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How Crazy Became The New B-Word

November 10th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I don’t know exactly when it happened, and the title of this post is somewhat misleading, because I don’t know exactly how it happened. At some point, calling a woman crazy became more insulting, more dangerous than calling her the b-word.

This revelation didn’t occur to me via the hard way. It’s not like I called a woman crazy recently, then had to use my defense skills against a kitchen knife. No. The whole, “don’t ever call a woman crazy” thing has kind of been this trending mantra I’ve picked up on within the last year or so through various conversations with women who swear they’re not crazy. Meanwhile, the way women have taken the b-word and turned into some sort of weird term of empowerment, is also something I’ve noticed.

Like I said, I really don’t know when the reversal of these words took place, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess why.

Women have to put up with a lot of things from men. Now don’t get me wrong, men have to put up with a lot too, and I’m not trying to get into some pissing contest to figure out who has to put up with more. For the sake of this post, let’s just leave it at women have to put up with a lot of things from men. We, men, put them through the ringer, and all the while, they take our mess. They let it slide off their back and perservere as our women.

Unfortunately, all those issues a woman lets slide off her back, fall into a built up reservoir of resentment. She may not go off at an inconvenience here or a small white lie there, but she definitely remembers the slights. She stores them up like some sort of video game power up. Then her man forgets to put the toilet seat down and all of it, every negative thought she had about her man comes roaring out of her mouth towards him. What’s his response? “All because I didn’t put the seat down? You’re crazy.”

Now we should ring the alarm, because all this does is rile the woman up even more, if only because she believes crazy is something else. Crazy is impatient and going off on every single little thing she’s noticed, which she has not done. She has been patient, understanding, and above all else, calm. Crazy? CRAZY? She watches “Snapped”, those women are crazy. Can’t a woman go off on her man without being seen as delusional?

These are the things she gets frustrated about when a man calls her crazy. She knows women who are crazy, and she associates crazy behavior with emotional instability. She believes she is anything but emotionally unstable. So when her man calls her crazy, she feels he’s writing off her tirade as a delusional rant with no substance. All she’s doing is letting off her steam of frustrations. Why’s that have to be crazy?

The other problem with crazy is she never feels like crazy is her fault alone. As men, don’t ever forget, if she’s crazy, we (allegedly) made her this way (her words not mine). When she was imagining herself as a man’s woman, never did she think she’d get so fed up, she would wind up in their bed sitting on top of him pointing a gun at his face, word to Goodfellas. But now, she fantasizes about that more than she fantasizes about sitting on top of him to do something else. She’s gone crazy. She knows it, and it’s all because of him.

Crazy, I know. But it’s true.

The difference between being crazy and being the b-word? When a woman is the b-word, it’s often unprovoked. She basically woke up feeling that way, and that way she will stay until her mood changes which will never be before she feels like it. When someone else calls her the b-word, she may not like it, but she knows it may be true. A woman will apologize at times for being the b-word. She will never apologize for being crazy, unless her man apologizes for making her so.

Even a woman who know she’s crazy will warn her man she only gets that way when pushed. She’ll say, “I’m not crazy, but people can drive me crazy.” He has no idea what that means, but he still will throw caution to the wind, do his best not to bring the crazy out of her. Most men can handle a woman who’s the b-word, but handling a woman who’s coo-coo without the Cocoa Puffs? Not even he’s that crazy.

And just so we’re clear, I would still never call a woman the b-word. That’s just giving her license to go crazy.

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  • http://www.max-logic.com/ maxfab

    “The other problem with crazy is she never feels like crazy is her fault alone. As men, don’t ever forget, if she’s crazy, we (allegedly) made her this way (her words not mine).”

    I always hear women say this. I don’t buy it. I think if a woman has crazy in her it will be coaxed out by the right (wrong?) man, but if she doesn’t, no matter what he does she won’t go crazy.

    I’m not crazy, but I wish I was sometimes. It seems that however much men fear the crazy woman, they also appreciate her more than her even-tempered sisters.

  • http://blackgirlunlost.wordpress.com/ Jubilance

    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve been going through this recently. Had a situation going on with a dude I liked, and we had some disagreements. And then he catagorized the disagreements as me “acting crazy & flipping the fcuk out”.

    Ever since then I’ve seen red. I’ve never had a guy call me crazy (at least not to my face) and it has messed with me ever since. I’m bothered for 2 reasons – because I don’t consider my behavior/reaction in our disagreement to be irrational (hence “crazy”) and also because in catagorizing me as crazy, he put all the blame of the situation on me. And that’s the part that is most infuriating, that he was unwilling to own his part in the situation.

    Its so easy to call a woman crazy – its like men use it when they want to absolve themselves of any responsibility in the situation. And that right there is what makes women even more upset. Own up to your crap, take part of the blame for what happened. When you dismiss a woman as just “crazy” you invalidate her feelings, her view, her perspective & catagorize it as irrational & not making sense. And that hurts.

