“Girls face so many challenges — people are constantly telling them they can’t do things, they can’t be funny, they can’t run the companies — but my advice is just not to focus on anyone telling you that you can’t do anything, or politics in your situation. Just think about your art, that thing you’re gonna do. I can get caught up, I can spend my entire life doing panels on being a chubby person of color writing a TV show, and it would be useful to some people, but I wouldn’t be writing my TV show. And all my competition, all the white men who are doing the same thing, are not doing that; they’re just getting better and better and better at their job. We want to support each other without distracting each other. Heads down, work really hard, pretend your parents don’t like you and they locked you up in that third room, and just do your work.”—Mindy Kaling (x)
What men mean when they talk about their “crazy” ex-girlfriend is often that she was someone who cried a lot, or texted too often, or had an eating disorder, or wanted too much/too little sex, or generally felt anything beyond the realm of emotionally undemanding agreement. That does not make these women crazy. That makes those women human beings, who have flaws, and emotional weak spots. However, deciding that any behavior that he does not like must be insane– well, that does make a man a jerk.
And when men do this on a regular basis, remember that, if you are a woman, you are not the exception. You are not so cool and fabulous and levelheaded that they will totally get where you are coming from when you show emotions other than “pleasant agreement.”
When men say “most women are crazy, but not you, you’re so cool” the subtext is not, “I love you, be the mother to my children.” The subtext is “do not step out of line, here.” If you get close enough to the men who say things like this, eventually, you will do something that they do not find pleasant. They will decide you are crazy, because this is something they have already decided about women in general.