In Defense of Psycho Bitches from Hell

Men’s stories of the too-good-to-be-true, sexy girlfriend who became unhinged are universal, and universally lacking in sympathy for the woman’s position.

Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia.

Here in Cali women are very beautiful. They seem to have a couple of advantages that I haven’t seen before that seem almost universal to the Calenas. From what I know about fitness and strength training, a female body is harder to manipulate than a male body. If a girl has heavy upper legs, small breasts, a flat butt, or not much waist, there is not too much she can do about it. Of course she can still be smart, pretty, and healthy. But here it seems that there are a lot of girls blessed with perfect genes for curviness, ideal fat distribution, and firmness.

It is impossible not to notice and it is impossible not to be fascinated. It is a common topic of conversation because it is just true and visible everywhere around you. The Netherlands are know for tulips, cheese, and weed, the USA is known for New York and hamburgers, and Cali is known for its beautiful women and salsa.

When guys talk about the girls they have encountered in their lives, because that is the inevitable turn the conversation will take here, sooner or later the ‘psycho bitch from hell’ pops up in a story. Every guy knows what this means. It is the girl that at first seemed too good to be true. Gorgeous, wild, fun, sexy, and seductive in the beginning, she turns out to be crazy, possessive, dark, unpredictable, and dramatic pretty quickly.

The psycho bitch from hell is a global and cross-cultural phenomenon. As far as I know she can be encountered in every country of the world and in many different social classes. It is not just Western men that know who I am talking about, she is also known to Asian men, South American, Arab and African men.

The usual way the story is told is by anecdotes of how long it took the guy to find out, the crazy things that happened in between, and the moment he got the hell out of there, sometimes followed by more stories of windows and windshields being smashed, physical attacks, or suicide threats.

Any role is limiting per definition, but the expectations that are put on women cost more of her freedom and authenticity than the expectations put on men.

In these stories, there is not much compassion for the girl.

Although I admit it is very difficult for a boyfriend to understand what is going on because it often happens to us when we are teenagers or in our twenties, when we are immature ourselves and the girl is unable to communicate what is really going on with her, I would like to try to share what I see.

It is hard being a woman. I think it is harder then being a man. This goes for every culture, but I think it is even more difficult in non-Western cultures. Both men and women are expected to live according their gender roles. Any role is limiting per definition, but the expectations that are put on women cost more of her freedom and authenticity than the expectations put on men. Most importantly, as men we are more or less allowed to be aggressive and angry from time to time. Women have to fit the role of obedient, sweet, caring, and serving. In an unjust world this can be incredibly frustrating, especially when the consensus inside a community is that it is okay to exploit these characteristics.

There is nothing outside of us. We don’t possess only a certain amount of human features: we each possess all of them. But we are expected to cultivate some and suppress others. We are not supposed to express the complete spectrum of our humanity. So we create a survival mechanism that serves us best: our identity, or our ego. With this mechanism we try to control our lives as best we can. We hide vulnerability, anger, fear, desire and many other aspects of ourselves. We are all looking for love, security and approval. As men, we can choose to blatantly pursue power and money to hopefully make us feel safe and loved. Many women, especially in more traditional cultures, don’t have that option.

So we are all caged, and the smaller and more debilitating our cage is, the more we suffer inside and the more we want to break free. We all create destructive mechanisms to escape the pressure of the expectations of culture, society and family. We drink, fuck, fight, achieve, hide, run, and perish.

I don’t know if the cage of the beautiful young woman is the most complicated one, but it is a difficult one to live in. Aside from all the expectations around being a ‘good girl,’ a ‘good daughter’ and a ‘good student,’ she learns that a certain behavior can offer a feeling of freedom and open all kinds of doors quickly. When she skillfully acts sexy, playful, and wild, she can get a lot of attention very fast. But it is a role that comes with a lot of norms, rules and restrictions. The love and the freedom she finds is artificial because it is not based on authenticity. Keeping the illusion alive is almost impossible. Sooner or later she succumbs to the pressure she puts on herself and she panics. But as her masks drops her identity is now at stake. It is a very scary and vulnerable feeling when we lose control over our self-image, especially if we believe we are completely dependent upon how we look and act to receive love and freedom. The pain, confusion, and fear come out as destructive and self-destructive behavior. Last night’s hot party girl has transformed into the psycho bitch from hell.

In many cultures, the position of the woman is not to be envied. She can be literally kicked out onto the street or locked inside the house when she doesn’t meet cultural, relational, or sexual expectations. This reality amplifies her fear. Her situation can become very unsafe for her very quickly. Reasons for panic can include another woman, a rival, and anything else that triggers a response.

Underneath all this is that most human beings don’t even have a notion of what a healthy personality structure is, let alone know how to create nurturing conditions for self and others. A psycho bitch from hell is just another lost and caged soul like the rest of us, maybe a bit more lost and caged than average. We all deserve to be free. Let’s be kind to each other.

This post, and others in the Psycho Bitch from Hell series, has inspired Atalwin to create 2 Workshops in New York City around the themes of these articles. MORE INFORMATION HERE.

 

Read more: Why Women Aren’t Crazy

This was previously published on Basic Goodness.

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About Atalwin Pilon

Atalwin Pilon is a former bad boy from Amsterdam who had an experience of spiritual awakening at 32. Since that moment he committed to the truth and lives from his heart. Currently he is traveling the world on a quest for meaning, aiming to make a difference. Follow him on his blog Basic Goodness, Facebook and Twitter. You can try him out as your life coach too, if his voice speaks to you. Email him. He will be honored.

Comments

  1. “sometimes followed by more stories of windows and windshields being smashed, physical attacks, or suicide threats.”

    This is extremely abusive behaviour. When a man does it, it is rightly called abuse or domestic violence, and society is quick to condemn him.

    You are trivialising a woman’s actions. She is an adult who is dangerous and abusive, she is responsible for this behaviour, and it is up to her to stop it. She doesn’t need excuses or justifications. She needs to clearly be told that it is wrong, and if she doesn’t stop, then it is time for the law to step in, especially if she has committed a violent crime (such as physical attack).

    EDITOR’S NOTE: The paragraph above is in violation of our commenting policy by claiming that Atalwin is “trivializing” when he is reporting a third-hand account of violence. This is derailing. I’m going to be moderating your comments, Mike. Please read our commenting policy to avoid further violations.

    Women’s actions matter.

    Secondly, you are clearly excusing a perpetrator of domestic violence, and providing a social licence for them to operate. I wonder if your article will generate a similar response to this one http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/nice-guys-commit-rape-too/

    • That’s an interesting comparison. In both cases, it’s worth examining the actions of these people, because not only are they violent criminals, they’re people we have intimate relationships with and trust, at some point in our lives with them. I have so many questions that might be answered by better understanding what makes people this way. Can I learn to detect such people and avoid them? Can I teach my friends and loved ones about the dangers they represent, and how to avoid them, without shaming their victims? I reprinted this article from Atalwin Pilon; without making the connection that you have, Mike, it may have been for the same reason I supported the publication of Nice Guys Commit Rape, Too.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      I think we can look at why it happens without excusing the abuses that come along with it.

      Also, I think there is a degree to which being “gaslighted” – or being told, “You’re a crazy bitch” over and over is incredibly frustrating and creates a very volatile situation. Again, it’s not excusing behavior to say, “Why does this happen? How can we change it?”

      • The presumption that it is HARDER to be a woman than a man.
        Presumption? Hell it’s the next line.

        “It is hard being a woman. I think it is harder then being a man.

        Thing is I totally agree that it is hard being a woman. There are a lot of things that we (that’s an overall we, as in EVERYONE) are raised to believe that women must do in order to fit in their proper place in society. And those things must be confronted and dealt with. I have two problems that spring from this point.

        1. Declarations that being a man simply isn’t hard.

        2. Backhanded acknowledgement that being a man is hard followed by assurances that “women have it worse” for the sake of dumbing down what happens to men.

      • Mike,
        Not to diminish those who have experienced abuse, but I think this article is in reference to the all-too common phenonemon when a beautiful woman turns highly-emotional, overnight.

        We tend to forget that relationships and mate selection are highly-emotional events, for both sexes. Women tend to focus on the emotional relationship, men tend to focus on the physical relationship. (generally speaking)

        Often, women who leap into physical relationships too quickly or use sex appeal to lure a man, are soon battling a well-spring of emotions and attempt to hide her emotions like a caged bird. Like the author mentioned, ‘keeping that illusion alive is impossible.’ Her need for emotional support will emerge one way or another…sometimes emotions erupt in unpleasant outbursts.

        One way to prevent drastic emotional changes, is to get to know each other first, before committing to sexual or physical relationship. Build a strong foundation, because once sex enters the picture, it becomes even more emotional for both.

      • As an aside, do you think men can be gas lighted? I think this should be explored.

      • As a correction this is the definition of gaslighting. It tend to be thrown around on sites like this way to freely when talking about women’s feelings. You need a) intent and b) an action, not just telling her shes crazy.

        Gaslighting = a form of psychological abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making a victim doubt his or her own memory, perception and sanity

        • The false information, in this case, is that you’re “a psycho bitch.”

          • If you think I’m an asshole and say so, and I disagree, that doesn’t mean you’ve presented me with false information with the intent of making me doubt my memory, perception, and sanity. It just means you’ve used a common colloquialism to express your assessment of my character or behavior. It may be false in the sense of me or others disagreeing, but not in the sense of how true you believe your assessment to be. If you upgrade the insult to “crazy asshole”, it adds to the colloquialism, but still falls well short of what “gaslighting” means anywhere besides gender blogs.

            Calling a woman a “pscyho bitch from hell” or a man a “cocksucking motherfucker” is a vulgar way of expressing such opinions, but the former is no more an example of gaslighting that the latter is a literal assertion that the man in question splits his time between fellating other men and having sex with his mother.

            I can’t take seriously someone’s assertions of gaslighting if their operational definition includes calling someone “crazy” or “psycho” with everyday colloquialisms. It’s sort of like hearing someone assert that sex after a single drink (for women only) is rape – that person loses all credibility in my book for any opinions about rape, since they set the bar so low for what it is. I’ve seen so few examples of gaslighting in the gender blogosphere that resemble the clinical definition that it usually strikes me as an empty buzzword when I encounter it in such spaces.

            • You’re right, Marcus. I agree with you, it doesn’t hold up.

            • Yeah I think this is a real stretch to compare it to gaslighting. Calling someone a crazy bitch over time everytime they express their emotions would be gaslighting if you’re purposely doing it, but calling someone a psycho/crazy bitch once or twice is just rude but not gaslighting. If you believe them to be crazy or acting in a crazy manner, would it still be considered gaslighting? I thought gaslighting only applied when you know it to be false?

    • Women who engage in abuse are abusive, as are men. What I see in cases like this are women who are narcissists or borderline personality disorders who can charm folks into a sense of security and then lash, and hard. And it’s abuse. Borne out of a mental illness? Yeah, but its still abuse. Same thing with bad boys that manipulate women and hurt them. There is something wrong with men who do this, and yeah they need therapy and help but it’s abuse still.

      And there are also cases where the system is mutually abusive and dysfunctional. And there are cases where it’s same gender. But we can’t just say women don’t abuse, because they do, as do men. The whole thing is saddening.

      • What I see in cases like this are women who are narcissists or borderline personality disorders who can charm folks into a sense of security and then lash, and hard.

        I agree completely. I finished the article with an unsatisfied feeling. ‘ well yes thats possible in some cases, or maybe the simpler explanation, is that some of these women are just not nice people’
        And as Mike (wish he would make his name more unique) and other have written, we know the response to this piece if the genders had been reversed

  2. We men just are not fully aware of all the restrictions society has place on women.

    Yesterday, I was reading in my local public library and decided to move to the Quiet Study area. A young woman was in there alone with her legs parted but wearing jeans. She was very comfortable. I did not consider he posture indecent. She just comfortable.

    But, when I entered she immediately changed her posture and crossed her legs. Now, do we men have to do this? No. When I sat down, I did not have to pay attention to my posture at all. So, I could be totally comfortable with no worry.

    It is a small thing I know. But, it is just many of the unseen and little noticed things that we men just fail to notice that women have to go through daily.

    • You’re quite right, Jules. Getting more men to notice what you have, is how we will slowly change the culture so that women no longer feel uncomfortable being comfortable when a man enters the room.

      • J.G. te Molder says:

        No, getting women and society to not see men and their sexuality as base, subhuman, and vile will do that. Teaching this to our daughters will do that.

        Whether or not a man notices a woman is not comfortable (anymore) has no bearing on whether or woman feels comfortable or not.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Jules,

      I cannot express how grateful I am to you for noticing this. This is my life, too. How do I walk in a room where there are men compared to when there are not? When it’s just women, I’m open and smiling and talkative. When there are men, I have to be more closed-off. How do I talk to men vs how I talk to women? To make my life safer and more comfortable, I am very very different around men, just like the woman in the library of whom you’re speaking. I’m a total guy’s girl, so it’s not natural for me to be closed-off to guys. I’m not afraid of guys, but I don’t enjoy being hit on or told I’m hot or ogled. I just don’t.

      I have never seen my husband adjust his posture, his walk, or the way he talks in order to keep himself from seeming somehow “bad” or deserving of unwanted advances. He’s friendly and polite with everyone equally. AND he gets to walk around in swim trunks and no shirt or shoes 6 months of the year (we live in Southern California), whereas I always have some sort of cover-up over my bikini and board shorts if I’m not at a pool or beach.

      I’m not saying it’s the worst life, and as Atalwin points out, as a Western woman I’m beyond blessed at my freedoms. But just you noticing that made me feel a little more understood.

      • Why do we have to read something into everything. I’ve sat with my legs apart and simply change positions. At times, I cross my legs, other times I don’t. It depends on the furniture I’m sitting in. When I would go to a meeting, I was conscious as to how I would be sitting, I didn’t slouch or kick my feet out. Could it be that this women was simply changing how she was sitting because it was comfortable? If I sit in a relaxed position, I find myself getting sleepy, so I sit up. If I sit up when a women walks in, I hope the heck she doesn’t think I’m doing it because she walked in because I wasn’t.

        But then again body language says a lot about a person as well, so maybe there was more to her sitting up or crossing her legs?

        • @Archy….

          “Women are taught to be ladylike and not spread their legs…”

          This is precisely my point! It is a restriction that has been placed upon them.

          This young woman (mid to late 20s) did not find me threatening as she gave me a smile and we exchanged “hello and happy holidays.”

          But, why is that a man can come out unshaven and go grocery shopping and not be viewed with disgust while a woman must shave her legs, do her hair,……? Society EXPECTS women to always look and act pretty and “ladylike.”

          We men do NOT have such high expectations placed upon us to look and behave in a certain manner. Even when we violate some norm, the criticism is not nearly as harsh.

          This is my point.

          • We men do NOT have such high expectations placed upon us to look and behave in a certain manner.

            you are in the middle of discussion so perhaps you are just thinking in terms of that, but outside of it. that is just clearly not accurate – eg. all those ‘man up or be a loser unworthy of woman articles’ that the young men are subjected too.

            Even when we violate some norm, the criticism is not nearly as harsh.
            …Im curious for what norm have you violated and found this to be true

          • Mr Supertypo says:

            ” But, why is that a man can come out unshaven and go grocery shopping and not be viewed with disgust while a woman must shave her legs, do her hair,……? Society EXPECTS women to always look and act pretty and “ladylike.”

            Naaaaay! I totally disagree with you. If a guy dont fix himself up, he is classified as a creep and in certain cases maybe even the police is callen. The only exception for a guy looking sloppy is if he is either a military or a blue collar worker.

            “We men do NOT have such high expectations placed upon us to look and behave in a certain manner. Even when we violate some norm, the criticism is not nearly as harsh.”

            Scrodinger rapist ring a bell? I dont know where you get that but guys also suffer from societal pressure and the pressure is just as high as a woman, just different.

            You cannot go with pink clothes becuase then you are labelled as a gay and a fag (no offence to the homosexuals). And maybe some homophobic will even beat you up.
            You cannot walk unshaved and with dirthy clothes at night on a dark street because somebody maybe will call the police (if you are lucky) otherwise they may chase you away with guns. The police may even stop you for no reason at all.

            You cannot go around unshaved and with a long jacket around children or women because they in go in panic. And again the police is called.
            For a man its not easy even to be around his own children because some stranger may get offended. Etc etc ect

            I think women are mor elikely to be forgiven, if they walk around with unshaved legs etc. But for a man there is no forgiveness. A black young guy last year got killed just because he went into a shop (I cant remeber the place, somewhere in the us).

            How often does this happen to women?

          • wellokaythen says:

            Sure, but will people move away from you in fear because your legs are unshaven? Will women clutch their purses tighter on the elevator with you because you look a little unkempt or un-ladylike? Will having unshaven legs increase the likelihood that you’ll be suspected of being a shoplifter?

            I doubt it.

            I hate to get into “who has it worse” territory, but in this particular case (shaving expectations) I think being thought of as physically dangerous because of your appearance is worse than being thought of as “unladylike.”

      • @Joanna…

        You’re Welcome. Often we go through life not really paying attention to the little things that are really BIG things.

        I often wonder if some of these postures that women adopt are really all that comfortable to women? My friend I am seeing told me as a little girl she and her sisters were forbidden to “duck walk.” She was taught by her Mom, “as a girl you ALWAYS place one foot DIRECTLY in front of the other….” Well I tried this and it is not too comfortable. But, I am guy.

        I just long for the day when men and women can just be free, open, honest,……I believe you always get better people and a better society under such conditions.

        Happy New Year!

      • Michael Douglas says:

        Absolutely!! As a man I have to tip toe around in fear of being a creep or excessively aggressive or an over confident “prick” .You think being a photographer is stressful when dealing with children or women. Try being a male massage therapist,in our office I have four female colleagues. My clientele is about 90% adult male “our” clientele is almost equal in genders. About 20% are children ranging from 10 to 16. I am the only one married and the only one with children. Yet a presumption is made,if any one of us will be inappropriate to a child or female…..it would be me because of my gender alone!. I assure you the very opposite is true,my entire family’s lives being destroyed are not worth copping a feel or being a creep to some poor kid looking for pain relief!!

        • That must be extremely stressful. It’s sickening how much distrust there is of men, it’s pretty much required now to have chaperones to cover your ass.

      • Archy,
        Thank you for presenting yourself as someone others can be secure around. Unfortunately, our hyper-sensitive, sexual harassment, pedophile fearing society…quite frankly, sucks. It is the few bad-apples that mess it up for the majority of decent people. Girls have always been taught to be cautious around strange men, for their own protection.

