The number of times I’ve been called the c-word is exponential.
I’ve pretty much come to own it as part of my identity. “Oh yeah, Morgan is crazy,” is a statement I’ve heard incessantly. If I happen to be there when it is said, I will even casually nod my affirmation, smiling primly all the while. So I took a minute this weekend to sit down, and really think about what that means. I’ve always owned it with an air of amusement, let the word roll off my shoulders as though it bears no effect. But maybe it has more of an effect than I think, and maybe I should stop adding to the dilution of a word that is already spread so thin, its meaning has been lost.
What kept circling around in my head was the age-old question: what came first, the crazy lady, or the badly behaved boy?
I am emotional, yes, I am sensitive, yes, and I am so passionate I have a hard time keeping it in check. But does that make me crazy? I actually don’t think it does.
Here is what I do think:
I think men have used the word “crazy” when referring to women in order to shame them into conformity. Along with some other fun ones, like ugly, fat, clingy, needy, etc. We harness our thoughts, try to monitor our behavior, exercise strict control over what we say, or dont say, for fear of being labelled that shameful word. It has become so commonplace, so mainstream to throw it out there – “Oh ya, I know her, she’s crazy.” Even worse, it has become such an accepted vernacular that women are turning on each other and throwing the c-word out there just as much as men are.
People seem to use the word “crazy” when they are scared, when they are out of excuses and have nothing else to say, when they know they are wrong, or have done wrong.
It’s called gas-lighting, and it’s a real term used by mental health professionals to describe the process of manipulating someone into thinking their behavior is crazy, when in fact, is completely appropriate in any given situation.
It’s just such a cop-out. Women are, by nature and by nurture, more emotional beings then men. That means, in general (and of course this isn’t always the case, there are always shades of grey) women have been brought up being taught that being emotional is okay, and talking about feelings is fine and dandy. Men, on the other hand, are typically not brought up with the same luxury. They are taught to be strong, masculine, and non-emotional. So therefore, they aren’t as comfortable when the conversation turns deep, when the discussion at hand get tough, or when the person they are talking to begins to get upset.
Men (or at least the men I have dealt with) are fixers. They want to “fix” things, as quickly as they can. They don’t necessarily want to get to the root of the issue, but they want to deal with it immediately, get a band-aid on it, wipe the tears away, and move on. I think that it a wonderful quality in most cases, however, sometimes a band-aid isn’t enough, and sometimes it’s going to take a little more work than that.
Now, back to me and my crazy-ass. Contrary to what you may have assumed, my little blonde head is home to a brain cell or two. I play the role of the floaty, flighty, flirty girl with the expertise of an actor who has spent her whole life perfecting her character, but in actuality, I’m pretttty smart. If I’m questioning you, it’s because I have done my research, I have interviewed who I need to interview, and I have a pretty good idea of a version of the truth. So when you then lie to me, or try to manipulate the situation, I am fully aware of what’s going on. And it makes my blood boil. Enter, “crazy”.
My next favourite crazy crisis happens when men pull out one of their most typical tricks: the ol’ “tell you what you want to hear so that you don’t start a fight”. Ie. They lie. Short-term gain, for a long-term, much more drawn out, doubly as painful and annoying argument. Because now we are fighting not only over the initial thing I asked you about, but the fact that you lied.
I get it – you want to avoid a fight, so you think the little white lie is beneficial for the both of us. Except for that one little small detail that you just can’t seem to grasp, my above point. IF IM ASKING YOU SOMETHING MORE TIMES THAN NOT, I ALREADY KNOW. Plus, women’s intuition. I swear it’s a thing. If you are lying, I promise you, my skin starts to tingle, my senses get heightened and my thirst for the truth mutates into an obsession. #stillnotcrazy
So, let’s just avoid that little situation, shall we? Just tell me the truth when I ask you, the first time, and no one will get set on fire.
I will own my setting-on-fire behavior if you own your own shitty behavior. But I’m going to quit owning crazy without the acknowledgement that sometimes, it is completely warranted. Full disclosure: Of course I overreact sometimes. But am I certifiably crazy? Lol, no. I’m actually pretty chill, when I’m being treated with dignity and respect, and no being manipulated to question my own sanity.
As always, there is a disgusting double standard. If I were to beat the crap out of some girl for talking to my boyfriend, I would be labelled crazy before my fist even connected with her face. If a guy did the same? No one would bat an eyelash. I’ve had boyfriends show up where I was at, uninvited and unannounced, in order to check on me, go through my phone, accuse me of things that never even crossed my mind. But did I run around telling everyone how crazy he was? No. Instead, we use words like “protective” and “jealous” when referring to this type of male behavior. I believe I even once called it “cute” when a boyfriend slept on my front doorstep when we were fighting. The same offenses that would get a girl charged and prosecuted as a crazy bitch (without a trial) would get a man a slap on the wrist.
And don’t even get me started on the shadow it casts on people with mental health issues. The word crazy is so misused and warped, it should be driven to the dictionary dump, and abandoned, forever. It is redundant, at this point.
So here’s the thing, guys (and girls:) STFU and stop calling girls crazy when you get uncomfortable. If you’re scared of a strong personality such as mine then don’t date me and don’t be around me. It’s that easy. I don’t claim to be anything but who I am, right out of the gate. You probably aren’t going to get away with shitty behavior with me, and I make zero claims that you are.
This is not called crazy. This is called having morals, standards and expectations for what I want and think I deserve. This is called standing up for myself when necessary, and not regulating my behavior to fit the standard that society has set out for us.
If you think that’s crazy, well, then, there’s the door. Oh, and by the way, while you were reading this I smashed your windshield because you told your friends I slept with you, when I didn’t. Crazy? Maybe. Or maybe you’re the crazy one, for spreading bullshit lies and rumors and tarnishing a reputation for your own pathetic gain.