Why Women Aren’t Crazy

Has gaslighting conditioned women into thinking they’re emotionally unstable? Yashar Ali thinks so.

—–

You’re so sensitive. You’re so emotional. You’re defensive. You’re overreacting. Calm down. Relax. Stop freaking out! You’re crazy! I was just joking, don’t you have a sense of humor? You’re so dramatic. Just get over it already!

Sound familiar?

If you’re a woman, it probably does.

Do you ever hear any of these comments from your spouse, partner, boss, friends, colleagues, or relatives after you have expressed frustration, sadness, or anger about something they have done or said?

When someone says these things to you, it’s not an example of inconsiderate behavior. When your spouse shows up half an hour late to dinner without calling—that’s inconsiderate behavior. A remark intended to shut you down like, “Calm down, you’re overreacting,” after you just addressed someone else’s bad behavior, is emotional manipulation—pure and simple.

And this is the sort of emotional manipulation that feeds an epidemic in our country, an epidemic that defines women as crazy, irrational, overly sensitive, unhinged. This epidemic helps fuel the idea that women need only the slightest provocation to unleash their (crazy) emotions. It’s patently false and unfair.

I think it’s time to separate inconsiderate behavior from emotional manipulation and we need to use a word not in our normal vocabulary.

I want to introduce a helpful term to identify these reactions: gaslighting.

Gaslighting is a term, often used by mental health professionals (I am not one), to describe manipulative behavior used to confuse people into thinking their reactions are so far off base that they’re crazy.

The term comes from the 1944 MGM film, Gaslight, starring Ingrid Bergman. Bergman’s husband in the film, played by Charles Boyer, wants to get his hands on her jewelry. He realizes he can accomplish this by having her certified as insane and hauled off to a mental institution. To pull of this task, he intentionally sets the gaslights in their home to flicker off and on, and every time Bergman’s character reacts to it, he tells her she’s just seeing things. In this setting, a gaslighter is someone who presents false information to alter the victim’s perception of him or herself.

Today, when the term is referenced, it’s usually because the perpetrator says things like, “You’re so stupid” or “No one will ever want you” to the victim. This is an intentional, pre-meditated form of gaslighting, much like the actions of Charles Boyer’s character in Gaslight, where he strategically plots to confuse Ingrid Bergman’s character into believing herself unhinged.

The form of gaslighting I’m addressing is not always pre-mediated or intentional, which makes it worse, because it means all of us, especially women, have dealt with it at one time or another.

Those who engage in gaslighting create a reaction—whether it’s anger, frustration, sadness—in the person they are dealing with. Then, when that person reacts, the gaslighter makes them feel uncomfortable and insecure by behaving as if their feelings aren’t rational or normal.

♦◊♦

My friend Anna (all names changed to protect privacy) is married to a man who feels it necessary to make random and unprompted comments about her weight. Whenever she gets upset or frustrated with his insensitive comments, he responds in the same, defeating way, “You’re so sensitive. I’m just joking.”

My friend Abbie works for a man who finds a way, almost daily, to unnecessarily shoot her down and her work product. Comments like, “Can’t you do something right?” or “Why did I hire you?” are regular occurrences for her. Her boss has no problem firing people (he does it regularly), so you wouldn’t know that based on these comments, Abbie has worked for him for six years. But every time she stands up for herself and says “It doesn’t help me when you say these things,” she gets the same reaction: “Relax; you’re overreacting.”

It’s a whole lot easier to emotionally manipulate someone who has been conditioned by our society to accept it. We continue to burden women because they don’t refuse our burdens as easily. It’s the ultimate cowardice.

Abbie thinks her boss is just being a jerk in these moments, but the truth is, he is making those comments to manipulate her into thinking her reactions are out of whack. And it’s exactly that kind manipulation that has left her feeling guilty about being sensitive, and as a result, she has not left her job.

