Taylor Swift pokes fun at the classic 'crazy girlfriend' stereotype - "They'll tell you I'm insane" (excerpt from Blank Space)
In light of Ava Max's recent number 1 hit, 'Sweet but Psycho', I thought it important to reiterate just how toxic the use of such words is.
It’s high time we stopped using ‘crazy’ and ‘psycho’ as descriptive insults.
Sure, I have behaved questionably in my time perhaps warranting a mental health inspection, but I am getting pretty pissed watching helpless women tagged with this description for doing nothing. ‘Crazy’ and ‘psycho’ are just convenient words used by men to authorise their superiority.
How many times have you and your girlfriends sat around scrutinising every incoming boy-sent text and over-analysing your replies because God forbid we come across ‘clingy’ or ‘crazy’? We are deemed mentally unstable when we do anything that makes a man feel remotely uncomfortable.
I know so many couples that are infamous for arguing a lot. Whereas, in actual fact, they argue no more than the rest of us. The only difference is that the boyfriends/husbands/fiances (yes, it's pretty much always men) of these women run off post-row to bitch to all of their friends about how much of a nutter their Mrs is. Is she really in the wrong for fighting her corner and not letting her other half get away with behaving badly? Would you stand for that? Sometimes our expressing of emotions isn’t pretty. Sometimes it will make others feel uncomfortable – but no healthy relationship comes from lack of acknowledging and expressing feelings.
We aren’t crazy for sticking up for ourselves.
Dismissing female emotion as ‘crazy’ isn’t something millennials have come up with. ‘Female Hysteria’ was a genuine medical diagnosis for centuries – most widely diagnosed in the Victorian era. To warrant such verdict, a woman would show signs of anxiety, irritability, increased or decreased libido and insomnia. Thank Heavens we can’t be committed through sex drive and/or anxiety today.
Women are more in touch with their emotions than men – it’s been scientifically proven. So how come when a man displays a classic ‘crazy woman’ reaction – shouting/screaming/smashing china in sheer frustration – it just isn’t spoken about. Just HOW often do you hear about the ‘psycho boyfriend’? It is pinned on us women because as the ‘more emotional’ sex we are an easier target. Should a woman pursue a guy who has expressed disinterest? Crazy! But a man who behaves in the same way? Cute and endearing. Women speaking their feelings are met with ‘You’re overreacting’ and ‘Don’t be so sensitive’ – whilst a woman in said situation would be described as emotional, a man would be deemed logical.
Tell me, gents; what would you rather? That your girlfriend spoke out when she had a problem with something or felt uncomfortable? Or that she bitched about it for the majority of that week on her girl’s WhatsApp group?
There’s nothing wrong with women fighting for what they believe in – for example, their boyfriend sleeping with someone else. Ah the CLASSIC psycho ex, kicking off because she found out you cheated on her. What a fucking crazy bitch, right? OR, maybe, someone who’s not only heartbroken, but now frustrated, angry and totally confused about the relationship she’s just left. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
I shouldn’t be punished for ensuring my boyfriend knows when he’s in the wrong and when I’m pissed off. Upon googling ‘psycho girlfriend’ you are greeted with copious articles (I’m talking thousands) about how to tell if you’re dating one, or, even better; how to stop yourself being one. In short, society wants us to sit pretty, ignoring our partner’s ignorance and bad behaviour and letting him do whatever he wants. Alas the reason why so many women avoid speaking out, standing up for themselves, and even reporting assaultive behaviour to the authorities.
Once you’ve been in a serious relationship with a partner, it isn’t natural to be able to let them go like a fart in the wind. There are going to be tears, accidental liking of Instagram posts, and tequila-fueled angry voicemails. The sole reason you hear more about this behaviour coming from women as opposed to their male counterparts is because women tend not to bottle everything up and actually speak out about their problems, let it be known when they are upset and seek advice for all of the above. From personal experience, men tend to lean towards the ‘ignoring that anything every happened and all parties involved’ theory. Yes, there are times when women need to keep their emotions in check, but it is ridiculous and unfair that our expressing of emotions implies that we are unhealthy.
Lest we forget that using terms such as ‘crazy’, ‘psycho’ and ‘bipolar’ in describing ANYONE is disrespectful to mental illness and those who suffer with it. Merely using these words in an insulting way encourages a lot of stereotypes that discourage people from seeking out mental health help when they need it. Stigmatizing mental illness is a big problem in our society — so let's not perpetuate it by throwing these adjectives around as an insult.