        One quick story, my 13 yr old niece was recently shopping with her parents for Christmas presents for each other, so they separated to different departments. A teenage boy approached her and sweet-talked her into the men’s dept. and he started asking her all sorts of personal questions. Luckily, she found her dad and told him she felt ‘creepy’ about him. They reported it and it turns out, this guy had a sex-crime record.
        We must teach girls how to handle themselves around boys–not so we live in fear of the opposite sex–but to be cautious.

        • Yeah it’s pretty sad. I wish people were given more encouragement to trust their instincts but not be so afraid, I grew up afraid after being bullied n abused but I’ve come to learn that fear harms me more because I miss out on experiences. The people I use to avoid being afraid of them, now I actually talk to them and have made friends with some and they’re great people. But it’s unfair for all of us to live in fear, I feel like a sense of community is diminishing because people are too afraid to say hi to their fellow townsfolk.

          • I teach religious education to 16 7th graders and am the only male religious ed teacher for 1st through 7th grade. There are two male teachers for 8th grade. My class is 9 boys and 7 girls. I take extra precautions in my class and am always on my toes as to how something I could say or do could be misconstrued. I’ve raised two kids (boy and girl) and have two grandsons yet I’m always watching what I say or do. In a time where we want more men to step up and be good examples for kids, many may simply resist involvement because of the few bad apples.

            Women’s negative behaviors are far more accepted and excused. Empathy for women is far more common. When a women is behaving poorly, women and even men are more inclined to think that they act the way they do for a reason.

          • Archy, Jules, Michael, Tom,
            All the precautions you do as men, are AWESOME! Those behaviors and actions you mentioned, like watching your words, posture, presence, or bringing an assistant into a massage or photo shoot, etc, make us feel safe and secure. Thank you! I know it’s a pain at times, but those behaviors send messages that you are trying to create a safe and secure environment and present yourselves as ‘safe’ and ‘trustworthy’ men.
            Hallalujah. As a woman, I naturally look to men for safety and security…always have, always will.
            I would like to be more trusting of men and community, because my instinct is to trust. But experience teaches me to be more guarded.

            I apologize, this has nothing to do with the original article, but it was an impulse.

            • Would you also agree it’s awesome for women to take actions to make others feel safer? Because I find these actions very dehumanizing, I HATE I absofuckinglutely HATE that I can’t just hug my cousins kids and play with them like the other women in my family do, I hate that feeling I have when there is a kid in trouble and I am scared to help them because their parents may think I caused the trouble. I hate that it’s made me so nervous that I don’t even talk to strange women much for fear they will get uncomfy (which makes it very hard to date).

              For me it’s a curse, I agree that making others feel safe is good but there are limits to what is good and what is straight up bad and I see clearly a society especially with men n kids where the men are trying to act safe because of extremely misandrist views which label them abusers, it leaves children lacking in additional male role models. For example in a less paranoid society I may help out kids more with learning stuff (woodwork, photography, etc) if I am in the position to do so but at the moment it’s just too great a risk to take. I hope my fears go away when I have my own kids. If I see a woman struggling with her stuff/items to put in car, etc, I have to think twice before offering to help incase she sees me as a threat and I just end up making the situation worse without any ill intent.

            • Archy—I try to make men feel safer, by not wearing revealing clothes, leaving my office door open, eye contact and friendly nod, trying not to put men in compromising situations, like the contractor in the other post…I stepped outside to speak with him so we both felt more at ease, or if I know a man is married, I always inquire about his wife and family.

              As far as your cousin’s kids, freaking play with them! Rough-house, get engaged in their lives, take them on a photo shoot, teach them photography, or how to capture kangaroos?? Or whatever you Aussies do in your free time.  Build that mutual-trust with them. Or start a photography workshop for kids with another adult to balance the workload and serve as your assistant…or partner with a local school to give you support.

              As far as stranger’s kid, that’s a different story, I’m guarded even as female, but to a lesser degree. I used to babysit back in high school and I was on pins and needles too. I feared that parents may think evil thoughts about me with their kids. But the more you are around kids, the more comfortable you become around everyone’s kids. I’m not afraid to talk to stranger’s kids like a “mother-figure.” I just present myself like a universal mom and if they are in my presence, they are under my protection…kids and parents notice that protective attitude and confidence and they feel more secure.

              When it comes to dating men, I’m a train-wreck.

            • @Joan, I think that’s partly my problem is that in my adult life I’ve rarely been around kids so I don’t have that comfort level with them.

            • @Joan
              “Archy—I try to make men feel safer, by not wearing revealing clothes, leaving my office door open, eye contact and friendly nod, trying not to put men in compromising situations, like the contractor in the other post…I stepped outside to speak with him so we both felt more at ease, or if I know a man is married, I always inquire about his wife and family. ”
              I wouldn’t say never wear revealing clothing, just be mindful that it can be distracting. I hate to say it but I was at a meeting and someone wore a shortish dress with the tables arranged in a position where quite a few men would have been able to see partially up her skirt. Being a male attracted to women I can tell you that is very very how do I say it politely…basically a magnet for the eyes, especially if you like her. Trying not to look but your instincts are pointing out this beautiful woman and sexually attractive attire whilst your conscious mind is trying to avoid looking and also focus on a task can be daunting. Happens also with cleavage shown at times too, especially if others are not wearing clothing so revealing. You don’t have to change how you dress at all, just be aware that it’s got a magnetic effect and may end up with some guys looking at times. Hopefully they will do their best to avoid it and try not to make it noticeable but I guess that’s the battle between instincts and socially acceptable behaviour. If I wore very short shorts and had my balls hanging out for instance, or if I was very attractive n my sexy chest was showing I’d realize it would probably be distracting at times for women too. Of course none of this means you should be harassed which is a terrible thing!

              I don’t mind the distraction too much, what bothers me mostly is trying my best to never ever look and feeling guilty if I look especially if caught. It conflicts in my mind about what is ok and what isn’t, I’ve heard a lot about how perverted it is to look when I was younger and a lot of shame from that, some women hate being looked at, yet others want men to look at them so it get’s a bit confusing. Much less distracting though when am I talking to someone because I focus on their eyes mostly, though I do get a laugh when I catch other men n women looking at others so I guess we’re all human!

            • Archy, I try to look pretty and presentable, but not uber-sexual…I’d rather save that look for special occasions. Many women present themselves very sexually and they get a lot of attention…it works. In my opinion, it’s okay to look at women and even blantantly look, especially if she has her skirt hiked up. If were a guy, I’d even whistle or mention it if you can see up her skirt. Say “Hey, nice panties!” Quite frankly, if she’s bothered by a man’s attention, she’ll fix herself or call you a creep. Be prepared with a witty comeback. Women need to take some responsibility. We cannot expect to walk around in life exposed and be offended when a man looks.
              It’s when men and women start engaging and showing an active interest in each other, the playing field changes. But looking shouldn’t offend, if it’s given as flattery.

              I see guys with tight pants, no shirts, or short-shorts that reveal his jewels…it is distracting too. But it’s all about context and if we take action. If I’m at the beach, I expect to see and reveal more skin. If I’m at work, at a doctors appointment, at the store, or at a funeral, out of respect for others and myself, I don’t want to reveal too much skin.

              ——–
              You mentioned in a different reply about the labels of ‘psycho’ and ‘stalker-esque’. I used those words and you’re absolutely right, there’s no reason I should harshly label other’s intensity of feelings or actions. I don’t care for labels placed on me either.

            • @Joan, I wouldn’t ever whistle (I’d consider that harassment and wrong). I’ve wondered if it would be appropriate to quietly mention someones underwear is showing but then I realize it’ll probably be thought of wrongly and creepy vs my intention of informing them of their wardrobe malfunction. I look but don’t want them feeling uncomfy.

              “You mentioned in a different reply about the labels of ‘psycho’ and ‘stalker-esque’. I used those words and you’re absolutely right, there’s no reason I should harshly label other’s intensity of feelings or actions. I don’t care for labels placed on me either.”
              Yeah we all have to be careful with words and how they are used. As others have said it’s better to not use those labels, or if you do use them describe why you feel that way (so the other can know what to change and why you think they’re a stalker). Using labels alone I think is the big problem since it doesn’t mention why they’re a bitch/stalker/psycho/etc.

            • I have to disagree with you, Joan – blatantly staring at someone is rude. I have largish breasts and men stare sometimes. It is offensive and creeps me out. I don’t wear anything that is tight or shows cleavage and they still leer at my chest. What am I supposed to wear, a burka? Frankly, I hate it. If you are going to stare, for God’s sake be discreet about it. Don’t make me feel like I’m the star of a private porn movie running in your head. Yuck.

            • For what it’s worth, I think parents are terrified of everyone these days. I’ve stopped cooing over babies in the grocery store becsuse several friends have told me they hate it when strangers of either gender notice their babies. It makes them nervous even if the stranger is a woman. The world is a crappy place these days.

            • @Sarah, it’s no wonder anxiety is so high when we are raising people to be afraid. WTF happened to people’s sense of community? I would want my child to know the neighbours because if I am sick, injured, I want them to feel safe enough to go ask them for help if needs be. It’s a lonely place out there if we raise our kids to be so afraid of the boogeymen, when most people are most likely going to protect that kid. Hell if I see someone try harm a kid, I’ll try to speak up n intervene where possible. I always keep n eye out for my surroundings and pay attention to certain behaviours kids do to indicate fear, I noticed a kid at a fast food place completely go from 100% excited to nervous as hell when the father raised his voice to tell them to calm down. To me it rang alarm bells because every other time I see it happen the kids don’t react like that, they tend to just withdraw down a notch or two but still have their original emotion displaying. I had to leave to go back home (long drive), but it bugged me about what I was meant to do in that situation.

              It takes a community to raise a child, and seeing the reactions people have to child abuse I think the overwhelming majority of people want to protect kids, more so than adults.

    • “When she skillfully acts sexy, playful, and wild, she can get a lot of attention fast…but it is a role that comes with a lot of rules, restrictions, and limitations….”

      So true…

      I walked down the hall in my doctor’s office last week…when it’s just the nurses around, I quietly go into the exam room and try not to disturb anyone in the hushed hallways…last time my doctor was standing in the hallway looking right at me and I made eye contact and gave him a blinding smile (which was my pleasure as he is extremely talented and handsome), which he returned….[I normally don't do Miss Universe pageant smiles but I felt it would have been disrespectful or ungrateful of me if I didn't smile at him]….

      By contrast, out on the streets or in mass transit, I dare not make eye contact or smile at anyone since that could be inviting the attention of some commuter-pushing psycho….Strange men on the street look at me like my doctor did and they seem to demand the same attention and get mad if you ignore them (which I do even though they curse under their breath)….Weird how some totally random stranger on the street feels entitled to my attention…

      • “(which was my pleasure as he is extremely talented and handsome)”
        Would you do this to the not-so-good looking man in a less talented role?

        I try to avoid eye-contact with strangers where possible, although some women smile at me first and I smile back, which leaves me confused as to what made them smile first. I avoid with both male n female, if I am alone I feel more vulnerable and both genders can make me feel nervous especially if they’re in a group and look aggressive (usually drunk people). If they smile though it puts me more at ease and they appear more trustworthy (though I do realize some of the most charming people are bad). Sad thing is I am 6’6, large bodied, can probably handle myself in a fight pretty well but still have that fear n vulnerability.

        • @Archy: Honestly, I rarely do the Farrah Fawcett blinding smile at any man that I do not know well…In recent years, I have noticed that even just a casual smile at some guy that I have just met at some social function can trigger him to be too clingy or touchy-feely with me (even with married guys who may have their wives nearby!)…..So recently, I have been on my guard and more distant and keep my friends/hubby close to deflect the people who might glom onto me…

          I make an exception for my surgeon (due to “General Hospital” hero-like worship, plus he looks like a blond angel to me)…

          In short, it takes a lot to earn my trust…I, too, like you, have been burned badly in the past….I am very wary of strangers, especially men….

          • Leia,
            I am more guarded too. I have smiled at strange men and the next thing I know they’re clingy. Yes, even the married guys mistake friendly smiles and small talk, for advances.

            I work in Human Resources and smiling, having a welcoming attitude, employee praise and feedback is critical, but it can backfire even with people you know. I complimented a man on his work and WOW did I regret it. Ahhh!! He was my new cling-on-best-friend. He revealed later that he had never heard such nice things and his wife never complimented or praised him at home. I felt wary, that if I made one false move, he may have turned stalker-esque.

            • This is partially a pretty sad view of the women he knows though if you’re the only one to give him praise and actually treat him nicely. I’d be pissed at those women for being such cold-hearted asses if that’s really the case, why aren’t more people positive n encouraging? Would he really have turned stalker-esque? Or we he just a full-on-friend? I have someone atm who is like a cling-on-best-friend, but I don’t feel they will stalk me ever, more just they are lonely and in need of a decent friend and so showing them some respect and being nice probably overwhelms them as it’s probably quite new to them. I find it sad really if that is so rare for that person.

            • Archy, my heart went out to him. Especially after I met his wife and realized how bad he had it at home. She was a cold wife, maybe not psycho, but very callous.

              At one work function, she sat at table in front of his peers and proceeded to publicly bash his manhood, boss him around, and mock him. Then she brought up their sex-life and informed everybody how she hated sex and how terrible it was, etc. I met her on other occassions, it was the same callousness. You try living with monster-wife, you’d cling-on to the first nice person too.

              I could tell he was in a bad-place and a man in that situation who is deprived of warmth, praise, respect, and sex is vulnerable to temptation. My instinct told me to be careful.

            • @Leica….

              Yeah, I really don’t get this in men. Just because a woman says “Hello!” or offers me a compliment on my tie does not mean she want to screw me. How can anyone who is grown conclude such.

              When I am out, I am very engaging with women. They trend to like me. But, I cannot assume they all want to have sex with me. Quite the opposite. Very few of them want sex. They are just being cordial and friendly.

              Even a relatively inexperienced man like me knows when a woman has a romantic interest as oppose to just a casual interest. It is communicated by her body language. But, you must know how to read it.

            • Jules–

              Yeah, I wish you could teach a class or something for the clueless guys that I know…

              It was weird because we were at a HS alumni event and we were talking about commodities and the economy…and this Ivy League guy was talking about how Hank Paulson wrote a great book about the housing crisis…and blah blah blah…while he is talking to me and my friend and SIL about various things (including his lovely wife and awesome 4 kids), he is moving closer into my personal space and talking energetically (spit was flying at one point!)….I kept backing up and tried to redirect the conversation and include my SIL and friend and an old teacher who happened to walk by….but I could feel him gravitating toward me no matter what I did….I was polite and contributed to the conversation but the event was starting to empty out and I wanted to say hello to some other alumni….(luckily my husband and my SIL’s BF were nearby and I said something to the effect like “Let’s wrap this up” to give a big hint)….finally, I just turned to the next pair of people and introduced myself and joined their conversation….afterwards, my friend who was in the first conversation group remarked to me that the commodities trader had “the hots” for me and seemed kinda bummed that I turned my attention away…I was kinda shocked because I thought all we were talking about was boring pre-election topics….!

              I think if it was my husband talking to that guy about the same commodities, he wouldn’t have tried to do the Stage IV Clinger stuff to my hub!

            • Jules, Leia’s spot-on and you must teach that class, because guys get the wrong impression quite often. Kind gestures get misread all the time.

              1.) I was at a gas station and a man and I started a conversation about business-stuff. He seemed interested in our conversation, so I handed him a business card. I was away from the phone all that day. When I got, home he left 4 messages on my machine…each one was increasingly personal. The last message sounded like he was in love with me. Talk about psycho. I called him back and was crystal-clear that it was strictly business and I even lied and told him I was gay. He never called again.

              2.) Another story, I had contractor stop by for an estimate on my driveway and we talked about bricks and concrete…didn’t think any of it. The next evening, he stopped by with the written estimate and dropped off a bottle of wine. Then, on the third night, he stopped by, again but this time, in a shirt and tie and asked me out to dinner. And all I wanted was an estimate!!!

              I have more of stories, but I won’t bore you. In all situations, I was not flirtatious or suggestive, just pleasant and kind. If you knew me, you find I’m kind and articulate, but I’m not flirty.

              These are the weird things that women deal with and cause us to be guarded. Am I supposed to be rude and course with men? Or I should I start talking about Jesus and scare men off with Bible thumping? :)

              Men, please weigh in on this.

            • I think it’s outrageous that men think they may do more than make one single gesture in the direction of “I’d like to date you” when they meet a woman under non-romantic conditions. That it must come from an entitlement the man feels for the woman’s attention. I’ve heard of women being hit on by police and other first responders. That anyone would hit on someone in crisis is beyond me. It’s just not appropriate. Fellas, you don’t have a right to get her number.

            • Justin–thank you. I never looked at it from that perspective that a strange man may feel ‘entitled’ to my attention.
              I can understand his ‘entitlement’ to my attention if were dating, but not a stranger or non-romantic settings.

              Agreed, crisis is the worst time to hit on a girl.

              I’m way off topic of the article, but it appears many posts are off topic.

            • I’d have to watch you interact with them to see what signals you were showing, possibilities include speaking in an extremely flirty manner. I know of a woman here who has guys who like her a lot and seems confused as to why, she sends pretty potent sexual signals from what I hear and even discusses her underwear late at night with the guys who she only thinks of as a friend, yet that guy likes her. I put it down to inexperience for her and possibly attention seeking, she’s been warned by her close female friend to stop flirting so much.

              I doubt you are flirting but there is that possibility there is something in your body language you may not be aware of. Guy number one may have thought the business card was a signal you like him, he’d be clueless if he thought that would be my best guess along with the possibility that women rarely ever talk to him for that long. Inexperienced men probably misread signs like crazy, or they’ve had women in the past sending the same signals which later turns into a relationship. The fact he left so many messages makes me think he’s probably inexperienced and even clingy.

              The contractor sounds like he was trying his luck, inappropriate of course but also sounds clueless. Sounds like he was trying to be pretty romantic as well.

              Not all people have a perfect ability to read anothers body language, interest, etc. Signals get crossed a lot for some, and some have so much difficulty reading body language it becomes a disability. I am very attuned to threatening behaviour, I was picking up on signals others didn’t when I was young. First time I met my cousins husband I said to mum I didn’t like him, I knew nothing of him but later I learned he was abusive.

              I can usually read other people interacting and spot couples, spot people interested in someone else, but either I’ve had very few women interested in me or I am blind to women interested in me (my own insecurity may have thought they were messing with me, who knows). I’ve had a woman stroke my leg before, instinct said she both liked me or was being friendly, I was pretty confused on why she’d touch me like that. She was a nurse who had just learned about calming touch? I think maybe she knew I have social anxiety and was trying to calm me, but she’s never really touched me before so it threw me off.

