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On Calling Women 'Crazy'
April 25, 2012 6:37 PM   Subscribe

Women are often referred to as crazy when remembered by exes. A magazine article propagating this view was forcefully rebutted. Have the times changed for women with a wide range of emotions?
posted by reenum (155 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Um... aren't exes frequently referred to as "crazy" by the other one, regardless of gender? I don't think this is an exclusive domain of men talking about women. I've regularly heard women talk about their ex-boyfriends or husbands as "crazy" or "psychotic", and can't even begin to recount all the catty things that gay men say about those they've broken up with. "Crazy" is just the beginning.
posted by hippybear at 6:40 PM on April 25, 2012 [21 favorites]


Nah, women use "creepy". Which is just fine and Jezebel will defend it with the same vigor "crazy" is condemned.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:43 PM on April 25, 2012 [24 favorites]


I never understood ex-bashing -- if you call your ex a nut or a loser, then you are saying only people with questionable judgement and no self-respect would ever go out with you.

Be careful when you point a finger of blame at someone because three fingers are pointing right back at you...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 6:45 PM on April 25, 2012 [13 favorites]


In my experience, 100% of the men I have known who go on about "crazy women" (note the plural — stories about an individual crazy ex can be quite credible) have all had a long history of treating women like crap and then blaming everything on the women when they acts out. And now when I hear it from any one I immediately write the guy off. It's just as messed up and disrespectful to make these generalities about women as it would be to talk about "crazy black people".

Hippybear, I've actually never heard anyone go on about crazy men, plural, though I have heard other stereotypes. And I won't be friends with women who make sweeping generalities about men, either.
posted by orange swan at 6:46 PM on April 25, 2012 [17 favorites]


Several of my exes have been legitimately "crazy" (as in, various mental illnesses), but I hesitate to call them "crazy" when speaking to other people.

I tend to have ok relationships with my exes, though, with one or two exceptions. Seeing how bad break-ups tend to generate bitterness and resentment, I'm not surprised people call each other names, although it tends to get quite... vicious at times.

I do think women might be called "crazy" more often, though, the charge of irrationality is more often leveled at women than at men. To be honest, I don't think we necessarily need to call women "crazy" less, but maybe use it more for men. People are stupidly irrational and borderline nutty all the time. Can't hurt to point it out.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 6:51 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am shocked, shocked!, I tell you, that people would describe their exes in negative terms.

*clutches pearls*

Alexandra Kitty: "I never understood ex-bashing -- if you call your ex a nut or a loser, then you are saying only people with questionable judgement and no self-respect would ever go out with you."

Great, rub it in why don't you.
posted by mullingitover at 6:51 PM on April 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


"Crazy" has been used against women in a way that it hasn't been used against men. It was, in fact, one of the centerpiece arguments designed to keep women out of power -- that they couldn't be trusted with really significant decisions, because they are biologically at the mercy of unreasonable emotions.

In this way, calling a woman crazy has a weight behind it that isn't there when it is applied to a man. This is the way with all insults. It carries more weight when Jews are called clannish or stingy, or African-Americans are called lazy, or whatever other example you want to come up with. It's not a neutral thing to say. Also, it's hideously unfair, considering the percentage of male exes who really do go batshit and kill their former spouse or lover.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 6:52 PM on April 25, 2012 [87 favorites]


All my exes are crazy. Who else but a crazy person would leave me for crying out loud?
posted by jonmc at 6:54 PM on April 25, 2012 [18 favorites]


Gaslighting
posted by steamynachos at 6:54 PM on April 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have three significant exes. The third - my ex-wife - was not crazy. She was cold. Cold, man. Cold and heartless. The second was a goddess of calm rationality. She put me to shame. She ditched me so beautifully I loved her all the more for it. I should have married her.

The first, on the other hand, was, without a shadow of a doubt, crazy as all fuck. When I was with her she shoved me through a first floor window. She screeched at me in public. She threw a pint of beer over my head. I loved her like mad. We lasted two years. Somehow we kept in touch over the subsequent years. I last saw her about two years ago and the plan was to have a nice evening, stay in her spare room and then go home the following morning. It didn't turn out that way. Somehow the evening degenerated to such an extent that it came to involve her locking me in the house, ranting at me for an hour about every single thing that was awful and inexcusable about me, telling me about how much all of our mutual friends loathed me, going upstairs to grab an air rifle, pointing it at me and threatening to shoot my eyes out, threatening to call the police and tell them I'd raped her, threatening to email my partner and tell her we'd had sex... so yeah, sometimes women really are crazy. And sometimes they're not. The same applies to men, too. Having a wide range of emotions != crazy. Threatening to shoot people's eyes out = crazy. Most of us get the difference.
posted by Decani at 6:55 PM on April 25, 2012 [16 favorites]


Just from watching a handful of recent workplace romances cycle through their mayfly life cycles, I wonder if some of describing women as "crazy" is because when men exhibit the same behavior, they're a lot more dangerous. One girl's girlfriend here drove 60 miles to hand deliver an edible bouquet and while there was much mocking over the craziness, when a guy did nearly the same thing, we called the cops. When guys act "crazy," they seem much more like threats, at least in my experience. (Which isn't to say that there aren't women who are legitimately dangerously crazy, or that women aren't often described as crazy as a way of putting the fault for poor relationship skills on them.)

(As another aside, being one of the few people at my workplace in a truly long term relationship has given me a weird window into just how dysfunctional and fucked up most people's relationships are — perhaps it's skewed by a sample that's predominantly in their early 20s, but the type of shit that people tolerate or try to pull on each other is just kinda staggering.)
posted by klangklangston at 6:56 PM on April 25, 2012 [12 favorites]


To have had one crazy ex may be regarded as a misfortune; to have had many looks like projection.
posted by misfish at 6:58 PM on April 25, 2012 [35 favorites]


I tend to refer to my (male) exes as "unfortunate" (as in "He was a bit...unfortunate"), not crazy, except for a couple who really did have mental-health issues. Granted, if I'm being honest, many of my exes probably were unfortunate to have dated me. Which is probably why they still haunt my dreams...
posted by limeonaire at 6:59 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I totally love the euphemism "wide range of emotions" and plan on using it copiously.

"Yeah I'm taking a shit on your desk, I have a wide range of emotions, okay? Stop being so insensitive!"
posted by Afroblanco at 7:00 PM on April 25, 2012 [39 favorites]


Since it hasn't been mentioned, there are a lot of people living with mental illnesses who really really hate the use of "crazy" as a pejorative. I got called out on Twitter on this by a lady I really respect not long ago, and I think she had a good point.

orange swan is right; you can tell a lot about a person by what they say about their exes, and if every single person before you was someone they now hate, or can't believe they ever dated, that's probably a red flag.
posted by emjaybee at 7:00 PM on April 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


I'm pretty certain that crazy is equal opportunity.
posted by arcticseal at 7:02 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


(and at least one of my exes is pretty damned close to certifiably cuckoo. A year or so after we split, I ran into her and did the whole hey-nice-to-se-ya-call-me-sometime thing. She did. It was pleasant at first, then she started sharing explicit carnal reminiscinces, then a minute later asked me if I owned any Black Sabbath records. Whe I said I did, she warned me that was a way for Satan to sneak into my mind when I wasn't looking. I thanked her for her concern)
posted by jonmc at 7:02 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Yeah I'm taking a shit on your desk, I have a wide range of emotions, okay?

and digestive issues, too, I guess.
posted by jonmc at 7:03 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


They often go together.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:04 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


considering the percentage of male exes who really do go batshit and kill their former spouse or lover.

While getting your point here, I think it would be better phrased "considering the percentage of women who were killed by a former spouse or lover". I'm pretty sure the actual number of men who have killed an ex is a very very tiny percentage of all the men who have exes of any sort.
posted by hippybear at 7:06 PM on April 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


there are a lot of people living with mental illnesses who really really hate the use of "crazy" as a pejorative

It's true. I have an ex who is bipolar and I never describe him as crazy. For that matter I never even thought of him as crazy. He's bipolar. The word crazy is colloquial and so vague as to be nearly meaningless.
posted by orange swan at 7:06 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


er... "considering the percentage of murdered women..."
posted by hippybear at 7:06 PM on April 25, 2012


I associate this kind of talk with young people, inexperienced or unaware enough to not be able to identify why their relationship failed or take responsibility for their part in it. It's pretty easy to sum the whole thing up by blaming the former partner for being fundamentally flawed. And I assume men when speaking to other men use "crazy" because of their mutual appreciation for the misogynistic stereotype of women having wild and unpredictable emotional reactions. I've heard it a lot, and feel bad about having done it once or twice myself--when a previous relationship comes up in conversation and you don't want to go into detail about it, it can be tempting to simplify it and engage in this behavior depending on who you're talking to.
posted by palidor at 7:07 PM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


When John Edwards first heard that his mistress was pregnant, he called her a "crazy slut."

Go ahead and compare that to a woman calling a man "creepy" and tell me it's the same thing.
posted by tzikeh at 7:15 PM on April 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


I agree with Bunny Ultramod, there is that stereotype out there. On the other hand, in these situations, what is called "crazy" when women are the perpetrators, is usually called "criminal" when men are the perpetrators.

Also, I really hate Jezebel's tone. Something is either a serious problem, or a jokey complaint. Combining a serious problem with jokey language ("brah") really rubs my fur the wrong way. It's like when Al Franken describes the abuses of the Bush administration with a smirk.
posted by gjc at 7:15 PM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Pub Med: Although women comprise more than half the U.S. population, they committed only 14.7% of the homicides noted during the study interval. In contrast to men, who killed nonintimate acquaintances, strangers, or victims of undetermined relationship in 80% of cases, women killed their spouse, an intimate acquaintance, or a family member in 60% of cases. When men killed with a gun, they most commonly shot a stranger or a non-family acquaintance.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:16 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I associate this kind of talk with young people, inexperienced or unaware enough to not be able to identify why their relationship failed or take responsibility for their part in it.

