Undoing the Damage of Crazy
Recently I’ve noticed a trend amongst my female friends, the women in my family, and even myself. It’s a negative one, and I think it runs rampant amongst a lot of women. It all started this week when I was talking to a friend. She was sharing an opinion of hers when it came to relationships with men, then she stated “But then again, I AM crazy.”
The next day, I had a conversation with my mom in which she also stated “It’s my crazy talking” and “People just think I’m crazy.”
As I noticed all these strong, beautiful women referring to themselves as crazy, I took a look at my own behavior and realized that I do the same thing. I tend to preface my opinions with “Before I say this, remember I’m a little crazy” or “I’m just really crazy this week.” This isn’t that shocking considering my mom does the same thing.
To make matters worse, I realized my stepdad perpetuates this stereotype because he makes statements along the lines of “Well, you know the women in our family, you’re all hard to deal with.”
I’ve noticed this debilitating trend of women calling themselves crazy along with men and perpetuating the stereotype. This is an unfair stereotype we have forced upon ourselves not just as women, but as individuals. As women we range from calm to eccentric to highly-strung, but none of this qualifies us as crazy. Here are some of the issues that I have noticed that come up with this particular stereotype:
- Crazy = Invalid Opinions.
I’m sure you’ve heard friends follow up their opinions with “Well, maybe I’m just crazy” or “don’t listen to her, she’s just crazy.” This can certainly be completely innocent at times, but there are times when this is used as a way for women to slice the validity of their opinions or other’s opinions. I notice that I do it along with many of my friends. The idea that women are crazy perpetuates that a woman’s opinion is invalid.
2. Crazy = Heightened
So what I have recently taken up is a challenge. A challenge to no longer call myself crazy. I want to share this with women everywhere because I believe the practice of calling ourselves crazy is detrimental. We are not crazy, we are women, and we are individuals. All of us are different and we have different ranges in emotions, feelings, actions, and beliefs. I believe in taking up the practice of respecting that about ourselves and each other.
3. Crazy = Excuse
I’ve noticed that every time I ask a guy why he broke up with someone he’ll just simply answer “She was crazy.” As if the guy is completely exonerated of his part in the relationship because, well, women are “crazy.”
Let’s commit to finding a replacement for this negative sentiment and replace it with more substance and truth. Think about why you’re using the word crazy. Perhaps you’re really trying to say: “because I’m so amazing” “because I’m so talented” “because I take on too much” or “because I try to be there for everyone but now it’s time I do things for myself.” Next time you’re about to utter the word “crazy” think of a positive attribute you can replace it with and let’s bash this stereotype of woman. It’s just crazy.
– Lo, intern