              I play it safe and don’t even ask women out at the moment, I’ve caught eyes with women looking at me and smiling but I never know if they like me or not or if they’re just smiling to be friendly. Seeing as I don’t wanna make them uncomfy I don’t approach (also partly my own shyness there). If I had talked to you and read signals of interest, and asked you out there is a chance that you’d be wondering why I asked you out and feeling men are misreading signals.

              But the thing is, who actually teaches the signals? I know in highschool we learn quite a lot but I was a bit of a loner getting bullied heaps, I lost out on learning quite a bit on signals plus I wasn’t very attractive and didn’t get much female attention. I saw others taking a chance and sometimes they’d be lucky, other times not. I didn’t take many chances myself, one chance I did take ended up with her telling me she didn’t wanna go out, and didn’t want to be friends because it made her uncomfy (me asking her out). She probably thought wtf would I ask her out?

              My ability to read threatening behaviour was honed over many years of bullying so now I can spot abusive people pretty quick usually, but trying to find a romantic partner? I am a complete noob there. My last relationship started from talking online, in very direct words, even then I was nervous as hell being direct about my intentions. I am pretty certain I’ve probably fucked up a few chances because I was blind to those signals, I know in highschool someone had a crush on me that I didn’t find out at all till yearrrs later.

              I’m not so sure the first guy felt so entitled to your attention, he may have simply been too damn caughtup in the first feelings of a crush. I think some people fall head over heels very quickly, and add a lil desperation or at least a yearning for love that hasn’t been fed so to speak in years can make someone call 4 times in a very enthusiastic manner, which can easily be seen as psycho. The increasingly personal messages though are weird, do you mean sexual or just him professing his feelings? Sexual would probably be more entitlement, feelings though would probably be more the case of someone desperate for love.

              The biggest problem is that women do a piss poor job as a group of asking out men, it’s still largely expected that men are to ask out women and so this burden of asking someone out is nearly fully on men’s shoulders. They have to identify who is attracted to them, who is open to dating, try to workout the right signals and then face the painful feeling of rejection if it fails or happiness if it is successful. This will definitely mean more women will be approached, and thus the chances of them being approached by someone they don’t want will be massively higher than men. I find it leads to women being guarded, and men feeling depressed knowing in a time of equality that they still have to shoulder the burden of asking out + rejection, whilst women end up waiting around sending signals (even dressed up to the nines) waiting for the man to ask them out. Getting both genders to ask out who they like, getting both genders to stop being so damn coy about their attraction and just fucking sayyyy itttt in plain English to the person they like will probably help avoid half of these issues since it won’t rely so heavily on a system of attraction fraught with errors.

              It’s not your fault either way, body language and human interactions can be a weird and confusing experience. I feel sorry for the guys in your story. What I’ve said is only a possibility and isn’t meant to defend assholes, but simply suggest that they may or may not be clueless fools who read the signals wrong.

            • Archy, thank you for input. I never handed my business card out again in a non-work setting to prevent mis-reads. You’re right, he was probably just a normal guy caught up in feelings.

              My friends would not refer to me as a flirty girl or a sex-kitten, but they call me the smart, sassy, sensitive, cerebral-type. (I’m 5’9′ (69cm), 125 lbs, blonde, blue eyes, tall, thin, flat-chested, wear glasses, 43yrs.) I don’t consider myself attractive in comparison to all the beauties online, so my insecurity makes me fluctuate when I’m with a strange man…but it depends on the topic. If it’s business–I’m bold, confident, not afraid to take the lead, but if it’s personal or romantic–I’m insecure and I defer to his lead. I suspect, men find my smile and confidence very attractive when we are talking-shop and may read that as a positive sign. I may be sending a come-hither message that is unbeknownst to me. But touching or stroking a man’s leg?? Even I know that could easily be received as a come-hither.

              I haven’t experienced the abuse or bullying that you speak of and you seem like a decent, level-headed guy, I’m sorry you had to battle those issues, but it probably makes you more compassionate towards others.

              As far as asking men out, I did it once and will never do it again. I need to know he is physically attracted to me first, otherwise I doubt. It was a crushing blow, after a man and I were together, when he later told me he was attracted to petite, brunette, South American girls. But once the initial attraction is there, I’ll make the first move and let him know what I like about him.

              I think both men and women are gun-shy when it comes to relationships…we’ve all been pushed to our limits at times.

            • “I think both men and women are gun-shy when it comes to relationships…we’ve all been pushed to our limits at times.”
              I agree. Makes it difficult when both are gun-shy, someone has to take the plunge sadly.

              “I haven’t experienced the abuse or bullying that you speak of and you seem like a decent, level-headed guy, I’m sorry you had to battle those issues, but it probably makes you more compassionate towards others.”
              Thanks, it taught me a lot so I guess there are positives in the negative life experiences. I value the ability to read body language as I can, I just hope I can hone the skills for reading attraction better.

              “As far as asking men out, I did it once and will never do it again. I need to know he is physically attracted to me first, otherwise I doubt. ”
              That’s the hard part, and part of what bothers me. Not knowing if she likes me or not. I’ve played romeo before, asking one friend if they liked another n asking the same of that friend, if they both liked each other I’d let each other know but I’d word it in a way to mask any indication the other liked each other before I knew both did. Worked out well for the ones I tried it on, I think it can definitely avoid some of that crushing heartbreak of being rejected since the third party has already vetted them both so to speak. But learning how to handle rejection I think should be taught in schools in a lifestyles course, it’s a skill not enough people learn.

              “I may be sending a come-hither message that is unbeknownst to me. ”
              That’s the tricky part, signals differ person to person, a smile to one might be seen as attraction to another. I guess knowing the possibilities of miscommunication in body language exist may help you in the future? I know for me it’d give me a partial explanation of why they hit on me.

              “You’re right, he was probably just a normal guy caught up in feelings. ”
              Culture likes to portray eager people as psycho, it’s a common trope in movies with stalkers. I’ve heard the stalker labelled applied to someone who’s messaged a few times, sadly I’ve even thought of someone in my past like that when really they were probably just desperate but harmless. Conflating overeagerness with psycho or stalker labels is realllly badddd I’ve found, it can lead to people being more afraid of someone who’s most likely just caught up in a firestorm of feelings. Hell I’ve felt that initial attraction where you think of someone all day and wanna talk to them heaps, most of us have restraint though but some probably let eagerness get in the way and ruins their chances.

      • Men have a different set of social responses/cues than women do.. City streets, get the look people in the face / split second eye contact evaluation glance. any more and that gang-banger will be insulted and any less and your in the prey category. Having to be “Hard” faced most of the time in public is wearing….maybe the mean streets of the old time NYC set my ways, but there are so many times where anything other than stone faced just doesn’t seem acceptable for men.

    • If you went to a feminist blog where they were talking about domestic violence perpetrated by men and said something like:

      “We women just are not fully aware of all the restrictions society has placed on men.” Then talked about some of the ways that the patriarchy sucks for men; what reaction would you get?

      There is a place to have all of these conversations, but it is not on an article about domestic violence.

    • “But, when I entered she immediately changed her posture and crossed her legs. Now, do we men have to do this? No. When I sat down, I did not have to pay attention to my posture at all. So, I could be totally comfortable with no worry.”
      Yes because men don’t go through adjustments in behaviour around women. Seriously people, logic, use it. You adjusted your behaviour on your interpretation of what she was thinking and her body language, the fact that you noticed it means you aren’t 100% calm especially as you have thought about it now and thought of her discomfort of changing her posture as if it’s a thing only women do. When I am alone I sit more relaxed, when someone comes in I make sure my legs aren’t spread too far that my underwear is showing from my shorts, I sit up straighter so I don’t look as fat, I instantly get nervous due to previous bullying and become on guard, if it’s an attractive female I am interested in I take even more care to look decent in posture, and plenty of other behavioural changes.

      Just because you don’t experience these things doesn’t mean other men don’t, or that it’s limited to women alone. Women also get to walk around with a MUCH greater chance of being protected should someone want to fight whilst men are far more likely to be targets of violence. I don’t recall any women or men stepping in to stop someone hitting men at a club, yet when I saw someone trying to hit a woman no less than 3 people went to save HER.

      Add the fact of male discomfort from knowing how many women get very nervous around men because of hyper-elevated fear of stranger-based rape, the “all men are rapists” meme, it leaves ME NERVOUS about ensuring my behaviour is the least threatening I can be so I don’t make HER feel scared meanwhile I am scared of her because of my own previous history regarding females and abuse they’ve given me, wondering if today she’ll be the asshole to fuck with me or pass judgment over me (yes I am insecure). Then to realize the sexism involved in her becoming uncomfortable with you largely in part because of society’s fetish for scaring the absolute shit out of lil girls and women to the point a misandrous distrust of men occurs, where women in need of help end up second-guessing their instincts, end up afraid of asking men for help because they’re afraid they’ll be raped/abused because society drummed stranger-danger into their heads from birth (something society doesn’t do anywhere near as proportionate with strange women).

      Not to mention the protective instinct instilled from birth in men to save the damsel in distress, and knowing the level of fear she has, knowing also that if someone else were to attack her that it’s expected of you to intervene and put your male life (which is worth less than a woman’s) on the line to protect the damsel in distress knowing full well she probably wouldn’t try save you because society also taught her that she is “so weak she can’t fight back” and underestimates her ability to fight n defend others and also knowing that human’s shouldn’t have to step in to help others if they value their life as it’s a normal intinct.

      Oh the wonders of being male, the privilege we have. Quite frankly I don’t think most women realize how many things men go through every day that they don’t have to. I can’t tell you how many men I’ve seen change distance to women or get worried about walking behind them and they slow down their walk so they don’t scare her, making them feel like a fucking monster, like I did 3 days ago when walking the same direction as a woman (I was going home) and the whole time I felt extremely uncomfortable since it was only her n I walking. Hands up ladies if you’ve ever done that to avoid making someone feel scared whilst feeling like you’re some violent brute in how society portrays you to the opposite sex.

      Then of course there is the annoying duality of women wearing revealing tops, drawing so much attention to their cleavage whilst society tells us that to look is pervy, creepy, etc so you both want to look at times but also realize it’s seen as a very negative behaviour whilst it does seem to be acceptable for women to look at men without thoughts of them being sex-crazed beasts.

      What’s interesting is over 99% of the domestic violence I’ve seen, was female on male IN PUBLIC, I saw men regularly slapped, punched, even bitten by their female partners or friends and it was both accepted n no one gives a damn. When I saw the reverse happen, a lot of people wanted to beat the guy up pretty badly and he was hated by quite a few people. In highschool this was even a daily occurrence.

      There are things both genders do regularly that the other gender doesn’t, difference is I’ve seen plenty of men make comments like yours detailing how THEY have noticed the things women go through, yet I don’t think I have seen a single damn comment of a woman noticing how much shit men go through day to day. Makes me really wonder who’s being perceptive, maybe we men hide it better and don’t talk about it as openly? Well F that, I’ll talk about it, and here it is. Those are the things that regularly affect me with many of them day to day.

      Being in that situation you were I would have immediately looked elsewhere out of fear she would notice I saw, be uncomfy, etc. Noticing that she was alone I probably wouldn’t have sat there, yes that’s right, I would left her alone for fear it may bother her because I listened too much to certain kinds of people saying how scared women are in public and I am someone that doesn’t want to cause fear in anyone. I have equal right to sit there n read but her presence alone and the way I was raised, and what I have learned from society makes it extremely uncomfortable for me because I am paranoid that it was cause HER discomfort. How’s that for some privilege? Both genders avoiding situations based on perceptions of threat, fear, discomfort, adjusting their behaviour in their own ways. Good ol creep-shaming making men like me over-cautious because we’re so afraid to threaten someone since we’ve grown up hearing how violent men are, and how fragile n weak women are from a society that needs a good solid shakeup in how it raises it’s children.

      Anyone remember the discussions on crossing the street to make women feel safer?

      • @Archy…

        I don’t know Archy. I personally have never experienced any of what you are speaking. Maybe it is due to my disarming body language. Women say I am very “warm and non threatening”. I often get smiles from many women.

        One of the things I had hope we could understand from this post is that their are DAILY little things that women must do to conform to a societal norm. The young woman in the library is a perfect example. Why should she have to change her posture just because a man walked into the room? She was not indecent. She was wearing jeans. It was not like she was “spread eagle.” I came in and essentially adopted her posture. Why? Because it was very comfortable.

        I am a Black guy residing in Maryland (USA). The only thing I have experienced is some white women who have switched sides of the street…But, it is not that common at all. Yes, sometimes I do think the “fear of men” thingy is overblown by many women.

        But, I really try to get men to think about these very small things….I attended a conference several months ago. There was a very eloquent woman speaking on a very specific topic. She has a grad degree from Johns Hopkins U. She was very conservatively dressed but well dressed. During the break, several men commented on how unattractive she was….So, forget her credential and mastery of the subject matter, it was “they could have found someone better looking…”

        Joanna mentioned above the example about the bathing suit….I was in Office Depot and middle age woman came in with a T-shirt over her wet bathing suit last summer. She was wearing flip flops. Again, a guy made a negative remark because she was did not have “hot body.” But, she was comfortable and not indecent. So, why does it matter?

        I don’t know where you live (Australia?) but here if a woman is open and chatty with men, a lot of men will take that as she is looking to get laid….So, women are more guarded….I talk to lots of women. I just let them know I am not a pervert or trying to pick them up. Once I speak those words, they become more relaxed. If they want to talk they will or if they do not their body language will say so…

        • @Jules- “DAILY little things that women must do to conform to a societal norm” & men and children don’t? What would you call fashion & grooming?
          Sometimes an “open and chatty” woman is looking to get laid- that and other societal clues ie dress & grooming are cues- sometimes they aren’t- but I think that we can all agree that sullen & uncomunicative rarely get’s anyone in anyone’s pants. Some men & women are ham fisted at further investigating whether the woman in question wants to get it wet, some are more suave…
          Some pick up on the hints pro or con faster than others.

          • @J.A. Drew Diaz…

            So, you’re telling me that today men have to conform to fashion and grooming?

            I am 50 years old. I take a lot of pride in my attire, grooming, and hygiene. However, I am not a metro sexual man. Today, I have never seen so many poorly dressed and groomed men in my life!!! Hell, I even see guys in their 20s wearing socks and sandals. Wtf!

            So just what fashion and grooming are you speaking, exactly?

            • Both have as much pressure to conform, I see slobbish men AND WOMEN.

              A lot of what I feel is based on my own paranoia of never wanting to make someone uncomfy but it does affect me, and I know it affects other men. There’s also the real threat around children of being seen as a pedophile so many of us don’t interact with kids as freely. The older generations don’t seem to carry this burden, I’ve only noticed in people who are around 20-30 at the moment (including me). We grew up with slutwalks, etc drummed into our heads and hearing how many women get afraid of men and knowing tha makes it harder to even interact with women because you don’t wanna make em afraid.

              With my friends I am well loved I guess, and don’t have issue but it’s with strangers that I am on edge ensuring I don’t make them uncomfy somehow especially as I am 6’6 and large bodied, I had heard from people in school that my size alone intimidated them. Stand next to someone twice your size and you may feel the same intimidation, regardless of the fact I don’t wanna hurt anyone and I’m more likely to step in n stop fights should they break out. It may be an over-reaction on my part, a hyper-fear or paranoia but it bothers me still. More often than not these days I end up with women smiling around me so maybe the fear is unwarranted, but I still try ensure I don’t appear threatening in anyway. In elevators it’s extremely uncomfy though, I usually wedge into a corner to get outa the way and give space. A lot of it may have to do with my own history with bullying against me and how I somehow intimidated people, maybe I had a getthefuckawayfromme attitude that intimidated them back then.

              No one gender suffers alone on this planet, many women fear attack, many men fear attack and fear being seen as violent thugs. Those women that cross the street because you’re black, well they also get scared because you’re male too probably and for someone like me who doesn’t wanna scare anyone even if I am walkin down the street minding my own biz it bothers me and I try to avoid making them afraid.

            • I would argue that men have to worry more about being viewed as worthless and cast off by society.

            • If you have an argument to present, please consider making it to this call for submissions on the disposability of men.

            • Will think about it thanks.

            • JTCC, I think both women and men equally experience the issue you mention about self worth in society’s eyes. But I think the things that society targets and ties men’s self worth are different from the things that targets and ties women’s self worth.

      • Bay Area Guy says:

        Well said, Archy.

    • J.G. te Molder says:

      Hmm, have you considered the possibility there was no social convention going on, but you almost caught her in a public masturbation session using the crotch part of her pants, and she merely hastily and embarrassedly repositioned herself not to be found out?

      Was she blushing?

      There’s some advantages to not having a raging erection and not ejaculating… every time during orgasm.

  3. Couldn’t agree more.

    We can try to understand, but the purpose should be to work out how to prevent it. Not to give abusers excuses.

  4. And Carrie Underwood’s song “Before He Cheats” – is a cautionary tale of a man getting what he had coming…
    Could you imagine a song where a man kills her cat & trashes her Miata?

    • Did Carry kill an animal in the song? I don’t remember that. But your comments reminded me of that movie Fatal Attraction.

      There is a lot of negative elements in the music industry. There aren’t any songs, and no I can’t imagine there being any songs about a man that kills her cat & trashes her Miata. But there are a lot of songs about bitches, hoes and golddiggers performed and written by men. There are a lot of songs that talk very derogatory about women. Dare I even say that there are probably more songs that speak derogatory of women then men?

      • And yet the discourse that is supposed to be about fair treatment for all actively ignores one set of those songs because of who they target.

      • You can dare whatever you want…
        Somehow, it seems, I’ve heard of more men killing her cat and more of her trashing his vehicle, music and fishing & hunting gear…

        • What other artists have you heard songs like that from? I don’t listen to a lot of country music. Perhaps that is the disparity?

          Like I said above, I think music about bitches, hoes and golddiggers is much more mainstream and popular then the example you gave. So no, you most likely won’t ever hear a song where the man gets “back” by killing her cat (although Carry never killed an animal in her song so I don’t really get your example there) or trashing her ride. But you hear plenty of music that talks about women derogatorly and sexually. I guess that’s okay? Heck, you can even call women “bitches” on regular non-cable channels like ABC during prime time TV. I’ve heard it with amazing regularity lately.

          • I listen to a channel that plays electro house, dubstep, “gangster rap”, trance, etc. The hour for hip hop n gangster rap came on, some songs were benign but then it was bitch this, bitch that, 3 songs in a row saying bitch and I changed off that channel until later when dubstep started up again. I dunno what it is with this fetish for calling hte women bitches in those songs because the rest of the lyrics sound like they’re talking about women they really really like and even love at times.