Unfortunately neither this kind of talk, nor the reasons you give for it, is limited to the young.
posted by orange swan at 7:18 PM on April 25, 2012


I'm pretty sure the actual I think it would be better phrased "considering the percentage of women who were killed by a former spouse or lover".

YOU'RE CRAZY. Crazy right.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:19 PM on April 25, 2012


I associate this kind of talk with young people, inexperienced or unaware enough to not be able to identify why their relationship failed or take responsibility for their part in it.
posted by palidor at 3:07 AM on April 26


This young 53-year-old would love to hear how being locked into a house and threatened with being shot in the eyes with an air rifle is down to my being inexperienced or unable to identify my responsibility for the failure of a relationship that happened thirty years previously.
posted by Decani at 7:19 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


If I was feeling cranky and weary for some reason, I might try to paint an ex as being, in some particular way, a dysfunctional person.

But for the most part, my repeated role has been to talk up my new lovers to anyone who will listen, assuring all those who love me, that despite her worldly achievements, and her widely ringing social accolades, that in the face of all the notice taken of her respectability-- I whisper to them that I have indeed, located a small vortex of craziness in there; so we do have a good reason to think our love will prevail and our relationship will thrive.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:19 PM on April 25, 2012


This young 53-year-old would love to hear how...

I seriously doubt that your singular experience, which does sound terrifying, actually is a representative example of the kind of things which people are describing as evidence of an ex being crazy. They are usually talking much more mundane things which are usually either matters of personal taste in approach to living or are talking about power struggles or trust issues within the relationship.
posted by hippybear at 7:25 PM on April 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


I associate this kind of talk with young people, inexperienced or unaware enough to not be able to identify why their relationship failed or take responsibility for their part in it.

I don't think this is strictly confined to young people, and of course, there are some truly emotionally unstable and manipulative people out there. But I think it has less to do with age and more to do with the not taking responsibility part. Whenever I start noticing patterns in the way guys I know talk about their exes - especially if they say shit like "I seem to be a magnet for girls who are batshit insane" - that's usually a sign. These guys baffle at why every single one of these totally unrelated girls all start out so nice and "out of the blue" start becoming irritable, if not downright hostile. Either they have some sort of magical sixth sense that can peer within the depths of people and see the crazy within, then unconsciously make themselves attracted to them, or they repeat the same type of behavior over and over again that tends to make people grow to dislike you.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:27 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


(also, don't get me wrong, I genuinely cared for my aforementioned ex and even though I haven't seen her in well over a decade, I hope she's well, but I recognize that she has more issues than a newsstand on the first of the month, and I say that as someone who is admittedly not the steadiest pole in the tent himself)
posted by jonmc at 7:27 PM on April 25, 2012


I seriously doubt that your singular experience, which does sound terrifying, actually is a representative example of the kind of things which people are describing as evidence of an ex being crazy.

Respectfully, dude, you are underestimating how many seriously fucked up people (of both sexes) are out there.
posted by jonmc at 7:28 PM on April 25, 2012 [15 favorites]


Go ahead and compare that to a woman calling a man "creepy" and tell me it's the same thing.

Not sure why you think one anecdotal happening, which was a truly disgusting story, describes entirely what men are complaining about when they are called creeps.

The reason I made the comparison was the part of the article that brought up a woman being described as "crazy" for wanting to give multiple blowjobs. I don't think that is crazy, and I don't think it's creepy if a man wants them.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:28 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


crazy is as crazy does.
posted by sciencejock at 7:29 PM on April 25, 2012


"Crazy" all too often IME can be shorthand for "I don't want to bother taking you seriously". Not being taken seriously, being written off so casually with no chance at defense, being made laughable can make one hysterical, seemingly fulfilling the prophecy; I am reminded of The Yellow Wallpaper.
posted by flex at 7:31 PM on April 25, 2012 [18 favorites]


I never understood ex-bashing -- if you call your ex a nut or a loser, then you are saying only people with questionable judgement and no self-respect would ever go out with you.

Be careful when you point a finger of blame at someone because three fingers are pointing right back at you...


I don't see how this is necessarily true. Sometimes they are 'crazy' or 'losers'. These terms are far from ideal and pretty offensive, but let's say it this way: sometimes people display patterns of unbalanced behavior, or are incapable of successfully living in the adult world. And sometimes it takes a while to figure this out. Some people get stuck in those relationships for one reason or another. Some of us get out.

I haven't called any of my exes losers because that seems so mean, but I fully admit that my last is basically the poster man-child, and has been called a loser by others. I do bash him probably, by some standards, because I'm brutally honest about how shit he was as a partner. I still love him (but I'm not with him--just as a friend), but I'm not going to shy away from the fact that in our relationship at least, he was the most unsupportive person I've ever dealt with, both financially and emotionally.

It is good to critique yourself, but I really don't think an honest assessment of someone's flaws (and he did have some virtues, but they were far outweighed) really means that you're seriously saying NO ONE HALFWAY DECENT WILL GO OUT WITH ME. Things can be way more nuanced than that. Not all of us find the right one right away, and it's not necessarily our fault for it.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 7:36 PM on April 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


They are usually talking much more mundane things which are usually either matters of personal taste in approach to living or are talking about power struggles or trust issues within the relationship.

If I were using the term "crazy" to describe past relationships (which I'd probably only do infrequently) I would be referring to seemingly random or disproportionate rage, shouting, and/or hitting. And not just any instance of anger or shouting but when it's a pattern of frequent, irrational, and extreme behavior like this. In retrospect, the people I've experienced this with may have been somehow socialized to behave this way in relationships as much as influenced by actual mental problems, but still it's pretty crazy behavior.
posted by XMLicious at 7:38 PM on April 25, 2012


Respectfully, dude, you are underestimating how many seriously fucked up people (of both sexes) are out there.

Well, I don't think it's really that they're so much seriously fucked up, as you put it, as it is that our society feeds people, both men and women, false ideas about how relationships should be approached and what makes them successful. The disconnect between the reality and the fable can be quite jarring, especially when two people with incompatible falsehoods get together.

(Example: the woman is coming from "find a man and remold him to be who you want him to be" while a man is coming from "throw enough money and presents at a woman and she won't care about anything else". Both of these are false relationship approaches, but combined in a single couple, they can easily lead to what appears to be "teh crazy" in either or both members, especially when viewed by each other.)

Couple the culture which feeds its members bad concepts of relationships with a culture which actively discourages deep introspection, and/or which only encourages introspection which leads to pop psychology externalizing which doesn't lead to personal development... throw in a lot of fairy tale fantasies being presented non-stop in the media about "true romance" and whatnot...

And you end up with a culture which encourages people to have seriously fucked up approaches to relationships and who lack the fundamental skills needed to really engage with any depth about interpersonal matters. That doesn't mean the people are fucked up; it means that they have been miseducated and given false expectations and are acting out those frustrations in ways which are inappropriate but could be solved if given the proper paradigm in which to work.

But I will agree -- locking someone in your house and going through a laundry list about a 30 year dead relationship and threatening them with a weapon is seriously fucked up. I don't think that many people who describe their exes with terms such as "crazy" are doing that. I'd welcome stats which prove me wrong, but I don't think they exist.
posted by hippybear at 7:41 PM on April 25, 2012 [11 favorites]


Decani: "This young 53-year-old would love to hear how being locked into a house and threatened with being shot in the eyes with an air rifle is down to my being inexperienced or unable to identify my responsibility for the failure of a relationship that happened thirty years previously."

Dude, if you're looking for an experience you just shared with us that indicates inexperience or an inability to identify responsibility for the failure of a relationship, which hey don't we all have those, I'd rewind to the point where you became intimate with the kind of woman who would hold you hostage with an airgun to berate you for your perceived faults to begin with. Also, whatever the fuck is going on here: "The second was a goddess of calm rationality. She put me to shame. She ditched me so beautifully I loved her all the more for it. I should have married her."
posted by Blasdelb at 7:43 PM on April 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't think that many people who describe their exes with terms such as "crazy" are doing that. I'd welcome stats which prove me wrong, but I don't think they exist.

No, they're probably talking about people like the ex I described, who isn't mowing-down-people-at-McDonald's 'crazy' but more dont-call-me-I'll call-you crazy.
posted by jonmc at 7:46 PM on April 25, 2012


Dude, if you're looking for an experience you just shared with us that indicates inexperience or an inability to identify responsibility for the failure of a relationship, which hey don't we all have those, I'd rewind to the point where you became intimate with the kind of woman who would hold you hostage with an airgun to berate you for your perceived faults to begin with.

Victim blaming, nice.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:48 PM on April 25, 2012 [13 favorites]


Its not that women are crazy, we're all crazy. Kookoo for cocopuffs, riding along to that Spanish Castle, which-side-of-the-window-did-I-wake-up-on crazy. At least where super-nova-esque relationships are concerned.
posted by Slackermagee at 7:57 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


The evidence provided for the craziness of an ex is not usually "she locked me in her house and threatened to shoot my eye out with an air rifle". Often, as in the linked story, it is "she drunk-texted me, and gave me 2 blow jobs in one day" What a psycho, amirite?
posted by misfish at 7:58 PM on April 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm about halfway through the "Rebound" article. Is there a point to it besides the dude bragging?
posted by EatTheWeak at 7:59 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are crazy people out there that hide it very well. On the surface they seem like well adjusted normal individuals, then you start dating them and two months in they reveal huge mood swings at the drop of a hat, bouts of extreme depression that can only be cured by listening to "The Zephyr" song for 4 hours straight, anger that rises to violence very quickly etc.

