My Fair Lady
Here’s an interesting topic Direct Answers hasn’t covered: men who tell women, “You’re crazy.” – Sandra
Sandra, answering one-sentence questions is like spotting a bit of twine on the ground, following it around the corner and discovering it’s part of a shoulder-high ball of string. Simple questions are the hardest to answer simply, because they lead everywhere.
It is less true now, but in the past women were often treated by men almost as a different species. Unfathomable, irrational, hormonal.
Why do men call women crazy? The first answer is, to get their own way. It’s not much different than a parent saying “because I said so” or your boss quoting the employee handbook.
Some men do it out of habit because their dad did it. It’s a lazy way of countering a woman’s point of view when she’s making way too much sense and the man can’t figure out how to deal with her. If it works on the woman, it will become a habit.
Below the male bravado is the age-old truth Gavin de Becker spoke. “Women are afraid men will kill them, and men are afraid women will laugh at them.” Men band together and call women crazy as a defense against the latent power of women.
Little boys are children in a way little girls never are. Little boys can grow up in a world of astronauts, football players and cowboys—a world divorced from their adult roles. Little girls grow up in the real world, playing with dolls, playing mom and playing house.
Little boys are free agents, not quite sure which way is up, not quite sure how to inhabit this world. That’s why many feel boys are more fragile.
“Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” is the song question in My Fair Lady. The answer is because women are not men. But the question reflects a male quandary. Women want to communicate and talk feelings, while men want to do and fix.
At a large marriage conference a few years ago, an expert on teaching men and women how to get along was outlining his program of communication skills. A counselor rose in the audience to challenge him. “Doesn’t your program feminize men?” he asked.
The expert grew defensive, even visibly angry. It was obvious the questioner struck a nerve.
So some of “women are crazy” is not gaslighting or trying to control a woman by belittling her. Guys don’t talk the way women do. It makes them uncomfortable. Raising certain ideas, thoughts and feelings to a conscious level makes men feel weird.
In a world which depended on physical strength, women were property. In a world run on brains, the odds are even and a woman can slice a man with her tongue. But male power once gained is hard to relinquish.
Why do you, as a woman, notice men who say this? Because it’s not what you want to hear. But if a man told you what you wanted to hear, you’d be less likely to notice his self-serving intent. To get what he wants a scheming man may say “I love you” or “What if one day we got married.”
A man who loves a woman doesn’t call her crazy. With other men, it’s like trying to change them from being right- or left-handed.
We understand your point about using words to control women, yet it’s hard for us as individuals to mount a crusade. To make a dent in society takes a vast effort. That’s why we must act on our own behalf.
When you find someone who believes the only way to make money is by gambling, they just fell out of your world. You don’t need to throw them under the bus because the two of you aren’t standing on the same street corner.
So it is with a man who calls you “crazy.”
~ Wayne & Tamara
Send letters to: [email protected] , or Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield MO 65801.