Why Men Need to Stop Calling Women Crazy

“Yeah, man. She was crazy.” We’ve probably all heard a guy say this about an ex at some point. “Crazy” is a word that can be used to describe anything from a girl who texts too much to an axe murderer; I’m going to talk about the former. Many times men substitute the word “crazy” for the word “emotional” or “sexual.” “She slept with me on the first date – she’s crazy!” Nothing is said about the man also participating, but the woman is deemed the crazy one. This kind of manipulation is both hurtful and oppressive.

  1. Women have a right to be upset, whether or not you want them to be. Sometimes when a man calls a woman “crazy,” it means she was upset at a time that was inappropriate or inconvenient to him. “She started crying in the middle of the restaurant, dude! She’s crazy!” “Crazy” should never be interchangeable with “emotional” or “upset.”
  2. You can’t tell a woman how she’s supposed to feel. Telling a woman what’s “normal” to feel is not only controlling, it’s patriarchal. When a woman doesn’t act in way that a man deems appropriate, calling her “crazy” is a way to assert his so-called logical superiority. This kind of microaggression makes us feel like showing emotion makes us weak when that’s most definitely not the case. 
  3. Calling a woman crazy to get off the hook for doing something stupid is not okay. Say a guy is playing Halo and his girlfriend is trying to talk to him about something important. He won’t pause the game to look at her and she gets mad and starts to tear up. She tells him, “You’re not paying attention to me.” And THEN he pauses the game and says, “That’s not true, you’re crazy.” What that essentially does is make HER feel bad for having a completely normal emotional reaction.
  4. Calling women crazy for being emotional trivializes actual mental health issuesBeing emotional and having normal reactions  should never be confused with an actual mental health problem. Calling it as such does nothing but belittle real mental health issues and make them easier to dismiss. (Also, you should never call someone struggling with mental health problems “crazy” either. That’s crappy and rude.)
  5. In many cases, men may actually be more emotional than women in relationships. In a study done by Mindlab last year, men were determined to be more emotional than women in many cases. And despite women scoring lower on the emotional scale, they commonly reported that they thought they were more emotional than men (I would assume because we’re constantly told as much.) According to Neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis, “Gender stereotypes about men being stoic and women being emotional are reinforced by our day to day consumption of media and our social interactions. We tend to oversimplify and exaggerate the perceived differences between men and women and are more likely to focus on evidence that supports our existing gender stereotypes.”
  6. It’s entirely possible to be both emotional and rational in upsetting situations. Calling a woman crazy essentially takes the emphasis off of the content of her argument and places it it on HOW she’s saying it instead. They’ve ultimately stopped listening after that defense is used.
  7. Calling a woman crazy tells her that she doesn’t understand her own emotions. It’s condescending and patronizing. Women are perfectly capable of thinking sensibly and expressively and we don’t need to be told that we’re foolish for doing so.
Tiffany is a New Orleans-based boudoir photographer (lushboudoirla.com) and freelance writer. Follow her on instagram: @onesmallflower or view her boudoir photographs: @lushboudoir