And if they're smart, they manage to hide it even better. Clever crazy people are the most dangerous kind. They can keep the facade up longer.
posted by Chekhovian at 8:00 PM on April 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


Women and mental illness through history

(hint: "hysterical" does not have a kind word origin)
posted by nicebookrack at 8:00 PM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


I should say, the danger is really that you can get acclimatized to crazy if it turns on slowly enough. Like boiling a frog. Then years later you look back and say "What the hell was I doing?".
posted by Chekhovian at 8:01 PM on April 25, 2012 [11 favorites]


Besides people's personal experiences or what the average person who uses the term "crazy" about an ex means, I do have to say that the XOJane story that the OP revolves around is a pretty ludicrously inappropriate use of the word.

The author is writing about an acquaintance he spent one night with (who he knew had a crush on him before arranging to be in a situation to take advantage of her), not someone he had a relationship with, and one of his criteria for calling her crazy is that she gave him too many blowjobs. He claims that he's worried about feeling guilty, but then obviously proceeded to write an article about her being crazy. What an asshole.

On preview, misfish already pointed this out.
posted by XMLicious at 8:04 PM on April 25, 2012


The evidence provided for the craziness of an ex is not usually "she locked me in her house and threatened to shoot my eye out with an air rifle". Often, as in the linked story, it is "she drunk-texted me, and gave me 2 blow jobs in one day" What a psycho, amirite?

I honestly find that it is usually somewhere between those. Most folks would not describe "too many blowjobs" as a problem.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:05 PM on April 25, 2012


furiousxgeorge: "Nah, women use "creepy". Which is just fine and Jezebel will defend it with the same vigor "crazy" is condemned."

I think that "creepy" is an interesting insult, because of it's dual meaning - both "This is a person who looks/acts unattractive" and "This is a person who may harm me in the future." I think the vitriolic reaction to this insult from men stems from how this combo definition makes it seem that, if the man is not what the woman considers attractive, that he is therefore going to harm her. I think that that is much more of an insult than either of the two definitions alone.
posted by rebent at 8:07 PM on April 25, 2012 [18 favorites]


Random Aside:
So I saw this photo of Clinton at the Resolute Desk once, characteristic smirk on his face. The caption was: Remember the 90's? When our main problem was having too many blowjobs?
posted by Chekhovian at 8:08 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thank you for the phrase, "women with a wide range of emotions."
posted by mecran01 at 8:09 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


My first serious girlfriend, who I dated at age 25, was very insecure and emotionally unstable. She was passive aggressive, unafraid to use tears to get her way, and would think I was going to break up with her if I didn't answer her every email within 10 minutes. Not to mention that she tried to run me over with her car when we met to exchange stuff after we broke up.

I did ignore some big red flags, which I take full responsibility for.

The problem is that there's no easy way to convey all of the above as shortly and succinctly as saying she was crazy.

What is a better way to describe her?
posted by reenum at 8:11 PM on April 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


Well Decani, how did you escape? Don't leave us hanging!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:13 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


What is a better way to describe her?

Manipulative and angry?
posted by hippybear at 8:13 PM on April 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


The reason I made the comparison was the part of the article that brought up a woman being described as "crazy" for wanting to give multiple blowjobs. I don't think that is crazy, and I don't think it's creepy if a man wants them.

I think it's creepy if a man accepts them, enjoys them, and insults the woman who gave them.
posted by Deoridhe at 8:16 PM on April 25, 2012 [19 favorites]


I think it's creepy if a man accepts them, enjoys them, and insults the woman who gave them.

So you think people should not complain about sexual experiences they found uncomfortable if they consent to them at the time?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:18 PM on April 25, 2012


Q: How much do I want to shove a Bhut Jolokia pepper up this Rebound guy's nose and hold it there for him being all "Well, I was horny and my regular stable of female living masturbation aids were busy, so I went for this new girl who I knew liked me and we performed sexual acts together, but now I'm having second thoughts because she appeared to have enjoyed the acts and to desire more, and I cannot tolerate that crazy sluttiness for consensual sex initiated by anyone but me, because if she likes sex she probably has a lot of it and that is icky. Away with you, crazy slut! I go back to the sensible arms of A, B, C, and potentials E-Z!"?

A: SO MUCH
posted by nicebookrack at 8:19 PM on April 25, 2012 [17 favorites]


furiousxgeorge, you kinda missed a really important stat from that PubMed article:

Although the overall risk of homicide for women was substantially lower than that of men (rate ratio [RR] = 0.27), their risk of being killed by a spouse or intimate acquaintance was higher (RR = 1.23)
posted by ShutterBun at 8:20 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


So you think people should not complain about sexual experiences they found uncomfortable if they consent to them at the time?

I think that's why she included the the words "a man [...] enjoys them"
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 8:21 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I did not miss that, no. If I was trying to paint women as a bunch of maniacs as a group I would not have included the part where they commit vastly fewer murders to begin with.

I think that's why she included the the words "a man [...] enjoys them"


You think folks can't regret something that has turned them on at the time? The individual clearly regretted the interaction after or would not have made the complaint.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:23 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Because some guy in an anonymous anecdote supposedly, questionably called some girl crazy for annoying texting and a blowjob, it's generally invalid and sexist for men in general to call an ex, or any woman crazy?
posted by knoyers at 8:26 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Insane, right?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:27 PM on April 25, 2012


I've posted too much and I don't want to make this about me because I do not have any uniquely intelligent insight on this subject and I'm talking up too much space so I'm gonna drop out here.

What I am trying to communicate is that women and men both need to understand the complexity of relationships and how easy it is to end up with the wrong person, or a messed up person, or an abusive person. So much easier than finding Mrs. or Mr. Right.

Women who want sex aren't crazy. Men who want it aren't creeps. However, there are some crazy people and creeps out there and a lot of people have encountered them. Avoid using creep if there are better, more specific words you can use. Same with crazy. They both have baggage, but they both reflect some truth for some people.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:28 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


So you think people should not complain about sexual experiences they found uncomfortable if they consent to them at the time?

If you (Generic "You") are going to have consensual sex with a person on the first date and then lose respect for and judge this person negatively for having or being too enthusiastic about having sex on the first date, DO NOT HAVE SEX WITH THIS PERSON

ON THE FIRST DATE OR POSSIBLY EVER

If YOU COULD REFRAIN ENTIRELY FROM FUTURE ENTRY INTO THE GENE POOL, THAT WOULD BE VERY HELPFUL
posted by nicebookrack at 8:29 PM on April 25, 2012 [14 favorites]


Insane, right?

in the membrane.
posted by jonmc at 8:29 PM on April 25, 2012


The individual clearly regretted the interaction after or would not have made the complaint.

It seems like he can't have regretted it that much if instead of telling her that he finds too many blowjobs uncomfortable, he just went off and wrote an article about her being crazy. It appears that he didn't literally express any discomfort to her at all or say to her that he thought she was acting crazy; he evidently limited himself to having said other things in a "tone [that] was a mixture of surprise, confusion and panic."
posted by XMLicious at 8:32 PM on April 25, 2012


"So you think people should not complain about sexual experiences they found uncomfortable if they consent to them at the time?"

Wow, that's an amazingly dishonest and disingenuous paraphrase. Congrats, I guess, for making the conversation worse.
posted by klangklangston at 8:35 PM on April 25, 2012 [21 favorites]


If you don't think that "Rebound" article guy sounds like a creepy asshole, I don't even know what to tell you. (But then, I'd also put the truthiness rating of the article at around Penthouse letter levels.)

Anyway... Donald Glover: Crazy Women Stories.

Because some guy in an anonymous anecdote supposedly, questionably called some girl crazy for annoying texting and a blowjob, it's generally invalid and sexist for men in general to call an ex, or any woman crazy?

Do you really think this is just about a single stupid article? And not say, a historical pattern of charges of mental instability being used to suppress women?
posted by kmz at 8:37 PM on April 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


On the other hand, in these situations, what is called "crazy" when women are the perpetrators, is usually called "criminal" when men are the perpetrators.

Don't I know it. I have a better sense for the crazy now than I did then.

But look, this digression on how much more violent men are than women sort of misses something important. Men are about as violent as women, although usually, more effective.

And women are far less likely to have to account for it when they are violent.

Look at how many women murder and abuse their kids. Go through this thread and note how many kids got abused by their mothers.

So yeah, as a man, I don't fear a woman the same way I feared my belt wielding mother a 9 year old. But, I never feared my dad. When dad lost his temper I got smacked and that was that.

When mom lost her temper I got hit, and hit, and thrown at, and yelled and hit and chased and hit and so on and on and on.

Until I got to be about her size. Then it was just yelling. Point remains - Women can be violent, they just have fewer targets.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:40 PM on April 25, 2012 [9 favorites]


Well, if it's actually about a historical pattern of charges, etc, they picked the worst possible article to use as their springboard. Because what that article is, is basically a guy admitting on a global stage that he plotted/planned to have sex with a woman (with a known history of drunk fucking) he knew had more feelings for him than he did about her and now is wondering how he can get out of it without being an asshole who just used her for sex.

That's hardly an actual example on par with questioning whether or not Hillary could be POTUS because "women go a bit nuts for a few days every month". It's not even on par with yet another Basic Instinct-style movie. It's a stupid admission by a 30 year old who still is approaching relationships from the maturity point of a high school freshman that his thought processes about women and relationships don't rise any higher than his second chakra, at best, and that while he knows that he shouldn't do some things, he does them anyway because, what? He'd have to nut using his own hand? Quelle horreur.

I don't have any doubt that use of the word crazy has been oppressive to women across centuries. But if I were going to start that conversation, I'd have selected a much better hilltop to be shouting from than "this guy used this as a nickname for someone in his diary published online in a magazine nobody has ever heard of, and it's horrible that he's doing it".
posted by hippybear at 8:54 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some clarification before I head out...

