when like, say, some dude down in Arkansas decides to kill a bunch of kitties and make lampshades out of their skin and ends up on Dateline. But I think then it's mostly so that lazy journalists can write bad alliterate headlines like: Krazy Kitten Killer Gets Krafty.

In everyday conversation, "crazy" is used so often to describe women and it makes me sad because a lot of times I think it's just a reaction to someone trying to express their emotions.

So my Women's Writes statement: Emotions do not equal crazy.

How long are we going to be aware that men and women express themselves differently without being able to accept and embrace it? Yes, dear gentleman, your way of dealing with a bad day may be to drink some beers, play some video games, spank it to some illegally download porn and go to sleep early. (Uh ... I never handle a bad day like this. I swear.)

We get it. And I think (and this is based only on conversation with my immediate circle) many of us are OK with it and don't think a lot about it.

So, when I have a bad day, if I need to drink a bottle of wine, have a good cry, talk to you ad nauseum about how it all FEELS and then still need to work it out and so blog about it - I'm not acting bananas - I'm experiencing emotions. Normal ones.

Don't think this is a dude bashing post. I don't do those. I love dudes. I have one. He's super duper. He's a super duper dude. Uh ... carried away, party of one.

Back to the lecture at hand (Snoop reference. YESSS.)

Women are just as guilty of pegging this tag on each other. Ladies! Tsk tsk and stuff. This isn't helping. Just because you're having one of those days when you have all your shit together it doesn't mean you should go all Mean Girl on the poor gal who got yelled at out work, was visited by Aunt Flo in her cute new white skirt and found donkey humping videos on her guy's computer and is now a big teary mess.

I could go real feminist on you all right now and start talking about uses of insanity in relation to women in literature and film and how grossly disproportionate it is when you look at references to men. And I could talk about how even certifiably crazy men in history are often painted as "genius" in public while women are called just plain old crazy. I mean I really could do that. I wrote a paper about it in college. I is smart. But the truth is, I don't want to go all intellectual on you. I mean, have you read this blog? I would not call this a place of higher thinking.

I'm writing this as more of an humanistic appeal. I admit. Even I am guilty of uttering "she so crazy" about people and I've often use the word to explain my own emotions. "Sorry, I was acting crazy" has been used many times because I couldn't articulate my own emotions. And I think that's a cop out for my own poor communication skills when it comes to interpersonal relationships. Whoa. Big words. Maybe this IS a place of high thinking ...

AND, let us not forget that some people truly are bat shit crazy. For those people I pledge to have a bit more sympathy. Unless they get all nutso on me and then I will shiv a hoe.

The point is, yes. I'm going to cry. A lot. Sometimes, I'm going to cry and you won't know why. Sometimes I'm going to cry and I WON'T EVEN KNOW WHY. Sometimes, I'll get really intense and stomp around and fall down on the floor like a child. And sometimes I'll just want to yell a lot and I won't want to listen to anything you have to say. And then I might get really weird and refuse to talk at all.

Will this be a moment of my most sparkly behavior? Absolutely not. But chances are, I haven't lost my mind. Odds are I don't need medication or intense psycho-therapy (although, there's an argument that we may all need a bit of that.)

What I really probably need is for someone to listen to me. Or say "Of course how you feel matters." Or maybe just give me a hug. (there's also a strong possibility I need to get sober, but that's a subject for another post. Or 12.)

So, dear bloggers, on this, the first annual Women's Writes, I ask you to say no to "crazy" and HUG IT OUT KIDS. HUG IT OUT.


  1. I really don't think we will ever get to a place where men and women understand each other and how differently we express ourselves. Men will never get why we sometimes just need a good cry, but maybe they should. Maybe next time they have a bad day they should cry. I am all for playing video games and drinking beers to help a bad day maybe they should feel how good it can feel emotionally to let it all out.

  2. My boyfriend tells me how "crazy" I can be with my emotions and I always tell him that most women are like that because - hold on to your seat here - WE LIKE TO FEEL AND EXPRESS EMOTIONS. I've found men like to keep them shut inside until they're about to burst which isn't so healthy.

    I will say this though, men definitely have their own brand of crazy.

    Thank you for writing this! Loved it!

  3. As someone who has been sobbing off and on for several weeks now (and has no sign of stopping anytime soon) I love you for saying this.

    Sometimes crying and acting "crazy" are all I CAN do. I don't know about all the other ladies here, but if I don't get it out of my system, it feels like my skin will peel off.

    So for me, acting crazy is catharsis. I NEED IT. And I'm glad that I don't need to apolgize for it.

  4. Amen, sister. Amen.

    This post reminds me a bit of when Teresa Heinz-Kerry so intelligently pointed out that when men voice their opinions, they're applauded for being smart, but when women voice their opinions, they're seen as too opionionated (or just bitches).

    And I could rant about how in a man's world, these kinds of double standards about emoting and expressing will never stop, but the truth of it is that I think it's the women that are not helping this situation at all. I've been called an opinionated, angry bitch by far more women than men. Is it fear? A diversionary tactic to turn the mirror away from our own similar emotions? Do we point our fingers at other women to avoid pointing at ourselves?

    I have no answers. And I'm guilty of finger pointing as much as the next gal. So I vow with you to strive for more sympathy for the truly crazy, and to otherwise hug it out. Or just keep my mouth shut.

  5. AMEN! Ok so I dated a guy for a few months. Near the end I had an inkling that he was seeing someone else, and I got a little emotional on him. This guy was a little emo and constantly updating his facebook status's with messages to people. Next day, his said "Bitches be crazy." I don't know why this made me mad so much, because there always that off chance that he was just quoting a song.. but I know this guy and in a way he wasn't. Anyway. I probably am a little cray-cray... but I think that's ok. It feels good.

  6. SO TRUE. we should be allowed to have emotions without being penalized and mocked for it. feeling your feelings is not being crazy.

  7. I LOVE this post.

    (And I for one would love to have heard you catalog all the crazy-related injustices perpetrated to women in literature and history.)

    Well said. I think I may print this out and give it to my husband. (Who has never called me crazy... but I know he thinks it sometimes.)

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