  • http://blackgirlunlost.wordpress.com/ Jubilance

    I think you’re right in the “I think if a woman has crazy in her it will be coaxed out by the right (wrong?) man, but if she doesn’t, no matter what he does she won’t go crazy.” part.

    There’s a big difference btwn behavior that everyone catagorizes as crazy (busting out windows, scratching cars, etc) and then when men label women as crazy simply cause they don’t want to be called to the carpet on their crap. And I see the latter happen a lot, where men don’t want to own up to their shortcomings. Its much easier to call a woman crazy when she highlights your hypocrisy or expects you to actually follow through on what you said you were gonna do, than it is to actually do it.

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  • http://sleep-is-the-cousin-of-death.blogspot.com/ taut_7

    i still contend that there are a lot of crazy women out there. provoked or not, emotional instability isn’t cool. i’d rather stay away from people like that in general. if you are offended then chances are you’re probably a tad bit crazy.

  • http://twitter.com/LinseyLins Linsey I.

    i only WISH more men understood us women like you do. smh this is too true.

  • http://sleep-is-the-cousin-of-death.blogspot.com/ taut_7

    see i’m speaking from personal experience. i would never call a woman crazy for speaking up for herself. i call people crazy for doing things that are actually crazy.

  • http://sleep-is-the-cousin-of-death.blogspot.com/ taut_7

    also notice i said crazy people. not just women.

  • http://www.max-logic.com/ maxfab

    Agreed. Crazy is definitely a euphemism for “will not put up with your bullsh!t” at times. But on the other hand, there are a lot of crazy women running around in this world.

  • http://liferequiresmorechocolate.blogspot.com/ sunt97

    Ok, if I a woman woman brings up the fact that she is not crazy before anything happens between you, then she is crazy and is sending you a red flashing warning light. Anyway I think most men use crazy as a way of getting out. They can say that homegirl in loco and he can bounce. I have been called crazy, not because I slit car tires, stolen something or had emotional melt down. I have been called crazy because I didn’t react like those ways. Some men expect the melt down and angry tirade, but tat isn’t me. Yeah I get mad, speak my piece and keep it movin. Hmm maybe that’s why I hear cold hearted snake so often.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate
    Tiffany

  • http://twitter.com/K_dot_RE Keith Reed

    I’d agree with nearly everything you said, Jozen, until considering one fact: everyone’s responsible for their own selves, even if they’re being pissed off or provoked. News flash: holding onto every slight until they’ve all built up so much that something as small as a toilet seat being left up causes you to love your *gotdamn* mind is, well, crazy. Manage your shit. Learn how to communicate or find a productive way to let off stress, because not doing so as a grown person is what? Crazy. Allowing someone who pisses you off that much to continue to piss you off instead of hitting a Lebron and making a decision to take your talents elsewhere is crazy. And giving someone else so much power over you that you can’t (or won’t) control your own self is…

  • http://twitter.com/K_dot_RE Keith Reed

    I’d agree with nearly everything you said, Jozen, until considering one fact: everyone’s responsible for their own selves, even if they’re being pissed off or provoked. News flash: holding onto every slight until something as small as a toilet seat being left up causes you to lose your *gotdamn* mind is, well, crazy. You’re grown, manage your shit. Learn how to communicate or find a productive way to let off stress, because not doing so is what? Crazy. Allowing someone who pisses you off to continue to do so instead of hitting a Lebron and taking your talents elsewhere is crazy. And giving someone else so much power over you that you can’t (or won’t) control your own self is…

  • Courty J

    Loved it.

    Yes, I’m crazy.

    “I got that Courtney love for ya, that crazy sh*t.” (Drake knows it too)

    Definition: Sanity (, from sānitās) refers to the soundness, rationality and reasonableness of the human mind.

    Love is not rational.None of the qualities of love are rational. Love is very selfless and self-sacrificing aka irrational. I’d prefer to love than to be considered sane.

    But you don’t get to call me crazy because I already know I am… and I’m sensitive about my sh*t. lol.

  • Natalie Naomi

    “Crazy? CRAZY?!?!” – That is my exact response when called Crazy. “You have some NERVE!!” And then I go into stories about my crazy friends and the crazy things they do. I don’t have the energy to go crazy over a guy. Sorry. It’s just not in my DNA. You won’t find my driving past your crib. I’m not checking emails, text messages, or Facebook (maybe a little FB stalking…but who doesn’t do that?) And I for damn sure ain’t putting my hands on a guy. How dumb will I look/feel after attacking a guy? That right there is CRAZY. I know all of this b/c of my crazy friends. I promise 😉

    Love, Love this post. You are on-point with your observations, my friend.