"So you think people should not complain about sexual experiences they found uncomfortable if they consent to them at the time?"

Wow, that's an amazingly dishonest and disingenuous paraphrase. Congrats, I guess, for making the conversation worse.


I doubt you honestly think folks should not be able to later complain about sexual encounters in writing for a public audience if they don't stop it at the time.

The author expressed that the second encounter felt "too much, too soon" but consented anyway. Was it wrong of this individual to feel bad about a potential sexual encounter, consent anyway, and later express regret?

The individual expresses guilt at this, for engaging in an encounter that the individual did not consider desirable. I don't think such an individual should be told they should be culled from the gene pool. Nor should they say the other party is crazy, but I think it is over-simplification to state he must have enjoyed this experience as did the post I was responding to. It seems clear he did not, he just felt he received something of value in some weird sexual economic sense. That seems a much more interesting topic than his choice of vocabulary.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:54 PM on April 25, 2012


expressing regret and guilt != "the woman I had sex with was crazy"
posted by nicebookrack at 8:57 PM on April 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Was it wrong of this individual to feel bad about a potential sexual encounter, consent anyway, and later express regret?

It's not wrong of him to express regret but if he does this primarily by demeaning the woman involved rather than taking responsibility for his own role in the encounter, pretty much yeah.

He can regret it all he wants. Maybe he shouldn't drag the poor woman down when he consented. Is she supposed to read minds?
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 8:58 PM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


I read xojane article a few days ago. It's such shit. Guy admits in the article that he knows having sex with her is a "terrible fucking idea". He's already identified her behaviour as crazy, especially when it comes to handling alcohol. Wants her drunk enough for sex but not so drunk as to exhibit such behaviour he deems crazy. Goes along with two blowjobs. Then seems to get freaked out by her subsequent "crazy" behaviour, the extent of which is that she seems to be way more into him than he is into her.

Guy is a fucking asshole.
posted by 6550 at 9:00 PM on April 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh I agree, his problem is that society has pressured him away from the simple option of saying "No" to an undesirable sexual encounter which is not nearly as much of a problem for a man and he is lashing out at the wrong issue.

I just think you should not be piling on with asshole, cull from the gene pool, creep, etc instead of trying to let him know what really caused his problem.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:02 PM on April 25, 2012


his problem is that society has pressured him away from the simple option of saying "No" to an undesirable sexual encounter

What?? No it's not. His problem is he sought out a sexual encounter that he knew wasn't a good idea with someone whom he hoped was drunk enough to fuck but not drunk enough to get "crazy".
posted by 6550 at 9:05 PM on April 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


He would not have described a sexual encounter he had as "too much, too soon" if it was what he desired. Wanting some form of sexual encounter does not imply desire for any sort.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:08 PM on April 25, 2012


Wow, no. If he truly felt pressured to consent in the moment, he did not express that in his narrative. The only "regret" he had is that she took his signals of interest meant to get her in bed as signals of interest that he wanted a relationship. It seems pretty obvious that it seemed like "too much, too soon" because she liked blow jobs a little too much (slut? too eager to please? crazy??), not because he didn't want a second blow job.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:10 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


furiousxgeorge,

I know you may have been referring to others and some of the original articles but I do feel the need to say I and at least some others who responded to you did not pile on with insults/ill-wishes to the guy, etc.

Anyway... I think I'm understanding what you're getting at a little better now, that being that we (society) are generally more receptive and sympathetic to a woman's regret when she has gone through a similar scenario. But with men it's somewhat expected of them to want sex so when he goes through this we are less inclined to care or be sympathetic to his regret. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

One problem with this is that his response is still unacceptable, and it is a very common one: demean the woman. It is not okay for a woman in the same scenario to demean the man, either.

It seems like you want people to use 'softer' language in confronting this guy or writing about him in order to better facilitate his own understanding of why he was wrong to entirely blame/dismiss this woman as 'crazy'. Is that accurate?

If so, I do understand where you're coming from from. From a practical standpoint, in order to change minds it could potentially be better to 'play nice'. But this approach concerns me in the fact that it is often used to undermine women's concerns and arguments and render them invalid. In many scenarios (I can even dig up a few FPPs about it) women who respond politely and in a subdued way are ignored. When women speak up loudly and aggressively, they are often told to not be so mean, or their concerns are dismissed because they used bad words. This is a very common thing.

I really do get where you're coming from with how we need to be careful with our terms. But this is not some new thing, and maybe finally people have given up being polite and are starting to yell and be mean. Because sometimes that's what you have to do to get society to listen.

If I've mis-characterized what you're trying to say at all, I apologize, I'm just trying to get a handle on where you're coming from.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 9:15 PM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: an amazingly dishonest and disingenuous paraphrase.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:16 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not wanting to be involved in a relationship is as valid a reason to feel uncomfortable with a sexual encounter as any other. It doesn't matter why one feels it is too much, or too soon. It can literally be anything.

One problem with this is that his response is still unacceptable, and it is a very common one


Agreed.

It seems like you want people to use 'softer' language in confronting this guy or writing about him in order to better facilitate his own understanding of why he was wrong to entirely blame/dismiss this woman as 'crazy'. Is that accurate?

I think you should call him a tremendous prick for the "crazy" thing, for writing the article, but his own experience shows someone pressured into a sexual encounter they didn't want, and you need to have sympathy for that part.

I'm not making a tone argument about how you respond to the crazy thing, but that he should be wiped out of the gene pool for his behavior in the encouner itself is over the top.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:22 PM on April 25, 2012


Crazy D asked if I wanted her to blow me again. It felt like an odd move -- too much, too soon and slightly desperate.

The implication here is not that the narrator is being pressured into sex he does not want. The implication is that D is a pathetic figure because she is trying too hard and comes off as "desperate."

Who blows someone twice on the first date, I thought.

Crazy sluts, that's who!

Now who gets blown twice on the first date? Awesome studs, that's who! Because sex cannot be a mutual act; there is always a person being serviced (which is awesome) and a person doing the servicing (which is demeaning), so enthusiasm for performing the latter is automatically suspect.

It seemed surreal. Still, I did not say no.

It is theoretically possible that the intent of "I did not say no" is "I did not consent to sex;" in my reading "I did not pass up an opportunity for more sex" is much more in tone with the rest of the article.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:22 PM on April 25, 2012 [20 favorites]


Honestly, if we are telling personal stories, I am a woman who has been with a couple guys who were hard to read or kind of odd or whatever, but I went along with it because it seemed kind of fun in the moment. Then later I regretted it when they turned out to be a little clingy, and realized I was sort of a douche for not considering the kind of relationship they wanted, even though, whatever, they were a little assuming. I did not call these guys crazy, and I am quite sure that I consented to everything, even with my reservations about their personal character. I feel it would be a real stretch for me to claim victimization.

On the other hand, when I went on one date with a guy who asked me to leave and have kinky sex with him in the middle of the ballet we were attending, and then sent me an email every three months for four years, despite the fact that I had never replied to any of them, strains of "this dude is crazy" started playing in my head. Creepy, crazy, whatever, I feel like we could reserve both words for people who's behavior is actually aberrant and somewhat threatening. Just as decent folks.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:24 PM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


He clearly consented, not saying he didn't.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:24 PM on April 25, 2012


(and I'm also saying that the macho tone is hiding something of what actually occurred, when you read how he felt before and after the encounter)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:26 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Okay, consented and also felt very capable of taking responsibility for the fact that I positively desired intimate contact with someone I didn't trust?

there is always a person being serviced (which is awesome) and a person doing the servicing (which is demeaning)

This is seriously why the author comes off as a total jackass; she's crazy and manipulative, debasing herself for emotional leverage later, and he's just a normal guy, because who wouldn't want two free blow jobs? It's not as if she could have liked him and wanted to engage in oral sex with him because she enjoyed it as a mutual sex act.

On that note, I've never felt like it was weird if a guy wanted to go down on me twice. Pretty normal. I would not think of him as, uh, crazy for that, even if he was kind of clingy/weird/manipulative in other ways.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:28 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy crap! I love this thread. Just look at all them little demons, come crawling out from under those rocks. First of all, going on a date with an ex-wife. Now that's crazy. But I don't think that's the issue. I sort of like the doublespeak no name calling approach.

I don't call any of my ex-wives crazy. No.

But the second ex-wife I call The Dragon Lady, with good reason.

That's all I have to say about that.
posted by mule98J at 9:31 PM on April 25, 2012


Also, feeling ill at ease based on sexist assumptions about women ("Who gives two blow jobs on the first date, what a nut") is maybe a little similar to a white woman crossing the street every time she sees a black man at night. Maybe he could not be such an ass, and she could not be so ignorant, and they could both still preserve their safety and peace of mind while being less biased.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:34 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


that he should be wiped out of the gene pool for his behavior in the encouner itself is over the top

I regret that the allcaps and lack of punctuation did not immediately signal hyperbole

Nonetheless, if Generic You pass negative judgement on a person for
/ having sex
/ having sex on a first date
/ enjoying having sex on a first date
and you feel these are valid reasons for demeaning a person, I do not want Generic You having sex with me or my friends or anyone I know until you stop;

and if Generic You feel justified in demeaning a person for
enjoying / having sex / on a first date / WITH YOU,
I do not want you to have sex with ANYONE ON EARTH until you stop, because you are an actively harmful person.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:36 PM on April 25, 2012 [11 favorites]


but his own experience shows someone pressured into a sexual encounter they didn't want, and you need to have sympathy for that part.

I don't think the article shows that:
...so Isuggested we watch the Knicks on Sunday afternoon at a bar near my apartment.

The superficial justification was that it would be a nice way to catch up. It was wholesome -- daytime and watching sports. Nothing would happen, I told myself.