            RnB I think tends to be about love n dating, rap seems to be bout gangsters, bitches n hoes, rock n metal are all over the place, pop..well screw pop, country seems to be about love n loss and stolen tractors even in one song though I find country music depressing as hell with the themes. The most positive music I’ve heard is actually vocal trance, they tend to talk about love n dancing a lotttt and I’d let young kids listen to it freely.

            • Women aren’t just called “bitches” in those songs. You can hear that word on prime time non-cable TV. “Bitch” is a very common word tossed around in our culture very easily. It is not okay to call people names based on their race or ethnicty. It is okay to call women names based on the fact that they are female. It is okay in our society to call women “bitches”.

            • There are quite a few gendered insults that seem to be ok to call people, both male n female. Sexist remarks don’t seem to be as taboo as racial/ethnic remarks. I think language is probably relaxing quite a bit, the F word is pretty common now too.

            • A) Never said there were not negative names attached to men. This doesn’t mean we can’t address the negative names women are called. That is after all what *this* artilce is about.

              B) Names don’t have to be “ok” if we don’t accept them and don’t use them as individuals.

              C) I stand by my point regrading how easy it is to call women names based on the fact that they are female in ways we don’t call people names (or shouldn’t) based on their race or ethnicity.

              D) I am not making a case right now for the F word and I shouldn’t have to, to make a point about how often “bitch” is turned around. But saying the “F word” as an exclamation if you got hurt or whatever is different then calling someone a “bitch”. Although if someone is saying “F*cker”, I make the same case for that as I do “bitch”. Although please take notice how easily you’ve said “bitch” but for some reason you said “F Word”. You have just proved that the “F word” isn’t quite as common as “bitch”. Otherwise you would have said it outright just like we have in this discussion about calling women “bitches”.

              What is so hard to understand that women do not like to be called names?
              What is so hard to undertand that someone calling a woman name like “bitch” doesn’t actually do anything to help the situation? Of if you think it does, please tell me how saying someone is a “bitch”, makes the situation better?

              But if *you* want to keep using the word “bitch” toward women, you are free to do so. That is a choice *you* make based on the type of man you want to be. Just don’t act like you are doing anything positive or that you aren’t infact being degrading toward another person yourself.

            • Actually I say fuck quite a lot, and I hear the f word far more than I hear bitch. Depends on my mood whether I say F word or fuck, I’m odd like that but sometimes I randomly censor words online but didn’t feel it necessary in this article for bitch because it’s said so often already.

              You can be heavily degrading to someone without using the word bitch. Calling the person an abusive n violent person IS DEGRADING. Calling them a bitch is also degrading, either way you’re applying a label to the person based off what you know and it is critical of their actions. One involves a typical swear word, that’s the major difference. The person described in his experience was acting like a bitch, or acting like a verbally abusive person, or acting unladylike, take your pick, they’re all referring to the same damn thing in context. The only real difference is bitch is gendered, if it was a guy he’d probably be called a dick.

              Why would calling them abusive be any less degrading? Abusive is a very very very negative term, it’s extremely critical of their actions and just as degrading as bitch in this context. You can maybe say she was acting unpolite but even I’m having trouble of thinking of accurate words to call her actions, would it have been better to say she was acting like a bitch? Are you basically just wanting all gendered language removed and stick to non-gendered terms that don’t single people out? I guess then abusive would be the closest fit.

            • I’m not really intersted in another circular discussion with you. Simply stated, we do not agree. There is really no more to be discussed.

              You are free to keep calling women bitches and conduct yourself toward others how you choose. I will continue to live by my own code of ethics where I do my best to not use name calling toward women or men. I want to live my life by respecting others and adding value to their lives. Not be further ripping people apart when instead I could be working to a solution to fix the problem or help them as individuals.

            • Question, would it be ok to say they are acting LIKE a bitch vs calling them a bitch? The former being describing their behaviour?

            • I do not agree with or participate in, in advocating for any kind of name calling. Whether it’s “bitch” or “like a bitch”. Both are obviously ways to imply and degrade another human being.

              You are free to call other people names. I personally like to stay away from that. It is not my place to call other people names. I don’t enjoy or like degrading others. I do enjoy honesty about one’s behaviors or experiences and we are fully able to discuss one’s behavior as abusive and violent without degrading them ourselves through name calling.

              I don’t understand why I need to say this again. We don’t see this the same way. You want to call others names? You can conduct yourself as you want. And I will conduct myself as I want, by my own code of what I consider honorable and ethical behavior. I already told you that I am not interested in a circular discussion with you. I really have no more to say to you.

            • Erin

              Sometimes its proper to look at the context and rather than think of it solely based on name calling, maybe view it on behaviour acknowledgement. I think 3a is an appropriate word for the behaviour being discussed. Though it is commonly used for a woman it can also be used to describe a males behaviour as well.

              bitch
              [bich] Show IPA
              noun
              1.
              a female dog: The bitch won first place in the sporting dogs category.
              2.
              a female of canines generally.
              3.
              Slang.
              a.
              a malicious, unpleasant, selfish person, especially a woman.

              b.
              a lewd woman.

              c.
              Disparaging and Offensive. any woman.

              4.
              Slang. a person who performs demeaning tasks for another; servant: Tom is so her bitch; she just ordered him to go fetch her some pizza—and he went without a word.

              5.
              Slang. a convict who is in a homosexual relationship and/or dominant relationship willingly or unwillingly

            • John T, I’m not sure if I totally get what your saying so please correct me if I am wrong. Are you saying that it’s sometimes appropriate to call someone a “bitch”? Could you tell me at what times it’s appropriate to call someone this? Is there ever an appropriate time to call someone the “n” word because they are African American? Why is it okay to sometimes call women “bitches”?

              Yes, I have heard “bitch” used to sometimes describe men. However, it still is and always will be a feminine name first, no matter how many men use it againt other men. They certainly don’t call men “bitches” in porn like they do call women “bitches” regularly. You actually bring up an extra interesting layer. Unfortunetly, sometimes men are called names stereotypically that are female to futher diminish that man. It’s an extra added slight because it’s almost like saying that anything connected to the feminine is the most degrading thing ever to be. I actually find it really offensive personally that men will take stereotypically feminine names and prescribe them to men. It’s not only insulting to men but it’s insulting to women.

              Name calling is shitty.

            • It’s an extra added slight because it’s almost like saying that anything connected to the feminine is the most degrading thing ever to be. I actually find it really offensive personally that men will take stereotypically feminine names and prescribe them to men. It’s not only insulting to men but it’s insulting to women.
              Now if only more people would take all this deep thought and insight about why it’s wrong to call people bitches and apply it to the willy nilly freedom that is used when calling people dicks.

              I’ve seen people almost literally in one breath talk about how calling someone a bitch is wrong and then in the next turn around and call someone a dick.

            • Is this article about those people Danny?

              Look, you totally have a point and a one worthy of discussion. But why do you feel it’s important to bring up that point in an article that’s main focus is about the name calling that gets throw about women?

              I’d love to read an article of yours that addresses the point you’ve brought up.

              I just fear that we all (and I am totally included in that), get so caught up in our own pain that we forget to acknowledge other’s.


            • Is this article about those people Danny?

              I don’t recall trying to say it was but adding a side comment.


              But why do you feel it’s important to bring up that point in an article that’s main focus is about the name calling that gets throw about women?

              Because reading this comment string is what prompted the thought.

              If you’re so worried about a hijack then feel free not to respond.


              I just fear that we all (and I am totally included in that), get so caught up in our own pain that we forget to acknowledge other’s.

              A valid point. I think one part of the solution to this “forgettfulness” would be to resolve the fact that a lot of people get caught up in their own pain presicely because they are told that their own pain actually matters less than the pain of others (and this is usually done on a group identification basis).


            • I’d love to read an article of yours that addresses the point you’ve brought up.

              Ah then let me oblige.

              At my blog (www.dannyscorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com) there are two posts where I’ve gone into this. (I can’t give direct links because I’m at work and pull up my blog. Sorry.)

              First there is the someone recent “A jerk by any other name….”. I actually did this as a bit of a response post to a comment that was left here at GMP saying that “dick as become gender neutral”.

              Second (and a lot older) is “Unless we’re talking about the body part….”. In this post I first started to come around to asking exactly why negative jerkish behavior is being associated with male genitals in the first place.

            • Danny said: “Because reading this comment string is what prompted the thought.”

              Most of my comments have been centered around the topic of this article. Which is about how negative names are reinforced toward women.

              I think closer to the truth is that you care more about the pain you experience surrrounding negative names about men and that is why you brought it into a discussion that is suppose to be about negative names that sorround women. But identifying names that surround women does not in any way suggest that the issues men face are less. All it does is suggest that *this* is what we talk about *here* under this article.

              If you don’t care to talk about negative names that sorround women, then simply don’t respond to the thread. It’s not an appropiate time to bring in the negative names you as a man contend with. There *is* an appropiate time for it. But it’s not within an article that’s topic asks you to look at something outside your own experience as a man, to those of experiences of women.

              I’m not saying I don’t fall into this myself or that your a bad guy at all. But your first thought to rebutt the words used against women to talk about the words used against men is because right now, you believe the hurt you experience is of more value and needs immediate aknowledgement and discussion before you can even begin to think of someone else.

              Danny said: “If you’re so worried about a hijack then feel free not to respond.”

              If you don’t want to talk about the actual topic of the actual article, then feel free not to read or respond to the article.

              Danny said: “A valid point. I think one part of the solution to this “forgettfulness” would be to resolve the fact that a lot of people get caught up in their own pain presicely because they are told that their own pain actually matters less than the pain of others (and this is usually done on a group identification basis).”

              Do you believe that only men are told their pain doesn’t matter? Do you think women don’t sometimes feel just as you do?

              So how do you get two sides that both feel like the other side doesn’t care about their pain to listen when both sides are so immersed into their own issues?

              To me, the answer lies in this: It sometimes has to be all about the men and it sometimes has to be all about the women. There are many articles that specifically address men on GMP. And yes, there are a lot of articles that address women and men’s relationships and interactions with women. This article seems to be addressing language some men specifically use against women. Is this the time and place to talk about your own pain or should that be saved for the blog you directed me to or other articles on GMP?

            • I think closer to the truth is that you care more about the pain you experience surrrounding negative names about men and that is why you brought it into a discussion that is suppose to be about negative names that sorround women.
              Nope. I’ve told you the answer. It’s up to you to believe it or not.

              If you don’t care to talk about negative names that sorround women, then simply don’t respond to the thread.
              Or if you think my mention is out of line then feel free to not respond yourself.

              I’m not saying I don’t fall into this myself or that your a bad guy at all. But your first thought to rebutt the words used against women to talk about the words used against men is because right now, you believe the hurt you experience is of more value and needs immediate aknowledgement and discussion before you can even begin to think of someone else.
              You start off pretty good until you get to the “because….”. No I don’t think that my own experience is of more value. In fact it’s not just about my own experience but the experience itself, and the denial of that experience.

              If you don’t want to talk about the actual topic of the actual article, then feel free not to read or respond to the article.
              I’ve already talked about the topic at hand. I saw new comments and responded. If you don’t want to read them then let them fade into obscurity. But let’s not get bogged down in a neverending dance of “I won’t stop why don’t you stop?”.

              Do you believe that only men are told their pain doesn’t matter? Do you think women don’t sometimes feel just as you do?
              Of course not.

              To me, the answer lies in this: It sometimes has to be all about the men and it sometimes has to be all about the women. There are many articles that specifically address men on GMP. And yes, there are a lot of articles that address women and men’s relationships and interactions with women. This article seems to be addressing language some men specifically use against women. Is this the time and place to talk about your own pain or should that be saved for the blog you directed me to or other articles on GMP?
              To answer your closing question when the article at hand makes the language used by men against women uses the tactic of denying the experiences of men, yes.
              As in if that blog I directed you to were to have denied the harmful language that is used against women I’m sure you would have said something.
              I agree that there will be times and spaces where it may be all about men or all about women or whatever group at hand. Does making a given time and space about one group excuse the denial of the pains of another group? No mention is not inherent denial but denial should not be passed off as no mention.

            • Danny said: ‘I agree that there will be times and spaces where it may be all about men or all about women or whatever group at hand.’

              Being that you believe this, how is that reflected in your comments to this article?

              Danny said: ‘Does making a given time and space about one group excuse the denial of the pains of another group? No mention is not inherent denial but denial should not be passed off as no mention.’

              I don’t understand. You either believe that each group needs to be given their time and place or you don’t believe that and you think that all groups must be talked about at the same time. This second comment of yours seem to suggest that you think that one group shouldn’t be ignored in a discussion of another group. Which would cause me to believe that you are actualy more interested in talking about the other group, then the actual group the article is truly about.

            • ‘Being that you believe this, how is that reflected in your comments to this article?’

              Right here when I said, “Does making a given time and space about one group excuse the denial of the pains of another group?”

              ‘You either believe that each group needs to be given their time and place or you don’t believe that and you think that all groups must be talked about at the same time. ‘
              The former.

              ‘This second comment of yours seem to suggest that you think that one group shouldn’t be ignored in a discussion of another group.’
              That’s not it at all. What I am saying is that when talking about one group it does not do any good (in fact it can be quite harmful) to try to invalidate or deny the experiences of the another.

              ‘Which would cause me to believe that you are actualy more interested in talking about the other group, then the actual group the article is truly about.’
              And you would be wrong.

              It’s as simple as this. What difference do you see between.

              “When it comes to dating men have a hard time approaching women they are interested in.”

              and

              “When it comes to dating men have a hard time approaching women they are interested in but women don’t have any problems.”

              The first doesn’t mention women one way or another while the second attempts to deny what women go through when it comes to dating.

              Surely you can see that?

        • There are also movies. In the movie Addicted To Love, Meg Ryan’s character does some really nasty things.

  5. My thoughts:

    1. Nasty people are nasty people, regardless of gender.

    2. Attractive, abusive women get away with being abusive simply because they are attractive. Often from the very start. That short, dumpy, overweight woman? No one’s going to take her home from the party.

    3. Some men — just like some women — have the perverse desire to make their lives one big Melrose Place drama. Seriously, they cannot live without the beautiful psycho bitch from hell, because everyone else seems so boring. A male friend of mine is like this, which leads me to …

    4. It’s all fun and games until one’s beautiful psycho bitch girlfriend takes out a hit on her hapless boyfriend. Then it gets real, real quick. As my male friend (above) discovered.

    There is no excuse for being a nasty, abusive individual. None.

    • 1. Nasty people are nasty people, regardless of gender.
      Agreed.

      2. Attractive, abusive women get away with being abusive simply because they are attractive. Often from the very start. That short, dumpy, overweight woman? No one’s going to take her home from the party.
      I have to disagree with this bit. Being physically attractive CAN sway how a woman’s abuse is accepted (much in the same way that being rich/power CAN do the same for men). However just as simply being male gets men off the hook for stuff being female does the same for women.

      3. Some men — just like some women — have the perverse desire to make their lives one big Melrose Place drama. Seriously, they cannot live without the beautiful psycho bitch from hell, because everyone else seems so boring. A male friend of mine is like this, which leads me to …
      Oh yes. There most certainly Drama Kings out there.

      4. It’s all fun and games until one’s beautiful psycho bitch girlfriend takes out a hit on her hapless boyfriend. Then it gets real, real quick. As my male friend (above) discovered.
      There is no excuse for being a nasty, abusive individual. None.

      Yeah people can be real nasty.

      (Speaking of taking a hit out I wonder if hiring someone to do your violence for you counts as domestic violence.)

  6. In my opinion (and you know what they say about opinions) .. women are not held accountable as they should be. Domestic violence, many women know that because they’re women that they will more then likely be viewed as the victim. Women who turn ugly in relationships … I guarantee you that they have a support group of women who will nurture their behaviors if not commend them for what they do. I can guarantee you as the guy is spilling his guts about how she’s behaved, she’s sitting with a group of women patting her hand and telling her that she’s been wronged.

    We live in a society that’s co-signed these behaviors in women.

    And BTW, Will there ever be an article which addresses women where men are not referenced in a similar way? This is strictly about women yet the “men do the same” garbage is yet again brought into view. We know men can be jerks … open the news paper, turn on the TV, it’s pointed out all the time.

  7. Christmas Eve, I was at a department store where I was buying some last minute items. I was standing between a couple (male and female) who were obviously together. I think I encountered one of the psycho bitches this article is about.

    As I was looking at greeting cards, the guy to my left was opening cards and laughing out loud at some of them. Because he was speaking to the women to my right, I backed up a little. He held up a funny Christmas card, while laughing he said, “I should buy this one for you honey.” She stopped looking at cards, turned to him and I said, “If you’re going to buy me a funny card for Christmas, you can go fuck yourself.” The words still ring in my head. Holey shit!!! I felt so bad for the guy. You could see he was totally embarrassed, deflated. Meekly he responded with something to the affect that you can laugh during the holidays. I wanted to pull him aside and tell him to dump the bitch while he can.

    My wife loves cards and with every sentimental one, she gets a funny card as well … I can only imagine what it’s like living with that women.

    • You should have pulled him aside & confided- yeah I got tired of her bull shit too, as did the guy before me & the one before him.

    • Tom B, I can understand your issue with the woman that responded disrespectfully to her partner. But I don’t understand the name calling. Can we not disapprove and talk about another’s behavior without restoring to name calling ourselves? When we name call, even in the face of what someone else has done, are we really any better then them?

      The woman in the store treated her partner horribly. Her behavior was cruel and selfish. But it doesn’t justify us calling her a name. And this is really the distinction we need to be aware of. We should be able to talk about people’s behaviors without resorting to degrading names even in the face of their behavior.

      • I ask again: Can we not disapprove and talk about another’s behavior without resoring to name calling ourselves? What is the point in the name calling? Why not focus on the behavior and the discussion of the behavior without being derogatory ourselves?

        • Erin, I agree that we can describe behavior without flattening an individual to a label. The title of this article labels in that way, but as a way of drawing attention to the way this behavior prevents us from feeling empathy for the woman. I’ve looked at Tom B’s comment and I don’t understand why you’re asking him about the name calling.

          • “I think I encountered one of the psycho bitches this article is about.”

            Personally I think the label is correct due to the people in question, they ARE bitches in every sense of the word (well apart from being a female dog). But it’s descriptive, maybe psycho female asshole is better? Psycho female of aggressive crazy behaviour?