    Nat

  • http://www.aconversationbycandlelight.blogspot.com Erica

    I am literally sitting in law school trying not to laugh out loud at this post! I LOVE this one! I think the issue with the word “crazy” when referring to women is that it gives in to this twentieth century idea that if a woman is emotional she is hysterical (see “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gillman). So many men dismiss a woman’s emotional response to things as her just being “crazy”. Not only is it dismissive it’s condescending. It makes it seem that women are so irrational that their responses can only be prompted by their own unstable mental state, rather than there being a real issue that needs attention from both parties. It drives me crazy that its 2010 and men are still using this patriarchal method to qualify women. And I think men win this battle because while women might have a valid reason to be upset all he has to do is call her “crazy” and that makes her look at herself and say “am I?” The focus is off of what HE did. In the end, bitch can look like a powerful woman…crazy…well we all know what crazy looks like (see: “Fatal Attraction) and that’s just not pretty.

    Very thoughtful post Jozen!

  • http://twitter.com/wlosssinglegirl Single Girl

    This guy is in my head sometimes. Great post!

  • http://twitter.com/streetztalk Streetz

    Chicks is crazy b…lol

  • http://twitter.com/MetsThrifty Mets

    Very interesting post! I myself can put my hands up and say I have acted CRAZY, psycho even! And why? Over a guy, not because HE intentionally made me crazy but because I made myself crazy… I spent too much time thinking, I listened to others outside of my relationship and got paranoid in my own head then turned into the world’s best spy and did some loco stuff. When I was psycho shouting/screaming at him, he never said it but I read his mind “WOW. She’s actually crazy” and I’d be the first to put my hands up and admit that I was CRAZY.

    BUT before you men sigh of relief, you CAN turn women into crazy slash-your-car-tyres, stalk you, fight you types because of YOUR actions and the offence taken when you call your woman crazy stems from the fact that you created that crazy woman. She wasn’t crazy before she met you, a little while back at the beginning of the relationship so something happened to make her crazy. If she didn’t do it herself (as per example above that I’ve admitted to being crazy to) then someone else did.. that someone being you.

    Anyway that is what love is about. When you love someone, you act crazy! “Crazy in love” Crazy is not necessarily bad.. you do things for your partner you would never have dreamt of doing, you compromise and think “huh, me? Did I just do that? That’s crazy!” … you would die for your partner – that’s pretty crazy too!

    GREAT POST! 1st time visitor & loving it!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve never agreed with calling Women crazy or the B-word though their actions may warrant it. See, Being crazy or the B-word means that they are the problem and like many things in our society in general and community in specific, the actions, feelings, and thoughts that come from our women, for the most part, are not their issues but their symptons, stemming from yes, past relationships, but also mishaps that may or may not have come from their immediate history. Throughout our history, Women have had to adapt to discrimination, abuse, and other vices by hardening up, wearing thick skin, speaking with attitude for the sake of being heard, respected, and understood. If we took the societal definitions for crazy or the B-word, then yes, women’s actions would fit, but what really fits is mis-understood and fed up. All of this coming from a man. Just a little food for thought…Eat up and don’t worry, I’ll do the dishes!

  • http://twitter.com/kindasweetish Aisha

    Agree, men seem to like crazy…

  • BoomShots

    Please that old canard about men making them crazy is some old BS….my lesbian friends say the same thing. Most women are just degrees of craziness.

    Being cool and even tempered is the exception these days. But women after all are not the only folks behaving crazy these days it just irks me that they think it is cool to be like that.
    It is not and it is not gonna get you what you want plus as far men goes you will only attract like.

  • Janelle

    Jubilance just took the words out of my mouth. Great post. This recently happened to me a few months ago and it was the first time that a guy had called me crazy as well. I guess it was his way of not taking responsibility for his own part in the situation. I am not even going to get into the details of why I was called crazy because at this point it isn’t important. All I know is it made me think the guy was pretty insensitive and, I probably won’t be dealing with him in the future. Poor thing because it will be his loss

  • It’s been a long time

    Love the addition of the crazy question to the podcast!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1295360001 Sherry Rouse

    fabulous post. every point was on target. i’ve never been called crazy (non-chalant and overly blunt but never crazy, lol) but i dated one guy who called me a b*tch during an argument… let’s just say i’m sure he wished he had just called me crazy instead. lol

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  • mimi

    You definitely hit this nail on the head. I just laughed as the comment above me says the same thing. This part especially:
    Now we should ring the alarm, because all this does is rile the woman up even more, if only because she believes crazy is something else. Crazy is impatient and going off on every single little thing she’s noticed, which she has not done. She has been patient, understanding, and above all else, calm. Crazy? CRAZY? She watches “Snapped”, those women are crazy. Can’t a woman go off on her man without being seen as delusional?

    Absolutely correct. As well as us going crazy and knowing t and it’s all HIS fault. You deserve a standing ovation for this observation. A part of becoming a man and a good partner is learning that… “Oh sh*t she’s spazzing… let me just take it so she’ll shut up.” Basically because y’all deserve it when we flip out. So just let us get it all out because at the end of our rant you usually learn where it all came from (and always at the end.) Then we can move on. We can calm down and you can shake your head and avoid us for a few hrs. =)

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