Of course, it would be a lie to say I couldn't foresee another outcome. The situation might also allow D to drink during the game to the point of horniness, while not to the point where she reached her patented form of incoherence. We could then have a fun -- a Sunday hookup that was more of a physical activity than an emotional one. In other words, it was wishful thinking of the worst kind.
I think it shows him knowingly going into the situation wanting sex but wanting to avoid her "crazy" behaviour and wanting to avoid any emotional attachment. Yet he knew the latter was still likely. Still, he goes along with it and lo and behold she gets "crazy", and by that he means she wants a relationship not just a fuck.

Look, I absolutely believe there are men who feel pressured into sexual encounters–and it's difficult for men to talk about those things given societal expectations and ideas like men always want sex–and these men deserve sympathy. There is a worthy discussion there.

But the guy in that article isn't worthy of that discussion.
posted by 6550 at 9:37 PM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


You should not judge people for why they decide they don't desire a particular sexual encounter, even if they desire a sexual encounter in some other relationship context or are unable to express it at the time or express it poorly afterwards.

I get it, you folks don't like his reasons and some think he should be culled from the gene pool for poorly expressing them, but they are as entirely valid as any other.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:40 PM on April 25, 2012


Yeah, but she's not being clingy or weird or manipulative at all.

She put out into the guy's social circle (in a really terrible circumstance if the diary entry is to be believed) that she really likes him. He showed basic caring toward her, inquiring if she got home okay, etc. He continued to exchange texts with her and asked her to go to a bar for drinks and sports television. He took her back to his apartment and had sex with her. Afterwards, she made some basic inquiries about his relationship status and said that she had been hoping they would get together for a while. As she left, they kissed and she said she hoped that they would be in touch soon.

At no point does the diary entry say that he ever disabused her of her interest in him, that he's basically a player who is taking male enhancement pills before their date thinking they might help him turn on for her. He's been considerate in her wellbeing, had a date night at a bar, took her back to his apartment...

It's a basic mismatch of perceptions. She thinks she's finally gotten the attention of a guy who she has been interested in for a while. He was manipulating her into being just drunk enough that she'd fuck around, and was hoping that what he'd previously heard about her interest in him was only serious enough to get him laid, but not so serious that she might want anything more.

Sometimes, players don't pick their targets very well, and that's exactly what happened with this guy. She's not crazy -- he's made bad choices because he wants to get laid and thought he had a good target when what he was really doing was using her known emotional interest in him for a fuck. And now he's "not sure how to ignore her without feeling guilty".

Such a quandary he's landed himself in!
posted by hippybear at 9:41 PM on April 25, 2012 [17 favorites]


I think it shows him knowingly going into the situation wanting sex but wanting to avoid her "crazy" behaviour and wanting to avoid any emotional attachment

Yeah, this reminded me of a guy I met my sophomore year of college who told me about a date rape he committed during Orientation Week. She was very, very drunk, and seemingly participated in the sex. He was sober, and kind of uneasy about it, but still had sex with her. He told me about it not really realizing how he came off in that story (not the victim of a drunk woman so much as a really morally ambiguous figure). I don't know. He was like, "ha, I kind of felt weird, like I was one of those frat jerks you hear about, but she got so drunk it was crazy." Like, yeah, if we're going to talk about the very serious issue of macho expectations and the silence imposed on men who are sexually assaulted, I'm not sure how to begin the discussion with that guy.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:43 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


What is a better way to describe her?

"A woman with a wide range of emotions."

The article guy sounds like a serious, serious douche. He gets her drunk enough to want to fuck him, accepts two blowjobs without apparently offering to reciprocate in any way (I mean, even when a woman is, as he might say, on the rag, there are things you can do that are fun for everyone), and then is cheesy enough to denigrate her? Class act.
posted by Forktine at 9:46 PM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


you folks don't like his reasons and some think he should be culled from the gene pool for poorly expressing them, but they are as entirely valid as any other

Hey, my completely serious eugenics plan is totally valid!!

I feel we are talking at cross-purposes here, in a way similar to the common misunderstanding of "free speech." The narrator is perfectly entitled to his own reasons and to finding his own reasons valid. And I am perfectly entitled to find those reasons valid excuse to never, ever wish any sexual contact with or by him. If he could start out sexual encounters by making clear he is not going to respect the woman in the morning, it would be a lot more efficient for everyone.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:55 PM on April 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Gaslighting refers to deliberately manipulating people's sensory inputs, then calling them crazy when you know they are not. It's not Gaslighting to call someone crazy if you sincerely believe they are crazy, even if you are not correct.

I think people, whether they are male or female, when they're in an intimate relationship those feels and passions are so strong that rationality is overwhelmed and they become, in a sense "crazy" So it's not surprising that people would think their exes are more likely to be crazy.
Just from watching a handful of recent workplace romances cycle through their mayfly life cycles, I wonder if some of describing women as "crazy" is because when men exhibit the same behavior, they're a lot more dangerous. One girl's girlfriend here drove 60 miles to hand deliver an edible bouquet and while there was much mocking over the craziness, when a guy did nearly the same thing, we called the cops. When guys act "crazy," they seem much more like threats, at least in my experience. (Which isn't to say that there aren't women who are legitimately dangerously crazy, or that women aren't often described as crazy as a way of putting the fault for poor relationship skills on them.)
I agree. When a dude acts "crazy" they are scary stalker type. I have woman friends who have dated men who I would call crazy. They are certainly out there. I'm pretty sure they called them crazy. But in those cases, the girls were scared, whereas a male in that situation would just be annoyed or aggravated - because there isn't the same threat of violence.

Part of the problem with the "Women are crazy" stereotype is that men who don't have a lot of women as friends and don't interact with them outside of romantic relationships don't interact with them in a normal way the way they do with their guy friends.
Dude, if you're looking for an experience you just shared with us that indicates inexperience or an inability to identify responsibility for the failure of a relationship, which hey don't we all have those, I'd rewind to the point where you became intimate with the kind of woman who would hold you hostage with an airgun to berate you for your perceived faults to begin with.
Like I said, I've known women who have dated guys who seemed crazy to me. From my perspective, there isn't anything they could have done to predict the problems before intimacy.

You could turn your statement around and say to a battered woman "You failed in this relationship by becoming intimate with a man who would punch you in the face". That's fucking ridiculous.
posted by delmoi at 9:56 PM on April 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


"I doubt you honestly think folks should not be able to later complain about sexual encounters in writing for a public audience if they don't stop it at the time. "

If you think that's a fair way to characterize his article or the objections to it, I don't know what to tell you.
posted by klangklangston at 10:02 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, my completely serious eugenics plan is totally valid!!

I feel we are talking at cross-purposes here, in a way similar to the common misunderstanding of "free speech."

See, yeah, free speech lets me criticize your all caps over the top use of eugenics as a metaphor, yeah. If you think the offense outside of a serious context falls short of that, we agree.

If you think that's a fair way to characterize his article or the objections to it, I don't know what to tell you.

I think I have been clear that I agree with some of the objections, specifically the objection to the use of "crazy". I don't think he is wrong to feel uncomfortable with what happened though and to express it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:07 PM on April 25, 2012


I don't think he's wrong to express his discomfort either, but it seems to have been entirely based on sexist assumptions (she wants to blow me twice, she has a crush on me, this woman is crazy) and the fact that the woman he was objectifying (deliberately using as a source for potential sex while mentally ignoring/invalidating her feelings) kept intruding by displaying her "needy" emotions.

He seems to have no self-awareness of this whatsoever (I mean really, having sex with someone you know has a crush on you and planning to ignore her, getting her just drunk enough to be easy but not weird, that's all douche-y behavior). So I would think the buck doesn't stop at his discomfort in this case, because feeling shitty about doing a shitty thing is... well.
posted by stoneandstar at 10:14 PM on April 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


this thread feels like the blue meeting the green.
posted by raihan_ at 10:40 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


the War Between the Sites!
posted by nicebookrack at 10:53 PM on April 25, 2012


Or is it the new riddle of induction?
posted by 6550 at 10:56 PM on April 25, 2012


the impression i got was that that dude was a rationalizing, disingenuous little tittie-baby. own it, motherfucker!

i don't say this as somebody who thinks they're superior and above the fray, but if you think that men don't Other the shit out of women constantly and eternally in exactly the way this jackass is demonstrating, then you're -- crazy.
posted by facetious at 11:17 PM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


So you think people should not complain about sexual experiences they found uncomfortable if they consent to them at the time?

No, interestingly I said "insult" not "complain".

"That made me uncomfortable," "I don't know why I let her do that," and "I don't want to do that again, it seemed really fast," are complaining about a sexual experience they found uncomfortable. "She's crazy for giving me two blowjobs" is an insult.

Note that in the second case, the one he said, he doesn't actually talk about his experience at all - it's entirely focused on the fact that she must be crazy for ...giving him two blowjobs.
posted by Deoridhe at 11:25 PM on April 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


From the NYT article: ''It's not like you're surrounded by pink-cheeked farm girls carrying buckets of milk around. You're surrounded by lunatics.''

I'm no expert on the Madonna-whore complex, but come on.
posted by argonauta at 11:35 PM on April 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I get it, you folks don't like his reasons and some think he should be culled from the gene pool for poorly expressing them

Dude, I said it made him CREEPY.

I could add that articles like this are part of why I don't trust guys. That there seems to be this population of guys who are perfectly happy to have sex with women and then insult them behind their back, especially if the woman actually is enthusiastic about sex. When I have sex, I get enthusiastic, and articles like this make me wonder if any man I have sex with has a narrative running in his head about how my being enthusiastic is somehow bad, and I'm a crazy slut who he certainly doesn't want to interact with later.