            • Joanna Schroeder says:

              What do you call a guy who does the same thing? because they do sometimes. I think it comes from different origins, and that’s a different conversation. But certainly “Psycho asshole from hell” might be best for both.

              I think Atalwin had to call this article that, though, because it is a common phrase and we need to see where it comes from and why we relate to the “phenomenon” like we do.

            • Psycho bastard from hell? Not sure. In Aus we simply call both c&nt’s.

            • Archly,

              Since you’re not from the US, I just wanted to point out that I suspect the larger issue here is being missed by a cute rhetorical trick.

              The argument is subtlety advanced that the term discussed here is unfairly gendered and thus problematic, in other words, if there is no equivalent “male” term, then this is inappropriate.

              But this ignores the reality of American culture, wherein it has been argued for 40 years that men are *by definition* controlling. This is argued overtly in Academia by people who still grant credence to writers like Dworkin and MacKinnon, and argued covertly by television shows like “Law & Order: SVU” which feed viewers weekly doses of armchair psychology about “men, and their need to control.”

              Our language creates terms for situations that are assumed to be abnormal, but lacks terms for that which is assumed to be normal. So, we have words like paraplegic and quadriplegic, but no special term to connote someone with four working limbs.

              Our society assumes that women are NOT psycho, and so we have a developed a term to describe the abnormal situation. When there is no equivalent male term, this is argued to be evidence of misogyny. In reality, however, we have no male term because our society assumes men are criminals and control freaks, and so no additional words are necessary. You don’t need additional language to cover the same ground already included in the word “man.”

            • Good point Mike L.

            • Wow, very very good point.

            • wellokaythen says:

              If anyone’s wondering if there’s a double standard, just look at the way people use the phrase “psycho bitch from hell.” I’m sure some women would put that on bumper stickers on their cars and feel a sense of pride and rebelliousness by calling themselves that. It’s a source of a feeling of empowerment for some women, no doubt. Even people who would never use that phrase might find it amusing that a woman calls herself that. (I guarantee a woman who calls herself Psycho Bitch From Hell on her online dating profile will still get lots of interest.)

              A man who’s labeled a “psycho asshole from hell” or even just “psycho”? Shoot him first and ask questions later. Guilty until proven innocent, better safe than sorry, nothing cute about it whatsoever.

            • J.G. te Molder says:

              >What do you call a guy who does the same thing?

              Incarcerated.

          • Joanna and Justin, I agree that Atalwin had to be honest about the name calling to talk about the subject. Context is everything.

            Justin, the reason I was bothered by Tom B was because he said these two things: “I think I encountered one of the psycho bitches this article is about.” and, “I wanted to pull him aside and tell him to dump the bitch while he can.”

            Atalwin is using the negative name phrase to actually break old patterns and bring attention to unhelpful mentalities. Tom B is using the name calling in a derogatory fashion to keep that stereotype alive and well and put down this woman because he was witness to her putting down her man. The world “bitch” roles off our tongues way to easily in Tom B’s instance. He wants to point out a way men can feel confused and disrespected by certain behavior. Fantastic. I love those moments of insight. But not when it’s done by keeping alive the very problem he takes issue with. These are the things we need to be aware of because this is exactly the point Atalwin is trying to make in this case.

            I also don’t think the solution is to make up an equally degrading name for the opposite gender. And actually, who of us are so perfect that we always treat our partners with nothing but 100 respect? Who of us is so perfect that we are allowed to label other people like that?

            • @Erin, I can understand why you feel the term disturbs you and I agree that we should avoid using such labels on people in general. As I said, I felt comfortable using the term simply because it was in the artic les title and my use of the term when describing the women was, in my eyes, an example of how some women behave. What I didn’t say was that moment before she made the comment, the two appeared to be on great terms with one another. In fact, my thought to myself was that they were a cute couple looking at greeting cards together … but then she turned ugly on him. I Suppose “psycho” would have been less offensive but isn’t that nonetheless a label?

            • Everyterm used would be considered derogatory because it’s critical of her actions wouldn’t it?

            • Tom B, I still don’t really understand why the title of an article could sway your own comfort level. I also don’t think that the author of the article used the term in any facet of the way you felt comfortable using it. The author was using to address the problem of using the term, you used the term to label the woman derogatorily. You wanted to degraded the woman because you were angry with the way she degraded her partner. But that doesn’t really do anything. It doesn’t define her behavior in anyway that actually helps anyone. It doesn’t fix what happened to the man. And it certainly does nothing for you either.

              Yes, some women can be violent and abusive. This is not the same thing as out-right calling someone a “psycho bitch”. I also don’t see why you would give yourself permission to call her a “psycho” either. Are you accredited in the medical field where you have the right and privilege to medically diagnose others as “psycho”? If not, there is absolutely no reason for you to use that term either. I believe you are perfectly able to describe her behavior as degrading or/and abusive and get your point across MUCH, MUCH better and in a manner even women would be open to listening to then when you use negative female expletives. You can not expect to use traditionally negative female names and not expect to alienate women, especially healthy women.

              No man wants to be around a woman that uses name calling as a way to deal with a man’s bad behavior. No woman wants to be around a man that does the same.

            • Erin, thank you for your persistence in responding to commenters on this article, myself included.

            • I have never been accused of giving up on a good discussion Justin! I

              I think the dialogue is important. But sometimes it feels like running on a treadmill. Like we really aren’t even getting anywhere. It seems like if a man thinks a woman’s a bitch, then she is a bitch and should be labled as such. Case closed.

  8. Where can I buy an @Archie t-shirt? He’s my hero.

  9. @Archy…

    “Men suffer extreme levels of violence, 4-6x more deaths from violence than women for one…”

    But Archy, we suffer these extreme levels of violence from other men. This is just human history. WWII was started and fought by men.

    Men have been forever killing one another and subjecting one another to all kinds of adversity…

    “It sickens me how far some will go to excuse a woman’s bad behaviour, especially when they don’t do the same for men. I do look forward to the articles on how abusive men are misunderstood, and how society forces them into abusive roles, how we should have compassion for them and how their life is harder than that of women. I bet that would go down well…”

    Archy, lets take the life of Aileen Wuornos (lady in pic on left) vs Jeffrey Dahmer. Both serial killers. There are far more male serial killers than female. So, there has been a lot of study done on male serial killers. Hence, there has been a scientific attempt to understand them. Clearly, no one is going to argue that most serial killers are misunderstood or murderers in general.

    The case of Aileen Wuornos is a bit unique because of all the abuse she suffered as a young teenage girl…..This woman had no chance in life. Does this mean we excuse her behavior? NO! But, I do have some compassion for her suffering through childhood. Well what about Ted Bundy? As best as I know, Ted Bundy did not have a miserable childhood and life like Aileen Wuoronos.

    You seem to want people to show the same level of empathy and compassion for both the slave and the slave master. Sorry but it does not make sense to me.

    • The problem with this isn’t the scientific attempt to understand such people but the selective, and yes gendered, way in which these attempts are made.

      Yes Wuornos was abused as a child. So were plenty of male criminals who got nowhere the same considerations extended to them.

      You seem to want people to show the same level of empathy and compassion for both the slave and the slave master. Sorry but it does not make sense to me.
      And I think this is the problem. Despite people saying they want to show emapthy and compassion on a fair level the use unfair means to determine who is deserving of said sympathy and compassion. To borrow you analogy the problem is when it comes to men and women that commit such crimes instead of looking at the individual criminal they are filed by gender.

      Men are masters so they don’t deserve any compassion and empathy and women are slaves and deserve all the compassion and empathy we can muster. That black and white huh?

      I’m all for trying to give people a empathy and compassion where it’s due. I’m just not down with the idea of using gender as a determining factor of whether or not they are due.

      The problem with such a divide is that it’s basically starting off from one of two “givens” (more like assumptions). First that men have power so when they do something bad they need to be treated like powerful people that have full control over their lives and should be held responsible for everything they do with no considerations for empathy or compassion for any adverse circumstances they have lived through. Second that women have absolutely no power so when they do something bad they need to be treated like helpless cogs in the machine with no control over their lives and while she should be held to some semblance of responsibility for everything they do their lives should be thoroughly examined for anything resembling adverse circumstances to maximize the empathy and compassion and offset the level of responsibility they are held to.

    • No, I feel empathy for victims and many abusers, many violent people, many serial killers most likely were victims at one stage. One of the most abusive people I’ve known grew up in an abusive household, who’s parents grew up in abusive households, cycle continuing generation after generation. I feel bad for what they went through, but I hate what they perpetrated.

      But what I see is people show empathy for female abusers and treat them as once a victim, but men they seem to overlook or forget the fact they’re probably victims too and show them no empathy. Why the double standard?

    • Absolute nonsense. A quick check of google reveals that Bundy was born to a single mother and raised by his grandparents. His grandfather was known as a violent bully who once threw his daughter down a flight of stairs. His grandmother suffered from lifelong depression.

      Most male serial killers had similar backgrounds. I have no special sympathy for Wuornos.

      • @D.

        So what did Bundy suffer?

        He was a college grad and also attended law school. By all accounts I see where he suffered nothing of the sorts of Aileen Wuornos.

  10. “You seem to want people to show the same level of empathy and compassion for both the slave and the slave master. Sorry but it does not make sense to me.”

    Holy Crap. Someone who could write THIS dreck is on the “Good Men” project? But I thought according to Jill at Feministe that TGMP was a misogynistic MRA heck-hole.

    *head spins*

  11. There are times when certain groups do infact need more empathy at a given time then other groups. Lets just look at slavery as an example. That was most certainly a time when a certain group needed more empathy at the time when they were fighting for their freedom then other groups. That isn’t to say that we don’t all need to be actively engaging in empathy for others consistantly. However, there are points and times when certain groups are going to be needed to be given a little more then other groups. That’s how things change. There is a natural ebb and flow.

    • How does male disposability fit into the the topic the author was highlighting in his piece?

      • Very simple, Erin.
        When you defend female abusers AS ABUSERS you ignore or otherwise trivialize the actions they take to victimize men in their lives. Rather than seeking to understand female abusers (to both help them and those they victimize) this article comes off as seeking to excuse female abusers by removing their agency and poo-pooing the damage they do.

        • do. The article isn’t really so much about female abusers specifically. Infact, Atalwin doesn’t take the direction to actually label specific abusive, concrete events that women might engage in. So we don’t really even know if the women being talked about are really abusive or not. All we know is that they are being labeled a certain way per how some men may define them or judge them. But that doesn’t mean that those men are right. We don’t know that information. Just because a man calls a woman a “psycho bitch from hell”, doesn’t mean she actually is a “psycho bitch from hell”.

          From some of my experiences with some men, I have discovered that some men very easily throw around “crazy” and “psycho” to describe women that while may exhibit imperfect emotional responses, aren’t infact “crazy” or “psycho”. If we are going to say that this conversation is specific to female abusers simply because some men may use call women “psycho bitches from hell”, we are leaving a lot up to our imaginations and automatically assuming that if a man calls a woman that, it must be true. But the reality is that Atalwin’s piece makes no mention of specific behaviors. He appeals to the language and thoughts some men use toward certain women and asks for a higher awareness and compassion. He doesn’t say that these women are actually abusive. He also doesn’t say that these women are right to behave whatever way they are behaving that may draw name calling. He simply asks for more kindness and awareness and understanding. These qualities to not automatically mean that bad behavior is forgotten or not addressed and fixed.

          This kind of reminds me of topics that come up when talking about men who may cheat. Men who cheat are very quickly and easily labeled as all encompassing “bad guys”. I even find that knee-jerk response in myself because I can feel the humiliation and pain a woman would feel for being cheated on. But closer to the truth is that a man who cheats might be a pretty bad guy or he may be someone who made a mistake. Who made a completely imperfect physical or emotional response to a situation. He might love his kids, he might take care of his aging parents, he might even love his partner the best way he knows how or volunteer and do good in the community. When we label people by assuming all men that cheat are simply “bad guys” or that all women that have an emotional response that a man doesn’t understand must be “psycho” and “abusive” and a “bitch”, we close off alot of conversation that might help us understand one another.

          • “But the reality is that Atalwin’s piece makes no mention of specific behaviors.”
            Umm what reality? The reality is it’s 2013 and he does make specific mention of behaviours. You did read this article right?

            “The usual way the story is told is by anecdotes of how long it took the guy to find out, the crazy things that happened in between, and the moment he got the hell out of there, sometimes followed by more stories of windows and windshields being smashed, physical attacks, or suicide threats.”
            Physical attacks = abuse, windows smash = abuse, suicide threats = emotional abuse.

            • Archy – I would appreciate if you stopped asking me I read the articles I comment on. If you see me comment on an article, give me the same respect you give others and assume I’ve read it. I don’t comment on things I don’t read. Now that you know that, you no longer need to ask me if I read the article. If you think I’ve missed something, simply point it out and leave out the rhetorical questions about questioning my ability to read.

              The point I was trying to make is that I find that a lot of men use the words “psycho” and “bitch” even when a woman isn’t smashing windows or windshields. I didn’t say all encompassingly that women never behave poorly. However, from my experience, terms like “bitch” and “psycho” get thrown around really easily among men to describe all sort of female behavior they don’t seem to understand. Even toward women that are not making suicide threats or physical attacks. So when a man uses those terms, we don’t always know why he is using them.

              And for me, even when a woman is being abusive, no man is medically diagnosing her with any sort of professionalism or desire to help the situation by calling her names like “pyscho bitch”. Can we not point out someone’s ill behavior without resorting to name calling ourselves? I think we can.

            • Ok, but will you at least admit the article did show abuse and violence in the passage I’ve highlighted? Did you miss it or did you read it differently? Because I see multiple guys reading it as indicative of abusive and violent women hence why we’re talking about it.

              What terms do you prefer people use? Every term will be critical of their actions and can be considered derogatory because her actions are derogatory. The word abusive is derogatory but also 100% accurate. I agree that psycho bitch, etc are overused which conflates the issue with people who aren’t abusive. I’ve only used it for people who are violent but I usually don’t say bitch, but “psycho mofo” and it applies to anyone, male or female that is violent and abusive.

            • Atalwin was pretty clear in saying that “sometimes”….”sometimes” the stories are followed by experiences of women becoming abusive and violent such as smashing windsheilds or threatening suicide? Atalwin didn’t make the assumption in his article that anytime a man called a woman a “psycho bitch from hell”, that she automatically must have been a “psycho bitch form hell” and was smashing windows. I have personally found that sometimes men throw around the terms “psycho” and “bitch” around way too loosely. That is also a form of abuse. However, for some reason, some believe it’s okay to abuse others this way. They might even justify their behavior based on how someone else behaved. Which makes no sense to me.

              As to your other questions, I prefer people didn’t have to use any name. I prefer that people talk about the behavior they don’t like without attaching derogatory names that do nothing to fix or help the situation. I do not believe the word “abusive” to be derogatory. “Abusive” is an adjective. “Bitch” is a name unless when using it to actually describe a real female dog, not a real female human. I don’t believe the answer is to begin calling men names in equal measure as women. I don’t think calling people names does absoluetly anything in solve, help, fix or explore the problem. “psycho bitch from hell” doesn’t help that woman or the man for that matter. It does not didicate an actual real medical condition. It does not make the situation better. It doesn’t make that man’s problem better or solved even. Calling someone a name is utterly and completely useless in the grand scheme of it. Although the man using the phrase might feel better degrading the woman because of the hurt he experienced from how he was treated or how he saw another man treated. But him feeling better by degrading the woman actually feeds into the initial problem. Disrespect.

            • Abusive describes a person behaviour, bitch also describes a person’s behaviour. Both I think can be considered derogatory even if correct.

              Derogatory, Adjective
              Showing a critical or disrespectful attitude. – Saying they are abusive is showing a critical attitude, does that not make it derogatory? Calling someone abusive is also thrown around quite loosely.

            • I’m sorry but I fail to understand much of anything you are saying here. Most people understand the difference between describing abusive behavior and flat out simply calling someone a name.

            • You seem to fail to realize that in calling someone a name, THEY HAVE DESCRIBED ABUSIVE BEHAVIOUR, and that even saying someone is abusive is calling someone a name. How is that a hard concept to understand? Calling someone a pedophile can be describing behaviour, labelling their core, or simply just calling them a name. Same goes with calling someone abusive.

            • Calling someone a name does not describe anything. I am honestly not saying this to be cheeky but I could call you a name right now and it would describe absolutely nothing about you or your behavior. (I sincerely am not saying that as a put down but just as an example.)

              Calling someone a “bitch” or an “asshole” has no meaning at all. You can call someone a “bitch” for cutting you off while driving or for being rude to you OR simply because that person did something that was rude by accident but they didn’t even realize they were being rude. People aren’t always that self aware. So no, calling someone a name does nothing to describe abusive behavior. However, when you say something like, “Karen did x,y and z toward me and it wasn’t right,” *that* is describing the bad behavior.

              But simply calling someone a “bitch”, that is meaningless. Just because someone things someone else is a name, doesn’t mean they are!

            • I guess it differs in how I use it. I usually say stop being a bitch, asshole, whatever. When I say it I mean they are acting in a bitch/asshole manner. If I call someone a bitch or an asshole alone, I mean they act like an bitch/asshole a lot of the time and are negative people. I could call them negative, abusive people but it’s still derogatory to call them that as it is critical of their behaviour.

              “However, when you say something like, “Karen did x,y and z toward me and it wasn’t right,” *that* is describing the bad behavior.”
              I guess that is the most polite way to say it, would you even need to use a word like abusive? “Karen was abusive to me and it wasn’t right?”

              I think I understand you better now, the insulting terms are used so loosely that they aren’t specific enough and could mean anything? I guess bitch n asshole are pretty loose in their definition and lack specifics but then so is the label abusive, aggressive, etc. Infact I don’t think there are many terms used to describe people that aren’t loosely applied.

            • Exactly Archy, the thing about saying “stop being a bitch” is that it doesn’t really mean anything. How do you define “bitch”? What does “being a bitch” mean exactly? Do you mean stop being angry, stop yelling, stop slamming things, stop the sarcasm, stop the … what?

              This one “stop being a bitch” sentence can mean hundreds of things and how is the woman to know which one of those things you mean? “Bitch” is not really a behavior, it is not a specific action – it is a judgement, so a woman is angry, you say: stop being such a bitch. Now she feels judged, which makes her more angry and no one benefits from the exchange.

              However if you were more specific and said “stop yelling”, then she would know what your problem is. If you added: stop yelling, it scares me, or it makes me angry or frustrated – now she would know what your problem is and what effect does her anger have on you, she could see clearly what she is doing and she could choose to stop it.

              By saying “stop being a bitch”, you are not giving the woman any information.

            • “By saying ‘stop being a bitch,’ you are not giving the woman any information.”

