It’s always exciting to read an article which really speaks to you, and I had one of those OMG I’VE BEEN PREACHING THIS FOR YEARS moments in the hairdressers recently reading Glamour magazine.
The feature was all about how women are labelled ‘crazy’ when they get angry. I think the example they used was a girl whose boyfriend disappeared during a night out and reappeared about three weeks later, for no particular reason. Obviously she was mightily pissed off at this, and made that clear to him. As a result was labelled CRAY CRAY by all his mates, while he, poor lamb, was just some innocent guy with a mental girlfriend. FFS.
Anyway, most of womankind will be unsurprised by this story because we are pretty used to be told how ‘mental’, ‘crazy’ and occasionally ‘insane’ we are, or hearing guys talk about girls in this way. I mean, a girl can hardly get out of bed without receiving some suggestion that maybe she should spend the day investigating room availability at the local mental hospital instead of getting dressed and going to work.
I’m sorry to admit I’ve sometimes joined in with this ridiculous chat without really thinking about it. You know those ‘God, so-and-so’s girlfriend is completely mental’ or ‘I can’t believe whatsherface shouted in a meeting, she is crazy’ type conversations. But when I stop and think about it, the double standards at play here are so annoying they make me want to, y’know, get really angry.
And it’s not just female fury this relates to. The dating world is another area in which the ‘men are normal, women are totes insane’ scenario plays out over and over again. I may have been out of the dating game for a few years now, but I still have friends on the Tinder frontline, and everything they say confirms that this double standard still exists. So here are just a few of the scenarios I can think of where, if a man does them, everyone coos about how ‘adorable’ he is, but if a woman dare try them, she is officially on the cray-list.
- Asking someone on a date This is simply lovely and gallant if done by a man. Woman tries it? Must be mental. And probably desperate too.
- Asking someone on a second date Oh come now ladies, did you really think that just because you’ve been on one date with a guy and got on well you’re allowed to initiate the second? You be cray.
- Start a conversation on Whatsapp Are you trying to scare him off with your lunatic obsessive ways? Jeez gurl, give it a rest. Obviously such chat is brave and wonderful if done by a guy.
- Buying someone an ad hoc present Personal note – I bought a gift on a press trip for my current boyfriend after we’d been dating for SIX MONTHS and he has since admitted that he found it ‘a little mental’. And yet if a man buys a girl a surprise gift after like, one week? Everyone wets themselves over how ‘sweet’ he is.
- Talking about the future ‘Today he mentioned going on holiday together next year – so exciting!’ /’Today she mentioned going on holiday in THE FUTURE so she’s blatantly trying to trap me in her crazy lady web and I’m going to break up with her. BLOODY WOMEN’.
- Asking someone to move in with you Guys asks girl: everyone screams with joy. Girl asks guy: Oh god no. We’ve only been together for 18 months and you want to talk about moving in together even though we’re only 32 and only paying £850 a month each for our separate South London houseshares? YOU ARE INSANE LADY.
- Talking about feelings When a man opens up about his feelings, it’s all ‘aww that’s so courageous and he’s letting-his-guard down and you go Glen Coco’. If girls want to talk about her relationship feels then clearly she needs to redirected to the nearest therapist, stat.
- Proposing We might think we’re living in a progressive world, but why are like SO MANY women I know just hanging around making passive aggressive comments about engagement rings to their boyfriends because OHMYGOD if they did the proposing themselves everyone would think they were a bit odd. And let’s not even get started on the fact that women always want to get married, which is clearly not because they want stability or commitment, but actually because they are completely mad *bangs head on desk*