I would count this as different from the time I (stupidly) went over to an ex-boyfriends house and ended up having sex with him, sex which was punctuated by my saying, "Stop," "Don't," "we can't," and trying to push him off of me and which it took me nearly a decade to call rape (because I never said no, and that's the MAGIC word), but if you want to go to the "regret after sex" place, we can go there; I certainly regretted it, but I never called my ex "crazy" for wanting to have sex with me. I don't even want my ex/rapist to be removed from the gene pool, so I certainly don't feel that way about one of the thousands of men who insult the women they have sex with for wanting it.

But I'll continue to think it makes them creepy. Knowingly seeking someone out for sex, then insulting them for suggesting sex, is fucking creepy.
posted by Deoridhe at 11:41 PM on April 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


Anecdotes are kind of pointless, but I do call one of my exes crazy.

I have scars on my arm from when she attacked me because she thought I was lying about whether or not my friend told me about having run into her while she was out of town.

Sometimes it's justified. And when you get into a sane situation, it's really hard to figure out what you were thinking.

I have a lot of sympathy for people that put themselves in bad situations that are drenched in emotion.
posted by flaterik at 11:54 PM on April 25, 2012


You know what's weird is that I actuallt have one ex who may be legitimately crazy, and while I could refer to her as "my crazy ex" I wouldn't because I still feel bad for her and wish I could have done more for her even though we weren't meant to be and in fact weren't ever a whole lot more than two people who happened to be single at the same time.

But really I think the most common reason to break up is that two people of roughly similar attractiveness couldn't make it work, and usually this is because of the deviously complicated software they were carrying around in their respective heads. And when you find that part, that part of somebody that you absolutely cannot CANNOT get along with, it's very easy to think they were insane, because ultimately we are all insane, nobody is normal, not even the normal ones ESPECIALLY not the normal ones.

I'm sorry Rena, sorry I could not help you make it work. I want you to give someone else a chance, just to prove I wasn't special. I'm happy now an you can be too. There's nothing particularly special about me, really.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:58 AM on April 26, 2012


When we pull out that old workhorse "the patriarchy hurts us all," this situation that furiousxgeorge is generally talking about would be one pretty good example, I think.

Men don't traditionally have a lot of experience with a dialectic framework for addressing, discussing, or even having an internal dialogue about some emotional issues, especially surrounding sex. Two-blowjob guy recognized an opportunity and then specifically strategized and organized the encounter to end up exactly the way it did... yet it didn't seem awesome or fun to him. It felt bad. But that didn't make any sense in the context of how real men are supposed to feel or what they are supposed to want, so he thrashed around trying to spot the problem, and came to the conclusion that it must be her weird behavior (an easy and obvious solution, since the crazy-woman thing is reinforced and repeated all the time).

He didn't have any familiar template for examining events and concluding that mechanically using someone for sex as a distraction from being frustrated and depressed over his unrequited interest in someone else didn't feel awesome because it was a shitty thing to do to the other person ... and that maybe total object-oriented sex without feelings isn't personally satisfying or emotionally healthy for him. This isn't the sort of narrative that's considered normal or therapeutic for a guy, though, because real men always want the sex, and feeling differently leads to terrifying conclusions. So it must be "she crazy." Who gives two blowjobs? No wonder I feel empty and sad... it was clearly a one-blowjob scenario, and then she had to mess it up – but I knew she was wack all along, what did I expect?

How much less damaging it would be all around if it was not atypical for an ordinary dude to feel comfortable saying, "yeah, I had sex with someone I wasn't into just because I was feeling kind of down and I knew they liked me – but that actually made me feel a lot worse... so now I only go out with people I really feel attracted to, and try to take it a little bit slow."
posted by taz at 1:10 AM on April 26, 2012 [37 favorites]


I think this is also, however, a very good example of the modified workhorse "the patriarchy hurts us all - but all hurts are not equal".

The writer of the article could clearly have done with a) being self-aware enough not to get into this situation in the first place and b) beng self-aware enough not to blame the woman he just used as an masturbation aid for his feelings of emptiness. It's a crying shame he didn't have the tools to be a more successful human being. Patriarchy has let him down. It does not really do a lot for 30something beta males in general.

On the other hand, he and his friend connived to create a situation where he both had private information about and contempt for "Crazy D". His friend shows him her texts, so he knows that alcohol leads her to make bad decisions. In fact, he is relying on this when he takes her out drinking. And then he shares a thinly-anonymized expression of his contempt for her with the Internet. I imagine he is probably doing the same, without anonymization, to everyone he knows, including mutual friends and people who still work with her.

So, yeah. Patriarchy hurts everyone. But.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:32 AM on April 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


> Nah, women use "creepy". Which is just fine and Jezebel will defend it with the same vigor "crazy" is condemned.

I find it interesting that so many men see 'creepy' as a general insult used by women to mean 'man I don't like/don't find attractive', because as a woman I've never heard it used in that sense. Thinking back on the times I've heard people's ex-boyfriends and acquaintances described as 'creepy', or used the word myself, it's been describing pretty unequivocally awful behaviour:

- intermittently stalking an ex-girlfriend for seven years after the breakup, including things like trying to fob his way into her parents' house just before she was due to visit ("Oh no, we're friends now! She told me just to wait for her here");
- being a church youth group leader in his 30s with a secret 16-year-old 'girlfriend' from that youth group, and asking her to lie to his employers when they found out and fired him;
- isolating a girlfriend from all friends and family, one by one, through various emotionally manipulative tactics;
- and so on.

Of course it's possible that 'creepy' is being widely used elsewhere as an insult to unfairly bash men, but if that is going on I don't see the linked Jezebel article defending it. Rather, it's pointing out the widespread use of 'creepy' to mean 'boundary-crossing in a really or potentially threatening way'. I don't think it's a coincidence that I and most of the women I know used the word more often when we were younger, and didn't yet have the experience and vocabulary to label that kind of behaviour in any more exact way than saying it made us feel really uncomfortable.
posted by Catseye at 3:40 AM on April 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


There is nothing supporting the conclusion that the second blowjob made him "feel bad." It made him think she was crazy, and worry about her actions afterward:

However, I'm not sure how to ignore her without feeling guilty. After all, in the last three hours, the girl did blow me twice.

The extensive repeat discussion of his bad feelings from some sort of unwanted sexual act is totally off point.
posted by miss tea at 3:43 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Agreed, running order; I didn't mean to imply that if the guy feels bad it balances out the bad shit he's inflicting.
posted by taz at 3:47 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


In my nearly 50 years I have concluded that ever person is crazy once you get to know him or her well.

In other words, "crazy" exes reflect merely the byproduct of intimacy itself.

Or maybe that's just confirmation bias talking, because most of my exes are as crazy as me.
posted by spitbull at 4:20 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


My first serious girlfriend, who I dated at age 25, was very insecure and emotionally unstable. She was passive aggressive, unafraid to use tears to get her way, and would think I was going to break up with her if I didn't answer her every email within 10 minutes. Not to mention that she tried to run me over with her car when we met to exchange stuff after we broke up.

I did ignore some big red flags, which I take full responsibility for.

The problem is that there's no easy way to convey all of the above as shortly and succinctly as saying she was crazy.

What is a better way to describe her?


Suffering and trying to cope with it in the only ways she knew how. In need of sympathetic and competent help to learn better ways of coping with her terror of abandonment that wouldn't prove damaging to herself and to others around her.
posted by talitha_kumi at 4:35 AM on April 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I can;t even read the XOJane article, it's so rambling and confusingly written.
posted by mippy at 4:36 AM on April 26, 2012


Come to think of it, I used 'crazy' a lot more when I was younger too, of other women and of myself. Mostly in the sense of the comments on that first link - "I totally turned into the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, after he dumped me I called him crying and asking to get back together three nights in a row!" - rather than the sense Decani talks about with the air-rifle threats, but still, quite a lot.

And then I had a flatmate who really did fit into the Crazy Girlfriend category, even though she'd seemed wonderful and well-grounded before she met the man. She screamed at her boyfriend, cried all the time, once locked him out of the flat because he'd gone somewhere without her, hid some train tickets he bought to visit his family because he wouldn't bring her too. We absolutely called her crazy, repeatedly and often. And we felt so sorry for her boyfriend that we were happy to attribute all the weirdnesses of their relationship to her. Why were they so weirdly hostile to all their former friends? Because she's crazy and he's stuck with her, must be. Why did they spend almost all their time shut in their room isolated from the rest of humanity? Because she's crazy and he feels guilty or something, poor bloke. Why would she have screaming sobbing fits at him and then beg him not to leave her? Well, who knows why crazy people do things? She's crazy, that's why.

And then they broke up, thank all the heavens. And we felt so sorry for her boyfriend that we said he should keep living with us when she moved out, and eventually we set him up with another friend of ours, a wonderful bubbly extrovert kind non-crazy girl who really liked him. And then we didn't see much of either of them after that, because they were shut away in his room all the time, but hey, cuddly lovebirds! After all, we know Girl #2's not crazy.

And then Girl #1 seemed to turn back into her old happy self in her new place.

And then we came home one day to find Girl #2 sat in our kitchen, looking stunned, saying they'd just had the weirdest fight about how he thought she was spending too much time with people who weren't him, that he didn't see why she had to stop and say hi to us when she passed us in the corridor while leaving him waiting in his room, and then when she'd expressed surprise at that, he'd got up and left without speaking to her or looking at her and that was two hours ago and now she didn't know where he was. And she was going to need a serious conversation with him about this, because we were her friends and this wasn't right.

And then Girl #2, literally overnight, stopped speaking to all of us and looked daggers at us whenever she passed us in the corridor; spent all her time in his room, hardly ever leaving; cried when he went somewhere without her.