              I would say the exact same thing could be said to those behind the shaming of Nice GuysTM

            • If someone doesn’t understand the “information” behind “stop being a bitch” they are being willfully ignorant. Stop treating people (particularly women) like children. Any adult with a basic concept of situational contexts and social interaction will know what “stop being a bitch” means.

              People here act like women don’t know the difference between acting like a reasonable adult and acting like a child who doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong. Women are adults. I treat them as such.

            • Perhaps Jimbo but if nothing else by calling them directly on what they doing they no longer have anything to hide behind. For example instead of “stop being such a bitch” you were to say, “stop being so hostile to other women like they are trying to steal me away from you” it takes away the “you’re just being mean to her because she’s a woman” defense.

              Something that just popped in my head.

              I don’t think differentiating being calling her on her behavior or calling her a name has much to do with sympathy. That’s just exact treatment that is applied fairly.

              To me it’s not the so called psycho bitch needs sympathy for her bad behavior, the people that are calling her on her bad behavior just need to remember to have the clarity to go after the behavior and not the person.

              However it seems that this article (and some of the commenters) are trying segway that lack of clarity into some unique instance where women are lacking in sympathy

            • I agree Danny that ultimately the specific actions need to be discussed. I don’t think that telling someone “Stop being a psycho bitch” is the end of the conversation, but I do think it’s a legitimate start to a longer conversation with the other person.

              The Psycho bitch is an archetype that can be used when you want your audience (whoever it is) to nod their heads and think “I know exactly what he/she is describing”. In actual conversations or even written pieces I think we can agree that most of the time the narrator or author will continue with more detail.

              My buddy can tell me his wife is “being a bitch”, and I can know exactly what he’s talking about, but I’m still going to respond with, “oh yeah, what did she do?” It’s a starting point, not an end.

            • Jimbo said: “I agree Danny that ultimately the specific actions need to be discussed. I don’t think that telling someone “Stop being a psycho bitch” is the end of the conversation, but I do think it’s a legitimate start to a longer conversation with the other person.”

              It really isn’t. When have you ever known someone, even when someone was doing something offensive to you, become more open to hearing your concerns or side of the story when they are being told to stop being “insert negative name here”.

              Bitches are female dogs. They are not female humans. No matter what awful thing a female human as done to you. By calling a woman a “bitch” , you are trying to take away her humanity. And ironically, if she did something offensive first and took away your humanity, why would you want to return the favor knowing that it wasn’t right to begin with?

              If my boyfriend was being disrespectful to me and I said, “Stop being an asshole”, the last thing I should expect that that creates an oppurtunity for open communication. It actually creates the opposite. People are usually way more adapt at seeing how they are disrespected then aware of how their own behavior may be disrespectful. So even when someone has done something to you that was obviously desrespectful, saying “Stop being a *insert name here”, will not open the conversation up. They will hear the degrading name (and yes, we shouldn’t even have to argue that that is a degrading name) and shut down. You don’t convince people to hear your side of it by putting them down in return. That goes for men or women. You don’t open conversatoins up by offending the person you are trying to talk to. Even if they offended you.

              Jimbo: “My buddy can tell me his wife is “being a bitch”, and I can know exactly what he’s talking about, but I’m still going to respond with, “oh yeah, what did she do?” It’s a starting point, not an end.”

              Then you don’t know exactly what he is talking about. Just because your buddy thinks his wife is being a “bitch” (what a lovely thing to call your own wife!), doesn’t mean that is who she is. Maybe he disrespected her himself!

              Are these seriously the kind of conversations we want to have about each other? Do we really want to run around calling women bitches and men assholes? Do we really want women turning to their female friends and saying “Wow, my boyfriend/husband is a real asshole”?

              What is so problematic about you leaving the “bitch” out and describing the offensive behavior? What is this desire to demean someone else just because you felt demeaned by their actions? is it justified to demean someone else if they demean you?

              I think what is going on is that people that are in a situation where they were disrespected feel so at a lose of personal power that they feel the need to call the other person a name instead of dealing honesty and with integrity in themselves about the situation. Someone did you wrong? Then just call then a name and you can “regain” your power. I think that is actually what is going on. Unfortunetly, that mentality is rooted in both the ego and within insecurity.

              I shared a personal bit about myself and my relationship with my brother. I am actually confused why not one man here commented on it and how it relate to the story. Despite how my brother treated me, I did not resort to bad mouthing him. Just because he physically and mentally abused me, I did not return the treatement. And if I had retaliated by doing that? I would have gotten no where.

            • Well said.

            • For some reason, when I reply to a comment, it’s going under the comment. “well said” was to Danny.

            • You are incorrect, Archy. Here is the difference. Are you describing the person, or their action?

            • @Justin, calling someone is abusive IS describing the person. Saying someone is acting abusive, or acting like a bitch is describing their action. I really don’t see how others can’t understand this simple concept? There is no way to describe a person in a negative way that isn’t derogatory, it’s the very definition of derogatory, you can only describe their actions.

            • It isn’t the same, Archy. As others have said here, the definitions of common derogatory terms are so loose as to be meaningless. It doesn’t tell me what the woman does when a man calls her a “psycho bitch from hell.” I have only the vaguest sense that she made him feel angry or threatened. To get him to describe the woman, I’d need to ask some questions so that he’d tell me what she had said or done, and what behaviors of hers were habitual.
              People will take away their own opinions of a person’s behavior, but that doesn’t mean there’s no difference between saying, for example, “Lotte is a psycho bitch from hell” and saying “When I came home from work today and asked Lotte if she’d like to go out for dinner, she threw a vase at my head and screamed, ‘So you think you can make it all better with a fucking dinner?’ and then ran at me with her fingers curled into claws. I backed out of the apartment as quickly as I could, but before I could close the door, she pushed me down the stairs.” This is a damning portrait of Lotte, and would leave most people with the impression that she’s a “psycho bitch,” and possibly that I had some of it coming. But it’s certainly a lot more data than just calling her a derogatory name that could also apply to this story: “I came home from work and asked my wife if she’d like to go out for dinner. She gave me a look and walked into the bedroom without a word. I followed her into the bedroom and she hissed at me to get out and close the door. I did what she said, then got a beer and sat down to watch TV.” Maybe this woman is a psycho bitch. Maybe she’s got a migraine. Maybe they’re both equally true. But again, more data given, and at least we know she didn’t criminally assault me in this story.
              Are you getting my point? There’s a difference between the limited-to-no info given when you call someone a name, and describing what they said and did to make you want to call them that. In the latter case, there’s something to talk about. In the former, you have to ask what happened.

            • That’s it exactly Justin. Those where great examples.

              By describing the actual behavior, you give an informative picture of what is really happening. But when calling someone a name, it’s just not logically useful. Although, I would argue that even when a man or woman behaves horribly, there is still no reason to call them names. We are still able to distiguish degrading or abusive behavior and hold that person accountable for that behavior without having to label the person a derogatory name. Because when you label people, you pit them into a box. If you tell a young man that he is a “loser” all the time, then that is all he will think he can be and he will act accordingly. So instead of saying “You are *insert name* here”, the best recourse is to instead to hold them accountable for their behavior and be honest about the behavior that is rehensible. But the name calling does absouletely nothing. And to me, the name calling seems to be a way for people to feel better about themselves and hold onto their anger instead of working on forgiveness.

              Growing up my older brother was horrible toward me. More so than regular brother-sister fighting. It took a long time for us to heal that part of our lives. Especially for me. Because I would still have feelings of powerlessness and anger toward him for how he treated me. He was simply abusive physically and mentally. And it took a toll on how I felt about myself. My parents couldn’t control him. I still deal with some of those experiences but he has worked at mending our relationship. He wrote me a letter asking for my forgiveness and apologized for how he treated me. At first, I was still pissed and I put the letter in my desk drawer and left it there for a long time in anger. That anger held me back though. It kept me justified in my own pain and not taking responsibility for what *I* needed to fix in myself despite some of it being because of his past treatment. And I prayed and prayed to God to help me find my own piece with this. And it slowly came. We now have a better relationship then ever. He has thanked me repeatedly for forgiving him. Sometimes I can’t even get him to stop telling people at random times how thankful he is for me and forgiving him for the horrible things he did to me.

              I can understand someone feeling hurt and pain at being treated degradingly. I know it well. But calling someone a name solves nothing. And holding onto our own anger makes us feel wrongly justified. People are complex and human and don’t always do a good job of it. We all carry our own emotional issues and sometimes we treat others poorly because of it. But to see the humanity in one another is to admit that we are not better then someone else even when their behavior is worse then ours. And to give forgiveness can be truly an amazing thing.

            • By the way, my brother is a good man now. If you knew him, you wouldn’t have a clue about his past history. Infact, you’d probably be shocked. It took him a while to get there and he is still making mistakes and learning. But he is trying.

              And I would be really shocked if anyone here said that they *always*, *always* treated everyone with perfect respect. I bet there are lots of situations each of us can think of right now where *we* treated others poorly on some scale. I know I have. I’ve made mistakes. That doesn’t make me *insert name here*.

            • And isn’t saying she was abusive also loose? I’ve told people they’re “acting like an asshole/bitch/jerk/whatever by doing x y n z”. The added insulting word is to emphasize how fucking serious I am about their behaviour and how intolerable it is. I use the C word in extreme cases (in non-gendered, Australian fashion), because a C*** has a lot of weight behind that word here in Aus in describing a person who is acting badly. Eg, “You’re acting like a real c*** for cheating on your partner/abusing your partner/etc”. Saying they’re a C*** alone I agree is useless, it’s a loose term but with the qualifying description of their behaviour it can be used to give weight to a statement and show the anger n annoyance of the person saying it.

              Although my culture n upbringing may be different to the U.S, many of my friends have said sup c*** as a friendly hello and we swear like sailors so the words lose a hell of a lot of power, hence why they probably don’t’ bother me as much as some from other cultures.

              So can a derogatory word work in a statement that includes a description of why they are being a bitch/asshole/blahblah? I believe it can and regularly see it. I guess context matters greatly here.

            • “Are you getting my point? There’s a difference between the limited-to-no info given when you call someone a name, and describing what they said and did to make you want to call them that. In the latter case, there’s something to talk about. In the former, you have to ask what happened.”

              Pedophile, abusive, child abuser, rapist, sexist, misandrist, misogynist, aggressive, violent, crazy, psycho, bitch, asshole, C***, jerk, dick, all of these words are loosely used but some are not considered as bad. I hope to see you never use any of those words, hell ANY negative words without describing why you used them. This also means headlines are derogatory in many cases.

    • Are you suggesting women need more empathy as a group, and are linking it to slavery? I am confused by your comment.

      • Sometimes women do need more empathy as a group.
        Sometimes men do need more empathy as a group.
        Sometimes, from my own personal perspective, it seems like anytime an article crops up about women and trying to get men to understand women better, some men are so involved with their own pain, they can’t bare to hear anything about things women go through. They shut that conversation down and bring up ways they feel in pain instead because that is what they are more interested in anyway.

        I am not “linking” slavery to the plight of women specifically. All I said is that slaverly was an example of a point and time in history when there was a group that needed more empathy and attention at that given time. I don’t really understand what is confusing about that for you.

        • wellokaythen says:

          “Sometimes women do need more empathy as a group.
          Sometimes men do need more empathy as a group.”

          This is probably the best thing said in this discussion so far. I wish every respondent, including myself, had this point of view every time he or she contributed.

          • More empathy than who? Everyone needs more empathy overall, but in what usage is empathy here? To empathize alone? Why isn’t that already at max for everyone? Or is there a suggestion of support n attention to go with it?

    • There are times when certain groups do infact need more empathy at a given time then other groups. Lets just look at slavery as an example. That was most certainly a time when a certain group needed more empathy at the time when they were fighting for their freedom then other groups. That isn’t to say that we don’t all need to be actively engaging in empathy for others consistantly. However, there are points and times when certain groups are going to be needed to be given a little more then other groups. That’s how things change. There is a natural ebb and flow.
      And I think that’s the problem right there. You seem to want to apply this to entire groups rather than looking at the individual circumstances when determining how much empathy one is in need of.

      This is precisely how we end up with the privileged woman that grew up in high society that kills her husband and the middle class woman that performs genital mutilation on her husband getting the same empathy and compassion as a woman that murders her abusive husband. All three of them are woman and as such they are collectively offered empathy and compassion. In fact people will go as far as to alter the details of a given circumstance in order to set the stage for empathy and compassion. As soon as Melissa Huckaby came up as the main suspect in the rape and murder of Sandra Cantu how did the court of public opinion defend her? By asserting that no woman would do such a thing, a man must have made her do it.

      On the other hand take a man that was abused and was actively turned away by systems of support because he was a man that goes on to be an abusive husband and he will condemned right along with the privilege high society man that kills his wife and the middle class man that beats his wife. All three of them are men and as such they are collectively denied empathy and compassion. In fact people will go as far as to alter the detail of a given circumstance in order to set the stage for condemnation. I know I’ve seen pamplettes for domestic violence centers that will directly say that the fact that a man was abused as a child was excuse used to justify why he becomes abusive later. Now I would be the first to agree that being abused in the past doesn’t excuse abuse in the present but don’t you think at the least the past abuse needs to be addressed? Hint: It gets addressed when it comes to abusive women so why is it then denied when it comes to abusive men?

      In short what I’m getting at Erin is that gender has become a determining factor (sometimes the sole determining factor) in how much empathy/compassion one gets rather than the individual circumstances of their situation. Instead of “she was abused, let’s try to help her” it’s “she is a woman, let’s try to help her because she must have been abused (even if there is no such proof or evidence) and for men instead of “he was abused let’s try to help him” it’s “he is a man he should get no help because his past abuse doesn’t matter”.

      We’ve gotten to the point of valuing the “who” in a situation over the “what”.

      Or to borrow your slave/master comparison (which is very problematic because the imbalances of male/female are nowhere near as one sided as the imbalances of black/white) if a black person in 1875 kills a white person do we just presume that it had something to do with the dynamics of slavery/racism? if a white person in 1875 kills a black person do we just presume that it had something to do with the dynamics of slavery/racism?

      That’s that’s happening now. When a man in today’s world commits violence against a woman it is presumed that it’s because of the dynamics of sexism and find him guilty until proven innocent (and then treat him as guilty anyway) whereas a woman that commits violence against a man it is presumed that it’s because of the dynamics of sexism and find her innocent until proven guilty (and then treat her as not guilty anyway).

      And that’s a big problem in my book.

    • Your comparison with slavery is interesting.

      Enslaving someone is abhorrent, and we should work to free people who have been slaves. However slaves come from almost every ethnic group, and both genders in approximately equal numbers (when agricultural slaves and bonded labourers are included).

      The only thing that they have in common is that they are slaves.

      The comparison is that we should work to help all people who have been abused, regardless of gender.

      • I didn’t make a comparison to slaverly!

        A poster said: “This is a stupid article. Empathy should NEVER be a skill applied to only a certain select group of people. It is for all or it is for none.. Please don’t try and defend “crazy bitches” behavior in a way that justifies their behavior”

        In response I disagreed with the idea that “empahthy should NEVER be a skill applied to only a certain select group of people. I responded by saying that emapthy should be practiced consistanty for all, but that there are times when a certain select group of people do need more empathy and attention then other times. Slavery is an example of that time. I never hinted or suggested that being a slave/master relationship was like being a woman/male. I only sayd that slavery was an examples of a group of people that certainly needed more empathy at a given time. This was the premise of my argument. Sometimes a certain group of people DO infact need more empathy and attention at a given time. Especially if they are fighting for something or against something. I did not say that slaverly was like relationships between men and women. Please try and see and understand the distinction.

        A few of you have manipulated and twisted my comments.

        I get it. Men have it worse. Sorry I mentioned anything different then the fundemental message that is most important around here: men have it worse. If you guys want to call women names, what do you want me to really say about that? It sucks but it’s nothing women haven’t heard since the dawn of time about what evil, hateful, crazy, psycho bitches we are.


        • I did not say that slaverly was like relationships between men and women. Please try and see and understand the distinction.

          I’ll be the first to admit that I thought you were trying to make such a comparison. However even though that is what you meant when you brought up slavery there is still the matter of using someone’s group affiliation as a reason to offer them more sympathy and attention where it is not due (and also using someone’s group affiliation as a reason to deny them sympathy and attention).


          I get it. Men have it worse. Sorry I mentioned anything different then the fundemental message that is most important around here: men have it worse. If you guys want to call women names, what do you want me to really say about that? It sucks but it’s nothing women haven’t heard since the dawn of time about what evil, hateful, crazy, psycho bitches we are.

          No that’s not the problem. The problem is we are being told that when it comes to sympathy for women it’s lacking when there are clear examples that that is not the case. Now if someone wants to say that there should be sympathy for women in certain areas that’s one thing, but its quite another (and pretty dishonest) to act like men are coasting on a free ride on the sympathy express and women are left walking along the side of the tracks.

    • FYI there is a series coming up on that:

      Male Disposability: 1/19
      http://goodmenproject.com/the-good-men-project-content-calendar/the-good-life-male-disposability-119/

    • Aileen Wuornos was not a slave, nor were her victims slave masters.

      One of the most troubling aspects of the movie Monster is that the filmmakers completely dramatized the victims as all “johns,” when there is no proof that they all were.

      • @D…

        I never said she was nor implied as much. However, I am simply stating that the woman had a very lengthy and brutal history of violence and rape committed against her by men beginning as a teen girl.

        The men she murdered were victims of her violence and rage. No, they were not slave masters/owners.

  12. Title of the article “In Defense of Psycho Bitches from Hell” I would like to point out that the title of the article used the same term I used regarding the young lady I encountered. I thought it would be appropriate to use the term “bitch” given that it was used in the article itself. Perhaps you should address your issues directly to the writer and TGMP as to their use of the term, “bitch.”

    What I find confusing is that many women pride themselves as being “bitches” yet when it referenced as to inappropriate behavior and the affects those behaviors have on men (and women) the use of the term is offensive? Ya wonder why men are at times confused?

    Had the term “bitch” not been used in the article, I doubt very much if I would have used it in my response. I don’t like the term but there are times that it’s appropriate and best describes a person. Just as a women in a parking lot once called me a “son of a bitch,” my response was simple …. MOM is that you?

    • Yeap, the world is a confusing place. Which is why I try to follow my own code of ethics despite what other people believe or do. Some women very well may pride themselves on being “bitches”. However, many women don’t. And if you really went out there and sincerely asked women what they thought about that, I think you would find more that didn’t like that then did. But even if you didn’t, it’s up to you to decide what words you use. It is not the fault of other people. You are resonpsible for that, they are not. No matter what other people believe.

      While it may be confusing to figure out what other people believe or why they do certain things, it is not confusing for me to know that I don’t call men names simply because other men may call themselves names. I treat people according to my own code.

      The context in which you use the name calling is actually the problem Atawlin is addressing in his own reference. He is using the term to fight the autoamatic stereotype that may be made, your use of it is to keep the stereotype and name calling alive and well. The context in which you use these words are entirely different then how the piece uses it.

      Please don’t blame the article for the langauge you choose to use. You did not use the word “bitch” in a way to talk about the issue Atalwin was talking about. You were very specic about using that word to call a woman who’s behavior you didn’t like. Degradation is not fought with degradation.

      • I think you’re absolutely right, Erin.

        • Just to be clear, you think Erin is right to attack someone’s use of language rather than addressing the points they have actually made?

          • What points that Tom B made? Are you serious? The best point in the thread is the one Erin has made about the use of derogatory terms. Even Tom B must agree that he hasn’t exactly made a point; just agreed that, yeah, some women sure are bitches, and he’s dated a few, too. That’s not rocket science, there.

            • Justin,

              The article here makes a case defending bad human behavior. Tom B then argued that some behavior is obviously bad, in such a manner that it should not be defensible. Erin countered by arguing he used the wrong language.

              This is a classic argument out of Orwell:
              “Something bad happened to me today,”
              “It’s wrong to use the term bad, instead you should say un-good”

              At best this is non-responsive, at worst it actually denies Tom’s experience by claiming that such observations as his are impossible to make.

            • Mike L, you are false to say that I have denied Tom B’s experience. Although was it really Tom B’s experience or was it really the experience of that man and that woman in the store? Tom B was mearly an outside observer.

              You ignored the part where I agreed with Tom B that some behavior is obviously bad and should not be defensible. Which is why you didn’t see me argue against him on that point and why you see me agreeing with him that that behavior was bad. I was very clear about making the point that we should be able to talk about the bad behavior without resorting to degrading others ourselves. Tom B resorted to degrading others himself because he saw a woman degrading a man. Do you honestly believe that someone else’s behavior entitles us to degrade them ourself? I don’t. I think what the woman did in the store was horrible. I said that already. I never agreed or condoned her behavior. I never suggested or implied her behavior was acceptable. If you believe I have, that is because of assumptions you’ve made. It is not based on anything I actually said. But no matter what the choices where of that woman, and her choices where bad, it does not give Tom B a free pass to degrade her himself either.

              Do you remember when Tiger Wood’s wife came after his car with a bat? Tiger Wood’s cheating in no way justifies his wife’s reaction to come after him with a bat right? Well this is the same thing. No matter how that woman behaved, it does not give Tom B the right to in return degrade her or to make a comment to another man about calling her a “bitch”.

              I think we need to be very careful about the language we use. Making this point in no way ignores or deminishes the bad behavior in Tom B’s example. It seems that you just want the focus to be on the bad behavior and not the lanugage the rest of use around the bad behavior. But that’s not the point of the article. The point of the article is make us pay attention to the language we use to describe others. This requires us to also be accountable about how we address issues and others when we are discussing human behavior. Whether we are involved in the indicident or on the outside looking into it.

              I will make my point again. Degradation does not fight degradation. I was very clear earlier about saying how men should point out behavior they find degrading! Please do that! But it needs to be done productively and in a way that doesn’t alienate your audience. Other men might not be offended by you calling a woman a name, but by nature of using negative female pronouns, you are going to very easily shut down conversation and understanding from women by aiding in negative female name calling.

              Please be honest about what makes you feel degraded. But don’t do it on the back of saying something like, “this made me feel degraded as a man because she was a “crazy bitch’. Because then you are part of the problem you are trying to fight against. You are degrading someone else as you try to fight against how you see men or yourself being treated. And that is never going to work.

            • Erin,

              You are attempting to tell another person which words they may or may not use to describe their own experience, as in NOT your experience, but someone else’s experience.

              Nothing you wrote here changes that basic fact. You can argue which words degrade and which do not until you at blue in the face; unless you are actually Tom B. it is inappropriate to tell him which words most accurately describe his experiences.

              You are very clearly denying his experience by attacking the language he felt was most accurate. Whatever your reasons for doing this are do not actually matter, what matters is your continued refusal to accept Tom B.’s experiences as described.

            • You can continue to lay claim that I “refuse” to accept Tom B’s experience. But the fact remains that calling someone a “psycho bitch from hell” doesn’t “describe” one’s own experience. Saying that a woman behaved violently or abusively by engaging in a, b or c behaviors DOES describe one’s experience. But sorry, simply saying a woman is a a “psycho bitch from hell” does not “describe one’s own experience.

              You do not fight against degrading behavior by engaging in degrading behavior yourself, Mike L.

            • You are not in any way, shape or form limited to how you describe the event simply because you don’t use the word “bitch”. Calling a woman a “bitch”, doesn’t even do anything to describe the event. It doesn’t describe what happened, it doesn’t point to anything intelligent, it doesn’t help anyone, including yourself. Calling someone a ‘bitch”, doesn’t give anyoen a better idea about what happened. All it does, by calling someone a “bitch”, is tell us *you* think that person is a “bitch”. But who really cares if you think that person is a “bitch”? That’s not the point of your story. The point of your story should be to address the actual action the woman took and how she degraded her partner.

              Pointing out behaviors of women who are violent and abusive DOES help. You are capable of fully showcasing a woman’s behavior as violent or abusive without resorting to derogatory name calling in your head or outloud.

              It is not a matter of me not having empathy for the man in the situation. I expressed my opinion on the situation several times now and you’ve ignored it each time.

              I get it. You are angry about how the man was treated. You should be. But don’t sit behind your computer and expect to use negative female name calling and expect women to be open and receptive to your ideas and thoughts further. You are the one that shut down further conversation on the event because you felt it was your privilege and right to uphold a classic word tradition of simply calling a woman “bitch”. I don’t care if it was done in your head, outloud or on this message board. You don’t get to call other people names just because you saw another person degrading a man. You are not so privileged that you get to call women “bithces” simply because you don’t like their behavior.

              I don’t get to call men names either just because I see a man in a situation disrespecting a woman. My calling him a name does NOTHING for the situation. It doesn’t make the situation better. It doesn’t solve the original problem. And it certainly doesn’t help other men to hear me out when I am actively using negative masuline terms.

              That is simply the reality you refuse to accept.

            • I dunno about others, but psycho bitch from hell is a pretty accurate description of these individuals in the level of violent and unstable behaviour. It’s a gendered slur which isn’t good but it’s also a good descriptor of what many others will know of. She has a point though with conflating who is a bitch, as when it’s used alone or just “crazy bitch” it’s usage is done to gaslight at times, and also applied to people who are simply acting in a different manner with emotional outbursts than the person is use to.

              I’m yet to see a better term for it, any ideas? Psycho is derogatory, bitch is derogatory, (person) from hell is derogatory, but said together many will know straight away what they’re talking about. Unstable violent person could be used, but that’s also derogatory, person who acts unstable and is violent? It’s describing a person as negative, or their actions as negative, wouldn’t every phrase/term used be derogatory?

            • Nick, mostly says:

              While “bitch” is most assuredly gendered, it is not without its counterpart, “asshole.” Slate’s Lexicon Valley podcast recently discussed the book “Ascent of the A-Word” and discussed how the terms bitch and asshole are used.

              One of the interesting things about terms is that we ascribe meanings to them that aren’t necessarily shared. Both terms can be used to describe behavior (she was being quite bitchy to me this morning; that was quite an asshole move he made back there) as well as personality.

              It’s this second usage, describing personality, that is most contentious. Sometimes it is our intent to use a descriptive term for someone’s personality rather than simply describing their behavior. She is a bitch or he is an asshole are attempts at describing someone’s essential core, much as we might call someone timid or reserved or outgoing or affectionate.

              Bitch may be loaded with historical baggage, but that connotation of being a gendered slur rather than a gendered insult is not necessarily shared by all using it. I wonder if it would be more appropriate to use the masculine term asshole for everyone, but presently it doesn’t seem to quite fit when applied to women.

              Psycho bitch carries with it a bit of the mercurial connotation. I suspect this derives from its being used to label women with BPD, whose erratic, emotional behavior most closely matches the stereotype. BPD is diagnosed more heavily in women than in men, and to the extent that psycho bitch is meant as a shorthand for someone who is abusive in the way that BPD sufferers often are, perhaps it too is not freighted with so much baggage for everyone. At the same time, both bitch and its psycho derivative can be used dismissively, but that’s true of all such terms, including asshole.

            • Thanks Justiin!

  13. All right, I’ll try a more polite approach seeing as how my previous comment got moderated into oblivion.

    The problem I have with articles like this it’s the same song and dance: Woman assaults or abuses man, let’s try and have empathy for them.

    Sympathy can only extend so far. If a person relentlessely assaults and threatens another person’s life, then they should be treated like the criminal they are. That goes for women as well.

    • But the article doesn’t say that a woman assulted or abused a man. We don’t know if the woman assaulted or abused the man. She might have made him feel disrespected though. That happens a lot on both sides.

      All we know is that sometimes men can use that phrase to describe behavior of women they don’t like or understand. That might mean she is actually abusive but she also might not be, being abusive. We don’t know based on the point Atawlin is trying to make. Just because a man labels a woman like that, for behavior he doesn’t like, doesn’t mean he is actually right. It doesn’t mean is is wrong either. But we simply can’t make that assumption. If we assume that, we assume that whenever a man uses that phrase, that’s all the woman is or he must be right and all she is, is what he calls her.

      • “The usual way the story is told is by anecdotes of how long it took the guy to find out, the crazy things that happened in between, and the moment he got the hell out of there, sometimes followed by more stories of windows and windshields being smashed, physical attacks, or suicide threats.”
        Please read the article. That clearly says a woman physically attacked a man. Disrespected? Sure, physically attacking someone could be considered disrespect….

      • As the writer of this article I would like to say the following:

        Erin, you are totally right. Thank you. You have understood exactly the point I wanted to make in this article.
        Archy, you are misinterpreting, exaggerating and dramatizing. What you seem to ‘get’ is not what I wrote. You are projecting your own story. If you are unaware of that, just ask Erin.

        Thank you for putting so much energy into this.

        • “The usual way the story is told is by anecdotes of how long it took the guy to find out, the crazy things that happened in between, and the moment he got the hell out of there, sometimes followed by more stories of windows and windshields being smashed, physical attacks, or suicide threats.

          In these stories, there is not much compassion for the girl.”

          Explain why you added this then? Are physical attacks not abusive?

          What you don’t seem to get is that you wrote down physical attacks, and many commenter, not just me, have read that as these psycho bitches sometimes commit violent attacks, followed by calls for empathy for them. A threat of suicide is abusive, a physical attack is abusive, windows and windshields being smashed is abusive, some of the women you are talking about are abusive. How exactly were you not referring to abusive women? “The moment he got out of there” implies the male was the victim of these attacks in some cases.

          If that isn’t what you wrote then the editors at GMP have something to answer for, but it is pretty damn clear that some of these psycho bitches after the guys left were violent, most likely to the guys that left in the way the sentence is structured, and there is dismay that there isn’t enough compassion for them. So how exactly am I exaggerating?

  14. ‘She learns that a certain behavior can offer a feeling of freedom and open all kinds of doors quickly. When she skillfully acts sexy, playful, and wild, she can get a lot of attention very fast. But it is a role that comes with a lot of norms, rules and restrictions. The love and the freedom she finds is artificial because it is not based on authenticity. Keeping the illusion alive is almost impossible.’

    By the time the woman learns that role and takes it…its not an illusion anymore, even if it was tentatively at the beginning. That’s the trap you see- the rules…paradoxically a guy wants a woman who is ‘wild’ and ‘sexy’ ‘playful’ but at the same time not sexually experienced. For us who are invisible to men otherwise because we don’t fit into the typical ‘girlfriend material’ template it is a very attractive path to take. But so quickly the tables are turned and there is no going back. If I were a man I would get heartily slapped on the back and affectionately called ‘a dog’..but as a woman all I get is judgement or a nervous laugh and a ‘oh my god what?…you’re bad’. Exactly.

    • elementary_watson says:

      Thing is, if you were a man invisible to women because you don’t fit the typical “boyfriend material” template – you wouldn’t have the chance to become a “dog”. A woman can boost her perceived sexual value by showing she’s into sex, a man can’t – because his being into sex is usually taken as a given.

      The male pendant to the young woman who “sleeps around” (a term I hate) because she feels like the only thing she has to offer that men are interested in is sex is not the man who has sex with a lot of women, but the male virgin

  15. Mr Supertypo says:

    “The claim that there is a universal lack of sympathy for women is ironically designed to elicit our sympathy. Even the inherent challenge it presents toward being better than the rest of those less enlightened and callous men and women appeals to the masculine logic of besting ones peers.”

    The ‘women have it worse’ is just a cultural meme. There is no real evidence to back that up. Yes there are situation where bein a woman you have the short end of the stick and there are other situations where bein a woman you are better placed than anybody else.
    The ‘women have it worse’ meme is a exploit used to gain sympathy by the feminist and similar to push their agendas (laws, subsidies etc). Last year in my hometown there was a initiative to help homeless women. Meanwhile male homeless were ignored. Now who is better placed? the woman homeless who get help or the male homeless who get the finger instead?

    I dislike the women vs men situation. But to really fix the society, we need to get rid of social myth like ‘women have it worse’ and employ energy where is needed.

  16. @Aspire I beg to differ:
    ‘It is increasingly a “level playing field,” said researcher Rachel Allison of the University of Illinois, who looked at the survey responses of more than 19,000 college students from 22 different U.S. schools.’

    This study is not relevant to my judgements, nor does it discredit my conclusions drawn from past experiences- You see I live in Australia where the cultural context is completely different, and a study done in the US using a very limited number of students, notable males with a set of values influenced by their social (cultural) surroundings very different to those of males in Australia…well. If I were to play along I’d say maybe I’ve only experienced that 35% of the surveyed judgmental men..but..the thing is I’ve never been the US..or Illinois that does seem a bit shaky an assumption don’t you think.

    Throwing statistics at an argument is a very lackluster way of avoiding to acknowledge the uncomfortable truth I’ve presented to you.

    • Well I live in Australia and can safely say of the people I’ve known, male n female cheaters have both been seen as C***’s. Neither better than the other. Make of that as you will.

  17. AAAA:
    The claim that there is a universal lack of sympathy for women is ironically designed to elicit our sympathy. Even the inherent challenge it presents toward being better than the rest of those less enlightened and callous men and women appeals to the masculine logic of besting ones peers.
    And this dynamic hinges on the explicit denial of the existing sympathy for women. So even in the face of women specific health efforts, countless state funded DV shelters that only help women, councils on Capital Hill made specifically for women and girls, and an entire gender discourse that views, weights, measures, and tries to resolve the things that harm men based almost entirely on “how does this benefit/affect women” we are still told that there is a universal lack of sympathy for women.

  18. Perhaps because I work in an environment where profanity exists daily if not hourly, I am somewhat immune to hearing, reading such language. My using the term “bitch, especially since it was used in the title, did not appear to me to be that big of a deal. Truth is, would the article have had any less impact had the term not been included? Or thought behind use of the term the idea of bitchiness as part of what was being addressed alongside the psychotic behavior. Accordingly, my use of the term was in line with the topic. One can be psychotic without being a bitch and one can be a bitch without being psychotic. Two different attitudes / behaviors but were combined in this article.

    In so far as empathy, I have a ton of it or I wouldn’t be working where I do. Dealing with 38 adolescent male addicts/criminals in a residential setting, it’s easy for me to disregard words that are being used. It’s easy to look past the words and hear what they’re saying and not how it’s being said.

    The only reason I’m writing this is to point out that rather then concentrating on the words that I used, look at what I said. Christmas Eve where you would think people are in a festive mood, a women could turn ugly as quickly as she did IN PUBLIC. One has to wonder why a man would tolerate such behaviors. Erin, rather then being offended by my use to the term bitch, Where was your mind that you would totally ignore the women’s behavior? No, I said nothing profound, simply relayed how a third party MAN perceived a women’s behavior toward a man in public. IMO, at the GMP, I would think that a man’s observation of such behavior would hold some water but what I’ve read is it’s not the behavior of the women but my behavior as a man as to how I communicated it.

    Sorry to have taken this off track …

  19. On the other hand…

    Beautiful women in some ways are like rich people–they can get away with being crazy simply because they have enough social power to excuse it. Women who’ve been beautiful all their lives have also enjoyed the privilege of being accepted and excused all their lives, their social dysfunctions glossed over or even praised because they have the coin to pay for it–high physical beauty. When would they have learned to ‘rein it in,’ to consider the feelings or welfare of others, if no one has ever held them accountable for their actions?

    “Psycho bitch from hell” stories are common because pretty and sexy women are encouraged to be as selfish, spoiled, and irrational as they please; there are no negative consequences for them like there are for ‘normal’ people. It’s a societal effect; I don’t necessarily blame them any more than I blame a puppy for not being housebroken.

    But I also don’t shoulder the job of introducing them to self-control training myself every time I meet one.

    • Bay Area Guy says:

      Beautiful women in some ways are like rich people–they can get away with being crazy simply because they have enough social power to excuse it. Women who’ve been beautiful all their lives have also enjoyed the privilege of being accepted and excused all their lives, their social dysfunctions glossed over or even praised because they have the coin to pay for it–high physical beauty. When would they have learned to ‘rein it in,’ to consider the feelings or welfare of others, if no one has ever held them accountable for their actions?
      “Psycho bitch from hell” stories are common because pretty and sexy women are encouraged to be as selfish, spoiled, and irrational as they please; there are no negative consequences for them like there are for ‘normal’ people. It’s a societal effect; I don’t necessarily blame them any more than I blame a puppy for not being housebroken.

      Spot-on.

      As I once discussed with Sarah, if men want this behavior to end, they need to stop giving attractive women such power.

  20. Do they require a defense, I wonder, those psycho-bitches? And from what exactly?

    I found an element profoundly missing in this article that talks about women traumatized and controlled by social restrictions and expectations, so much so that they lash out in pain. There is trauma there, yes, in the violent reaction, but there is also power which is not mentioned.

    Funny thing about female power is that no one knows what it is anymore. Men have always been encouraged to be powerful. Force, anger, aggression are acceptable and often encouraged in men. It is not okay to bit up one’s wife, true, but it is okay to bit up a man who insults her, it is okay to bit up a rival. It is okay for men to be angry and aggressive, to attack others, to kill even – as long as it is “for the right reasons”.