I still don't know what the hell was going on in either of those relationships, but I felt - and still feel - bad about how eager I was to write off Girl #1 as a Crazy Girl(tm), whose behaviour was just irrational nonsense worthy of mockery. I thought I was a pretty good feminist at 19, but I still didn't look past that stereotype.
posted by Catseye at 4:41 AM on April 26, 2012 [12 favorites]


As a serial monogamist I've had a lot of exes. Some were depressants, some a bit bi-polar. Only one would I describe as "crazy" and she was the one that tried to burn my house down during a Christmas party, for fun. She used to pick fights with large, drunk men, and then shove me out to defend her. She got pissed at her roommate and painted a "note" to him in two foot tall red letters on their back yard fence, with her hand. She, my friends, was crazy. Crazy people need love too.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:12 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have always, by the way, sung Willie Nelson's (Patsy Cline's) "Crazy" in the voice of Elmer Fudd.

Try it. It is nearly the perfect vehicle for Fudding.
posted by spitbull at 5:43 AM on April 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I went a little nuts after my divorce. And there are a few young men who got in the way. It's been twenty years, and they're all near 50 now, so they're probably recovered, but yeah...those lucky few who got caught in a path of chaos that could be seen from orbit; they could claim to have a crazy ex-girlfriend. (Not air rifle crazy, or weepy clingy crazy...just fucking weird crazy. 300 person improv parties crazy; juggling fire-torches while standing on a tightrope between balconies crazy...let's paint the house purple crazy. Oh, the years when I had a camaro, a blow torch and access to heroic amounts of cocaine...yeah, it was a little crazy.

(I got better. Well, mostly I got older. Ha.)
posted by dejah420 at 6:27 AM on April 26, 2012


How much less damaging it would be all around if it was not atypical for an ordinary dude to feel comfortable saying, "yeah, I had sex with someone I wasn't into just because I was feeling kind of down and I knew they liked me – but that actually made me feel a lot worse... so now I only go out with people I really feel attracted to, and try to take it a little bit slow."

I really, really liked this comment, and would favorite it dozens of times if I could.

However, I'd also add that it is, in my limited experience, fairly normal for an ordinary dude to say something like that a few days later to a friend over a beer. I've been a part (on one side or the other) of too many of those conversations to count. The douche-dude-bro of this story does not represent "ordinary guys," even though it is written and/or edited to emphasize its ordinariness and universality.

In terms of damaging narratives (aka "the patriarchy hurts us all") I'd put the "guys are all inarticulate dude-bros" right up there with "women are all crazy exes." Neither is at all true, but both serve a certain kind of story like this very well, and show up in all kinds of crappy advertisements and cheesy movies; to the extent that anyone actually believes them, they provide super crappy models of how to interact with other people.
posted by Forktine at 6:47 AM on April 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I associate this kind of talk with young people, inexperienced or unaware enough to not be able to identify why their relationship failed or take responsibility for their part in it.

Oh whatever - sometimes crazy is crazy. My ex stabbed a 79 year-old man in a wheelchair 27 times, stole his wallet, came back later and stabbed his dead corpse a few more times just for fun.

Don't tell me she's not crazy, or that I don't have the right to call her that.
posted by bradth27 at 6:52 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


That was horrible. The guy hurts himself by being sex-negative while wanting sex, but, even worse, he not only uses her and messes with her, but he then writes an article that she will probably end up reading. I was under the impression that xojane was vaguely feminist, but apparently not?

then a minute later asked me if I owned any Black Sabbath records.

jonmc, I think most Mefites know you own Black Sabbath records (probably at least the first five) and we haven't even dated you.
posted by ersatz at 7:04 AM on April 26, 2012


I have often heard women refer to their significant exes as "crazy" or "psycho." If it's not an isolated incident (or incidents over a lengthy period of time), it just makes me question their own wellness.

I also used to refer to my exes as "crazy" when I was acting and behaving insane myself. If I honestly think my significant other is crazy in the farcical manner that it is used in this article, or if I am heavily involved with someone with an actual mental illness who is not attempting to get proper treatment, I am not doing too well myself. I work with many men recovering from addiction, and they often refer to their wives as insane, and to a degree they are right. They provided a chaotic, unstable, sometimes abusive relationship and sought out a caretaking and/or codependent hostage to take along on their "adventures." For these unfortunate women, what may have started out as a relatively harmless emotional over-dependence or "I can fix you!" stance, quickly develops into a terrible cycle of emotional imprisonment and spiritual sickening resulting in a significant shift in standards, levels of normalcy, thoughts and behaviors, that seen without context can be viewed as "crazy." This is why an mental/emotional detox and recovery is often necessary for those in long term relationships with addicts and alcoholics equally with the person trying to recover from the substance.

So, long story short, I no longer refer to my significant exes as crazy. Regardless of the facade I was trying to emanate through a veil of booze, I sought out those whose codependency I felt I could manipulate and exploit, because I was sick mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Some of the women caught in my personal tornado may have started off slightly ill, but after a year or two, were just as sick as I was. The "healthy" ones took off and nuked the relationship from orbit shortly after it started. Since I have been returned to sanity, I have had women in my life with a "wide range of emotions," some of which I have not enjoyed, but it was primarily simple incompatibilities, priorities, and viewpoints, none of which quantifies anyone as crazy.
posted by Debaser626 at 7:18 AM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Or more succinctly put:

"I can't believe I was with that crazy (circle one) bitch/dick!"

"I know (circle one) bro/girlfriend, you're NUTS!"
posted by Debaser626 at 7:30 AM on April 26, 2012


All of this unpleasantness could be avoided if people would just stop having sex and/or getting into relationships.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:33 AM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I feel that Mr. Double-Blowjob has been well discussed already, so I'll just leave that to y'all for now.

Personally, I think the problem with "crazy" as a descriptor is that it's an incomplete shorthand. One of the articles described it as men saying "She had emotions and I don't like that", which some guys really do feel (and PROTIP: those guys suck) but in most cases, it comes down to how those emotions are handled, and the degree to which they are, and this applies to both women AND men.

The thing about the "crazy" shorthand isn't so much that the other person (or their entire gender) is not allowed to have ANY emotions, or that said emotions aren't "real"; I think about a child afraid of the monster under their bed: A parent might find it amusing or silly, but to the child, it's a very real emotion: fear. The child is in a panic state, fight-or-flight, adrenaline coursing through their veins, elevated heart rate, and why not? Their instincts are preparing them to fight a terrifying monster! It is through the parent comforting them and showing them there is no monster under their bed in the present moment, and furthermore, that monsters (at least the imaginary kind that live under the bed and eat children) do not exist. Their emotions are real and valid, but irrational, but that's part of growing up.

Fastforward to adulthood and replace "monster" with "abandonment issues" or "commitment" or whatever, and you have what people commonly refer to as "crazy": very real emotional reactions to inappropriate stimuli. No It's not fair to write off all women's problems with men as "crazy", or to put insecurity and irrationality in the same category as violent physical abuse or hostage taking, but neither does it mean that one is a jerk for not wanting to put up with it, or pointing out when it is irrational or inappropriate.

I would probably say "crazy" in place of explaining "she cheated on me for a year because she didn't get into college immediately and she was so desperate for validation she fucked my friend for a year because he told her she was prettier than his girlfriend", which is STILL oversimplifying the situation, so I generally find it's best not to talk about my exes at all, for everyone's sake.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:51 AM on April 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Is this the thread where I mention that I think there's a dynamic that happens in some heterosexual relationships where there's expected "crazy" behavior and a cycle of affirmation for acting in such a way rather than rational discussion? Acting erratic or overly emotional or irrationally isn't something that sounds attractive, but it's certainly a relationship dynamic that happens.
posted by mikeh at 8:29 AM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Crazy is as crazy does.
posted by WestChester22 at 9:15 AM on April 26, 2012


I'm pretty sure I've never called an ex crazy. I've dated mentally ill people and for a while, a bit after the breakup (after I'd moved to a different state) would freely attribute the breakup to her being in a bipolar manic phase. Later, I came to think that this was wrong, that by that time she knew I was leaving and freaked out. I've since stopped this narrative and I'm not particularly proud of it.

At the same time, and I'm surprised I haven't seen this mentioned here, there is the narrative that I ran into in college of "girls are crazy, boys are dumb." This seems to be a common view among adolescents and you adults, although the "boys are dumb" part seems to have gone away as I've entered adulthood.
posted by Hactar at 9:33 AM on April 26, 2012


although the "boys are dumb" part seems to have gone away as I've entered adulthood.

Watch sitcoms and commericals for a while -- you'll find that it's a stalwart falsehood of our culture, constantly presented to us.
posted by hippybear at 9:43 AM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]



When John Edwards first heard that his mistress was pregnant, he called her a "crazy slut."

Go ahead and compare that to a woman calling a man "creepy" and tell me it's the same thing.

They aren't, tzikeh. One has twice the perjoratives; you've loaded the comparison.

John Edwards called his mistress a "crazy slut." That's because he's a "creepy slut."

There. Done.

Frankly, neither one of them are good examples of why one gender is being mistreated. We're talking about someone with highly questionable sexual morals (maybe a "slut"; he certainly is!), who got caught up in some pretty crazy behavior - by most standards.

--

I personally reserve the word "crazy" for physically or sexually abusive ex's, which sadly I used to be attracted to. I think that moniker fits.

As for the gender-marking of it, I suppose my (F) friend's phrase fits: "Women are crazy; men are stupid. Accept that and get on with your life." The phrase kind of jarred me at the time (not a fan of stereotyping like that), until I realized she was saying, "It just looks different across the gender divide, but really: we're all like that."
posted by IAmBroom at 9:59 AM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


As for the gender-marking of it, I suppose my (F) friend's phrase fits: "Women are crazy; men are stupid. Accept that and get on with your life."

If that's a sufficiently wise apothegm, then my little niece's "Girls go to college to get more knowledge; boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider" is nearly as instructional.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:24 PM on April 26, 2012


All of this unpleasantness could be avoided if people would just stop having sex and/or getting into relationships.

It certainly could be avoided by not having sex/getting into relationships with people we don't know.