    But for women it is never okay, it’s never been okay. We were bred and conditioned for centuries to be submissive, sweet and loving. That was supposed to be our power. But that’s bullshit – women get angry just like med do. They react with aggression just like men do, but they can’t own it, they can’t admit it, so they can’t handle it. Women can’t handle their anger and men can’t handle women’s anger, and so when this anger shows up it is destructive and painful and scary for everyone.

    So why is a psycho bitch a psycho? I have been called a psycho bitch times without count and every time a man called me that he seemed really scarred of me. He could not deal with my anger, it was too much for him, too intense, to powerful. He did not know what to do with this anger that was so out of place, so he called me crazy and run. I could not deal with my anger either, it was so wrong after all, so unacceptable, so unwomanly, so unnatural. If I was angry it could only be because I have lost my mind – a normal woman does not get angry after all…

    So what would the psycho – bitch really need, I wonder? Understanding and compassion for her supposed mental issue, for her unnatural, unwomanly behavior? Maybe, or maybe an acknowledgment of her power from a man who is not scared of it. From a man who can face her in her anger without labeling it as crazy. That would help her face her anger knowing that it is accepted and received, not judged and condemned. Then she could own it, she could own her strength and her power and wield it responsibly without lashing out and hurting everyone.

    • Did you lash out at men verbally and/or physically?

      Every-time I’ve thought of someone as a psycho bitch they have been lying, manipulative, abusive, violent. They may think that they were just simply showing anger but they don’t seem to realize that the anger they showed was not even acceptable for men, it’s not just gggrrr I’m angry but it’s anger that truly makes you fearful they will do something, women you fear will destroy your possessions, hell probably even take a knife to you. Luckily they’re incredibly rare in my life. Basic typical anger though doesn’t make me think of them as crazy but human, just if it gets too much then male or female I won’t want to be around them.

      What I don’t agree with is conflating that type of “psycho bitch” with women who are acting outside of female gender roles as you say, it’s sad that people would call women like that psycho. But I do see where some will be called a bitch as some will think their behaviour is being confident n expressing their anger decently for instance, yet they’re acting like a bitch as in acting verbally aggressive n abusive, a mean spirit, basically acting like an asshole, jerk, take your pick of whatever label.

      Then there is the crazy/psycho terms which often get applied to people who are being very visibly emotional but also acting irrationally. Only times I’ve thought of someone like that is when they have very flipflop behaviour, say one thing, do another, one day happy go lucky and positive n pleasant to be around, the next day they’re very negative n mean and can lash out with their tongue saying all kinds of horrible shit. I’ve only known a few people like that though luckily, I do my best to try understand them and I’ve even been a bit that way myself during a heavy depression but without so much of the flipflop behaviour which confuses me mostly. I think more commonly it’s probably applied to women who are acting hot n cold, I hear it from others mostly when they’re talking about a woman who has showed sexual interest in them and but does a hot, cold cycle that feels very manipulative. The quick changes between positive n negative behaviour will destroy trust, and these days I try to avoid people like that because I just can’t trust them to be decent friends.

      All of these things are done by guys too, in my experience guys tend to be more openly aggressive but women on average tend to be more passive aggressive and I guess their aggression is different to what I’ve experienced mostly from men. I find I can spot bad guys easier than bad girls too which makes it more difficult, there are times when a person’s behaviour is so wtf out there that I am truly at a loss to understand why they behave like that.

      • See, that’s the thing with anger that is not allowed – one does not have a chance to learn how to express it in a productive, non – threatening manner. Women had little chance to learn how to be present with their anger, men had little chance to learn how to be present with female anger, so as soon as the anger comes up everyone freaks out, men and women alike, and of course everyone get’s hurt.

        I am a bit less of a bitch these days not because my anger got successfully suppressed, but because I have learned to experience it, to be okay with it and to – most of all, see it as an expression of my strength, not a mental issue. Once I did that I was able to see the consequences of my anger, the fact that I am scarring people, and I could take responsibility for this.

        So my point is – the anger comes from a place of power, it is the expression of anger that is traumatized and causes pain. Allowing the anger, making it okay for women to be angry, will help them be angry without getting all crazy in a process. I think.

        Calling an angry woman a psycho-bitch is not allowing her to be angry.

        • I think generally no one is really allowed to show anger too much. Men will be thought of as violent, women will be thought of as psycho (which men are already thought of as default before anyone accuses sexism). I however allow and laugh at when my friends (both genders) get angry, it usually makes them laugh too as they laugh when I am angry too. It’s usually just a random fuck this, fuck that, rah rah rah rant which is funny to watch. I guess we found an acceptable way to be angry in a sense.

          • Not recently, no. Anger is not politically correct and, as with all not PC things, by trying to push them away and pretend they don’t exist we are missing the point. We see in anger only pain and destruction, but we don’t see the power there, the strength. Laughing anger off makes it cute and safe to deal with, but still does not acknowledge the power and the strength.

            It is not “managing anger” that will transform the issue of violence, both against men and women, but becoming comfortable with anger, becoming present with anger.

      • Women who really even question the way they are being spoken to (or at) are called psycho for noticing. One does not have to go so far as to be an abuser or anything close; I’ve had people try to pull this crap with me because I’ve asked them to stop being offensive toward me, let me finish what I am saying, or be civil. And God forbid if you really do get mad… I think every woman who has ever been mad has probably heard this charge before, it is so terribly, terribly common. It is slander, and a way to shut down a conversation, a conversation which will probably shed light on something that the person being confronted does not want to change.

        The sterotype just doesn’t exist to the same extent with men, though men are clearly not less violent than women (at least as much) They are actually also statistically more addicted and mentally ill. The point is not to say “men are bad” because they are “crazy” as well. It is more like, “Why does that comment not get said to men so frequently, when they are at least as crazy as women, on average?”

        Women are told that if they don’t like someone’s disrespectful behavior, they’re “too sensitive”, “imagining” things, or being “crazy.” And chances are that if it is the type of men who would do objectionable things, it would not be beyond them to make excuses or slander the woman who has a complaint. There is generally no calm enough way to disagree. No “nice enough” way.
        Women are talked over, told that they are too agressive if they hold forth in a conversation, it takes very little to be labeled as an “angry woman.” Gaslighting plays on this, and it is incredibly common.

        • ““Why does that comment not get said to men so frequently, when they are at least as crazy as women, on average?””
          Because they use different terms. Deranged, psychopath, insane, terms referring to the VIOLENTLY mentally ill. Women get terms relating to emotional instability, irrational thought, etc. Women = crying hysterial mess, men = violent psychotic killer in a most stereotypical fashion.

          “Women are told that if they don’t like someone’s disrespectful behavior, they’re “too sensitive”, “imagining” things, or being “crazy.” And chances are that if it is the type of men who would do objectionable things, it would not be beyond them to make excuses or slander the woman who has a complaint. There is generally no calm enough way to disagree. No “nice enough” way.
          Women are talked over, told that they are too agressive if they hold forth in a conversation, it takes very little to be labeled as an “angry woman.” Gaslighting plays on this, and it is incredibly common.”

          Wanna know what else is very common? Reading too much into shit. It is actually quite common for me to hear SOME women (don’t think I hera it much from men but that might just be luck of the draw with who I know, I’m sure some men like this exist) where they will hear what I say and add on a heap of other stuff usually drawing from their insecurities and trying to take wild guesses and assuming I mean X, y, z, 1, 2, 3 when I only meant X. I’ve thought women like this were “crazy”, not actually mentally ill, but I was utterly dumbfounded by how they can even reach the conclusion they did because to me it makes absolutely no sense. I know PLENTY of other guys experience this and many do call women crazy over it, not to mention that there are women who do act irrationally compared to most of the population, who’s emotions are quite extreme, who when they express their upset emotions they aren’t just showing sadness n depression but violence, abusiveness, aggression. If I call a woman an “angry woman” it usually means she is acting VERY angry to the point a normal conversation doesn’t work, luckily I’ve known very few women like this but the example I will give was messaging hello to a friend who happened to be busy and being told to fuckoff over n over and a long rant about stuff that had zero relevance to me. She was angry, she lashed out.

          When they say “imagining things” is it because the woman has told the man that HE is doing something and thinking something where she knows more than he does about his own damn thoughts an actions? Eg, guy looks at a girl, the gf says “Omg you wanna fuck her don’t you”, guy says “you’re imagining things”. She’s trying to push her insecurities onto him, they have misread his actions and she is trying to assert that her feelings are correct when they are wrong, he’ll probably try tell her that she is wrong because…you know…HE is the one that thinks them and knows his feelings a damn lot more than she could ever dream to.

          Now I know what you say happens to “innocent” women, by that I mean the men are trying to silence the woman and she’s got every right to be pissed off but it also happens quite often with women who act quite irrationally which continues to reinforce the stereotype, that’s the problem. The bad behaviour that some do goes on to make it more difficult to interpret the behaviour of another person, eg the girl that said “Omg you wanna fuck her” may have been cheated on a few times and the simple act of looking at another woman can definitely appear like he wants another woman, just like a woman who is angry can appear to be an irrational bitch because of her vocal tones being similar to previous women the guy has known and the way she says stuff (eg exgeration type language “You ALWAYS do this” where he probably thinks she means always, where she just means it’s happened quite a few times).

          People SHOULD try to find better ways to explain stuff, I have tried to learn better ways to say “you’re imagining things” by saying something like “I am unsure of why you think that but it wasn’t what I was thinking, what made you think I was thinking that?” and try to understand why it happened to avoid it later on reoccuring. Seeing as the genders in general speak and act differently there are a huge amount of communication problems going on, and the acceptable ways to show emotion for instance looks strange to the other. Eg a guy is upset, hits a punching bag, she might think he is being violent, aggressive n angry and thinking negatively about that, whilst if she cries easily and openly shows emotions men are not used to seeing then he might think she is being too sensitive. I can’t tell you how often I’ve seen women refer to men as violent aggressive cavemen/neanderthals and men refer to women as emotionally unstable crazy bitches yet both cop those terms n others for showing emotions in a manner that the person is not use to, but also because sometimes some of those men and women truly are acting like bitches or abusive cavemen.

        • I hear what you’re saying, and want to add that as a man, my anger is not acceptable. In fact, it became more threatening to those around me when I transitioned from living as a woman to living as a man.

          • Indeed. I’m not sure why there is so much discussion on women’s anger not being seen as acceptable when it’s not acceptable for men, just expected (because men are seen as angry violent people and women seen as gentle angels). I’ve never had my anger seen as acceptable except with a few friends who laugh at me breaking shit I just built that fucked up and they laugh at women angry too, just as I do, unless it’s anger directed with violence in which case it’s time to GTFO and seek safety. But in general, I can’t go yelling at people down the street with anger, cops will be there quicksmart to issue a warning or throw me in lockup. Why do so many women expect their anger to automatically be accepted if men’s is not? Maybe we all need to work towards making acceptable ways to show anger accepted in society.

          • I’m not trying to one up your anything but let me add that when you are the trifecta of being large, black, and male you’d be surprised just how the world treats you and assumes you are angry. And it doesn’t help that there are those who consider themselves progressive that will acknowledge the black and the large but will fight tooth and nail to refuse the acknowledgement of the male part of that trifecta.

            • Nah, you got me on that, Danny. I look more small and mean than big and dangerous.

            • 6’6, large body, I later found out my size intimidated people in highschool let alone as an adult where I got more muscle. I think bigger people are less able to show anger because of inbuilt instincts regarding size n danger which may be why women are allowed more freedom in showing anger than men as it’s seen as less dangerous.

        • The sterotype just doesn’t exist to the same extent with men, though men are clearly not less violent than women (at least as much) They are actually also statistically more addicted and mentally ill. The point is not to say “men are bad” because they are “crazy” as well. It is more like, “Why does that comment not get said to men so frequently, when they are at least as crazy as women, on average?”
          Because there are different comment made towards men when it comes to anger.

          I hear what you’re saying but try being a man where whether you are actually angry or not you are assumed to be angry because you are a man and that’s what men do.

          Saying that a man’s anger is acceptable (which btw i don’t think you are saying) is like saying that a woman’s tears are acceptable. Its only the tip of a very damaging and sexist iceberg.

  21. wellokaythen says:

    Let’s look at all the possible explanations here.

    The phenomenon under discussion is the common trope in movies where a beautiful woman all of the sudden goes batshit crazy, out of control, and violent, without warning. A more common scenario in real life is that a man dates a woman who was always somewhat unstable, and either she managed to keep it in check early in the relationship or he was so horny or so falling in love or both that he failed to notice or was in denial, until reality finally caught up with him. Either he couldn’t ignore it anymore or she couldn’t pretend anymore or both.

    Of course not everyone of a particular gender is crazy, but there are enough crazies out there of all genders (and I am not saying I’m not one of the crazies) that this is not an entirely fantastical thing.

    • Maybe she gets out of control and violent without warning.

      And maybe the man in question is simply not comfortable with her expressing anything outside of happiness and love and pleasure of him that he responds in an out of the place way in response. Of coures, that doesn’t apply to women that are smashing windows. But there can be a huge disconnection between how a woman sees a situation and how a man does.

      Women being called “bitches” and “crazy” or “psycho” has never strictly been reserved for just women that become out of control and violent. I have seen these labels (and that is exactly what these words are, lables) thrown around very loosely by men who don’t know how to deal with or understand a woman that gives him an emotion that isn’t happiness.

      If we assume that every man that uses those negative and degrading terms is automatically correct, then we are missing a huge chunk of the conversation and we are autmoatically discrediting women and their own experiences. It’s a matter of “she said/he said” in those situations.

      Of course, there are obvious situations where a woman becomes out of control and her behavior is rehensible and shouldn’t be tolerated. But calling her a “bitch” has no impact on anything and certainly doesn’t fix anything.

      I have heard enough conversations from women and men alike and how they ascribe certain behaviors where what one gender might be calling the other isn’t really always simply what is going on.

      • If we assume that every woman that uses those negative and degrading terms is automatically correct, then we are missing a huge chunk of the conversation and we are autmoatically discrediting men and their own experiences. It’s a matter of “he said/she said” in those situations.

        Of course, there are obvious situations where a man violate boundaries and his behavior is rehensible and shouldn’t be tolerated. But calling him a “creep” has no impact on anything and certainly doesn’t fix anything.

        Not making any assumptions about your stance on the term “creep”, but can’t this be read as an argument against women using the term “creep” about men?

        • Absolutely Tamen. “Creep” is a label tossed around by women. Sometimes it’s given to a man that simply approached her who was perfectly nice and normal. But if a man approaches a woman and his behavior is inappropiate, there is still a way to talk about that without calling him a name.

          I don’t think names get us anywhere. Talk about the behavior. Do not just throw names out and about.

          • I don’t think names get us anywhere. Talk about the behavior. Do not just throw names out and about.
            On one hand I can totally understand someone saying, “He’s creepy.” rather than “The way he approached me. He looked nervous, made odd movements, and kept his eyes on my chest the entire time.” on a count of there being fewer words.

            On the other hand what has happened is that for some reason, maybe because of the ease of saying two words versus fully explaining the experience, it has become easier to toss those two words.

            If the words were actually used properly I don’t think people would have as much problem (which can also be said for “privilege”, “sexism”, and Nice Guy).

            And it really doesn’t help when you have people on both sides arguing, “Creep is never misused!” vs “Creep is always misused!”.

            • Women usually aren’t worried about lowering their word count.

            • Your speaking for all woman aside not so much the word count itself but a matter of looking for an easier way to say something long and drawn out.

              I think this is part of how various terms get misused. Yeah this thing here kinda sounds like this this here so I’ll just use that term in place of this explanation.

              Liike swear words. It’s not that someone is actively choosing to say “fuck!” instead of “I can’t believe you just did that!” because that one word is is faster to say than seven. It’s that that one word has come to be an understood subsitute for those seven.

              Intellectual laziness maybe?

            • FUCK is an aggressive word in some contexts and is proven to make you feel better, it certainly lowers my pain. When I get hurt or angry swearing helps calm me, I guess I see it as letting out that pain n anger. It’s also a good idea to ignore most of what I say when angry as often I am just venting.

              Creep though I don’t think triggers any of that, creep is a direct insult.

  22. my comments dissapear-weird…

    any yeah, i brought up male disposability-no, it is warren farrell’s idear not mine…

  23. Men should empathize with women even when they are wrong, abusive and seek to understand their perspective.

    But we surely dont need to empathize with men or understand their perspective with any compassion, when they commit wrongs. We cannot eve seek to explain their behavior because that would amount to justifying it.

    Am I the only one here who sense a double standard?

  24. My personal favorite aspect of the psycho ex-girlfriend phenomenon is the whole between the lines thing…most of my friends are dudes, and, when they get to talking about this, there is a phenomenal lack of context. They leave out the unflattering parts of the story. I hear about how someone keyed a car or smashed a windshield…only later is it revealed that the dude in question slept with the girl’s sister, or shared her nudie pics with his fraternity…yeah, imagine that…you manipulate, lie to, and cheat on a woman, and then, whoopty-fucking-do, she gets pissed, only, instead of acknowledging that her anger is an actual valid response, it’s soooo much more fun to talk about what a crazy bitch she was… entertaining, yes. enlightening on the guy’s character, as well? Also, yes. I take note when men tell me these stories, because I know they’re the ones to watch out for…any adult, male or female, who doesn’t own up to their half of why a relationship goes south, is not mature enough to be dating me. I need a grown ass man who can admit to his wrongs, as I admit to mine, and these stories? They’re like boogie men for bachelors…

  25. I’d say that western culture currently shuns all forms of aggressive behavior. Even children aren’t struck [in public] anymore.

    In my experience, though, it can be a difficult to call out a woman for being overly aggressive or angry since outsiders are unlikely to rush to the defense of a male accuser–allowing/causing the woman to aggravate (the male stigma for not being able to defend himself plays a role, too, of course).

    My opinion is that a woman can usually expect strangers to come to her aid when the role is reversed and she is publicly threatened or frightened.

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  2. [...] lot of conversation. Where I called my post About Psycho Bitches from Hell they changed it into In Defense of Psycho Bitches From Hell. I agree the second title is catchier, but it caused confusion, [...]

  3. [...] Read more: In Defense of Psycho Bitches from Hell [...]

  4. [...] is the story of my first love. The story of being a “Psycho Bitch From Hell.” A story I suspect my ex still tells to anyone who’ll listen. A story he’s probably [...]

  5. [...] been hurt. People tend to make generalizations when they’re scared. You know: men are assholes, women are bitches. This kind of thinking is dangerous. When my clients exhibit these beliefs, I look for that impulse [...]

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