Honestly, the way we date in the modern world is like some pre-feminist anachronism, from an era when men and women ONLY knew each other through sexual and romantic relationships, and the idea that they could have enough in common with each other prior to romance to actually spend any time getting to know each other was absurd. I mean, what were you going to talk about? Coal mining? Pantry cleaning?

This is not the Victorian era. We lead substantially similar lives and have substantially similar interests. It is very possible to spend time with somebody you like for several months before you even consider dating them, instead of hooking up at a bar and deciding you're madly in love a month later. Most of us are not mental health professionals, and a lot of people get to adulthood managing to mask serious personality defects pretty well. It's only time that reveals this sort of thing, and you don't simultaneously want to be having a relationship with somebody AND getting to know them.

The trouble is, if you don't immediately act on a romantic attraction, a lot of people will just assume you're not interested. And if you get to know them, they start to see you as just a friend, and that's that. But, then, people who cannot conceive of having a lover who is also a friend are often not especially mature about romance, and so perhaps having them self-select out of your dating pool isn't such a bad thing.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:06 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


While it's true that calling women "crazy" is an example of textbook gaslighting, we need to raise the question of why it works. More militant feminists (often those who work for feminist publications) blame a male-dominated society, but if you examine the story about "Crazy D" you'll see that the man in the story is an utter jerk... and gets rewarded for this behavior.

Maybe if women responded to this type of sexism with negative reinforcement rather than positive encouragement (ie, don't sleep with guys like this - a shocking suggestion, I know!), it would be much less prevalent in our society.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 2:54 PM on April 26, 2012


If that's a sufficiently wise apothegm, then my little niece's "Girls go to college to get more knowledge; boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider" is nearly as instructional.

It certainly seems that she's been properly instructed to have contempt for the opposite sex. Where do you suppose that came from?
posted by Grangousier at 3:14 PM on April 26, 2012


Where do you suppose that came from?

From the you're reading too much into a schoolyard poem playbook? Also, by the way, Batman does not smell and students do not burn down schools because teachers hit them with rulers, glory, glory hallelujah.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 3:22 PM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


It certainly seems that she's been properly instructed to have contempt for the opposite sex. Where do you suppose that came from?

Oh, I don't know . . . how about the fact that nearly 25% of college-age women have been sexually assaulted by men at some point? That might make me a little contemptuous, or at least wary, of the opposite sex too. AND YES I KNOW, most men are not rapists, etc etc.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 3:29 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe if women responded to this type of sexism with negative reinforcement rather than positive encouragement (ie, don't sleep with guys like this - a shocking suggestion, I know!), it would be much less prevalent in our society.

Unfortunately, this would be working from the misguided assumption that the onus is on women to police the misbehavior of men, by withholding sex from them (because All Men Are Lustful amirite?) in the carrot-or-stick training method used to train animals. This lifts the responsibility from men, who are assumed incapable of introspection and helpless to change their own behavior.

You'll see this kind of onus-on-the-victim in many well-meaning "rape prevention" plans aimed at women: "Women, don't wear sexy clothing, don't leave your drink unattended, don't walk alone at night, etc." Meanwhile, very few messages go out in the vein of "Men, DON'T RAPE WOMEN."

Men, DON'T INSULT A WOMAN FOR HAVING SEX. This goes double if she's had any sex with you. Is that so hard to understand?

More militant feminists (often those who work for feminist publications) blame a male-dominated society

what is this I don't even
posted by nicebookrack at 4:31 PM on April 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


What about gay men and lesbians? Do they call their exes crazy? Granted, it's probably impossible to get away from heterosexual models of behavior, butch / femme, since even if you are gay or lesbian that's what you grow up with, having had (usually) hetero parents.
posted by bad grammar at 5:22 PM on April 26, 2012


I never understood ex-bashing -- if you call your ex a nut or a loser, then you are saying only people with questionable judgement and no self-respect would ever go out with you.

Be careful when you point a finger of blame at someone because three fingers are pointing right back at you...


I don't see how this is necessarily true.


It just is. Deal with it...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 5:55 PM on April 26, 2012


Be careful when you point a finger of blame at someone because three fingers are pointing right back at you...

This, incidentally, is why I am never dating Nightcrawler again.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:58 PM on April 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


NIGHTCRAWLER'S SINGLE?!
posted by nicebookrack at 6:14 PM on April 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


"painted a "note" to him in two foot tall red letters on their back yard fence, with her hand."

Well it looked good to Charlene.
posted by xarnop at 6:15 PM on April 26, 2012


Many years ago, I was a crazy ex. Well, no, I really wasn't but that is what my former live-in boyfriend told many people.

I didn't learn this until about a year after he left me. I bumped into a mutual acquaintance and she said "No matter what anyone else ever said, I always sympathized with you. I figured he must have done something pretty bad for you to have behaved the way you did."

Me: Oh? What way was that?

Her: "Well cutting all his clothes to ribbons. I figured he must have deserved that. "

I agree, he probably did deserve that but I never cut all his clothes to ribbons. For years, people asked me about why I cut up his clothes. I heard a few variations, my favorite being one where every stitch of his clothing was cut to tiny shreds and he barely escaped the brandishing wrath of my scissors with a towel. I'm sure that some people didn't believe my denials. Some even admired me for this mythical deed. Mind you, these believers were all in his periphery. No one who really knew me could believe this. It would have been more typical of me at that age to pack and iron his clothes. Being raised Irish Catholic, I leaned more to martyrdom than Fatal Attraction.

Some years later, he was making amends through AA and came and told me he was sorry about what a creep he had been in the way he ended our relationship. I asked him about the shredded clothes thing and he said when he told people he had left me, he got tired of trying to justify himself to people but telling them the she-cut-up-the-clothes story made the questions stop and turned him from a villainous figure to a sympathetic one. So this is only one anecdote but apparently, many are very willing to accept the "crazy woman" narrative.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:20 PM on April 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


"It certainly seems that she's been properly instructed to have contempt for the opposite sex. Where do you suppose that came from?"

The Chinese that put pee-pee in her Coke? Or maybe the significant gender gap in college enrollment?
posted by klangklangston at 6:48 PM on April 26, 2012


Uh, that was supposed to be a link, but bold will do *shruggo*
posted by klangklangston at 7:23 PM on April 26, 2012


My god. This poor girl.

The author's callous friend sleeps with her and, immediately after sex, runs right to the phone just to tell his buddy, "Hey, D has a crush on you! Also, she drinks too much and when she does, she'll totally have sex with douchebags like us!"

He couldn't even wait until she left or--here's an idea--maybe keep it to himself entirely out of respect for this girl he just slept with?

And then the two of them keep sharing texts this girl has sent, just to show how "crazy" she is. How gallant. Isn't it nice to know there are gentlemen out there like this, making fun of a woman who has never done them any harm behind her back.

And, once they have realized that D. has a habit of drinking too much and having ill-conceived sex, rather than feel bad for her, try to get her help, or at least discourage her from getting drunk, the author (who has the self-awareness of a brick) agrees to meet her at a bar, knowing where this is going to go. He's so sure where it will go in fact that, already knowing she has a crush on him, he takes some male enhancement drug so that he can take full advantage of her feelings. He's already planning to get her drunk and have sex with her. Might as well get as much as he can while he's at it, right?

And this girl, this "crazy D"--well, she just seems very sweet to me, and sad. She's maybe too trusting. She's certainly too quick to drink first and regret it later. But she is open with her feelings, and has been honest with this dude (and his friend, for that matter) from the start about how she feels. And despite the author trying to convince us that she is come kind of clingy nutcase, she seems to be perfectly aware that the douche is dating other women, so it's not like she was trying to haul him off to the church to get married or anything. She just figured she'd see more of him, and why not? He obviously knew she had a crush on him, and he went out with her and had sex with her. Why wouldn't she think he was interested in starting something up with her?

And in return for doing nothing worse, really, than opening up and making herself vulnerable, this poor girl, D, gets called crazy in an article written the moment after she's left (again, these guys just can't wait to let the world know they've had sex, can they?!).

Really, SHE'S crazy? Are you kidding me, captain douchebag?

This guy is all kinds of nightmare-fodder for any woman who ever had sex early in a relationship because she trusted the guy was actually as nice as she he was pretending to be. He's the kind of guy that ruins it for the really nice guys out there, because after him this girl is going to have a real tough time trusting men again.

Can you imagine how she'll feel when SHE reads this article? I really hope she never does.

This whole sad story reads like a morality tale over-protective parents would make up just to convince their little girl to stay celibate until her wedding day.

Ugh.
posted by misha at 1:45 AM on April 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Gotta say, I went and read his most recent article, and it was every bit as obnoxious, but the first comment nailed him right off the bat. Well done, Princess Faker.
posted by misha at 1:53 AM on April 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Good lord that article. It's like a really shitty "When Gravity Fails," except no mystery, the characters are boring, and instead of various kinds of uppers, downers, and so on, it's penis pills.

Also, never understood when guys dis women they have sex with for wanting to have sex. I mean, dude, SHE WANTS TO HAVE SEX. WITH YOU. WHY IS THAT A BAD THING DOES NOT COMPUTE.
posted by Snyder at 2:24 AM on April 27, 2012


Also, by the way, Batman does not smell

Now this one could be true. No one could run around in a rubber suit all night without getting a little rank.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:09 AM on April 27, 2012


Blasdelb: I do not understand your comment, I'm afraid.

Well Decani, how did you escape? Don't leave us hanging!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:13 AM on April 26


I choose to believe this comment is not intended sarcastically, whether or not it is. :-)

Well, I suppose the short version would be... I became immensely placatory. Then I told some tactical lies. Oh, and I also moved a wardrobe against the door after she finally let me go to bed.
posted by Decani at 6:38 PM on April 28, 2012


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