But gaslighting can be as simple as someone smiling and saying something like, “You’re so sensitive,” to somebody else. Such a comment may seem innocuous enough, but in that moment, that person is making a judgment about how someone else should feel.

While dealing with gaslighting isn’t a universal truth for women, we all certainly know plenty of women who encounter it at work, home, or in personal relationships.

And the act of gaslighting does not simply affect women who are not quite sure of themselves. Even vocal, confident, assertive women are vulnerable to gaslighting.

Why?

Because women bare the brunt of our neurosis. It is much easier for us to place our emotional burdens on the shoulders of our wives, our female friends, our girlfriends, our female employees, our female colleagues, than for us to impose them on the shoulders of men.

It’s a whole lot easier to emotionally manipulate someone who has been conditioned by our society to accept it. We continue to burden women because they don’t refuse our burdens as easily. It’s the ultimate cowardice.

Whether gaslighting is conscious or not, it produces the same result: it renders some women emotionally mute.

These women aren’t able to clearly express to their spouses that what is said or done to them is hurtful. They can’t tell their boss that his behavior is disrespectful and prevents them from doing their best work. They can’t tell their parents that, when they are being critical, they are doing more harm than good.

When these women receive any sort of push back to their reactions, they often brush it off by saying, “Forget it, it’s okay.”

That “forget it” isn’t just about dismissing a thought, it is about self-dismissal. It’s heartbreaking.

No wonder some women are unconsciously passive aggressive when expressing anger, sadness, or frustration. For years, they have been subjected to so much gaslighting that they can no longer express themselves in a way that feels authentic to them.

They say, “I’m sorry” before giving their opinion. In an email or text message, they place a smiley face next to a serious question or concern, thereby reducing the impact of having to express their true feelings.

You know how it looks: “You’re late :)”

These are the same women who stay in relationships they don’t belong in, who don’t follow their dreams, who withdraw from the kind of life they want to live.

♦◊♦

Since I have embarked on this feminist self-exploration in my life and in the lives of the women I know, this concept of women as “crazy” has really emerged as a major issue in society at large and an equally major frustration for the women in my life, in general.

From the way women are portrayed on reality shows, to how we condition boys and girls to see women, we have come to accept the idea that women are unbalanced, irrational individuals, especially in times of anger and frustration.

Just the other day, on a flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles, a flight attendant who had come to recognize me from my many trips asked me what I did for a living. When I told her that I write mainly about women, she immediately laughed and asked, “Oh, about how crazy we are?”

Her gut reaction to my work made me really depressed. While she made her response in jest, her question nonetheless makes visible a pattern of sexist commentary that travels through all facets of society on how men view women, which also greatly impacts how women may view themselves.

As far as I am concerned, the epidemic of gaslighting is part of the struggle against the obstacles of inequality that women constantly face. Acts of gaslighting steal their most powerful tool: their voice. This is something we do to women every day, in many different ways.

I don’t think this idea that women are “crazy,” is based in some sort of massive conspiracy. Rather, I believe it’s connected to the slow and steady drumbeat of women being undermined and dismissed, on a daily basis. And gaslighting is one of many reasons why we are dealing with this public construction of women as “crazy”

I recognize that I’ve been guilty of gaslighting my women friends in the past (but never my male friends—surprise, surprise). It’s shameful, but I’m glad I realized that I did it on occasion and put a stop to it.

While I take total responsibility for my actions, I do believe that I, along with many men, am a byproduct of our conditioning. It’s about the general insight our conditioning gives us into admitting fault and exposing any emotion.

When we are discouraged in our youth and early adulthood from expressing emotion, it causes many of us to remain steadfast in our refusal to express regret when we see someone in pain from our actions.

When I was writing this piece, I was reminded of one of my favorite Gloria Steinem quotes, “The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.”

So for many of us, it’s first about unlearning how to flicker those gaslights and learning how to acknowledge and understand the feelings, opinions, and positions of the women in our lives.

But isn’t the issue of gaslighting ultimately about whether we are conditioned to believe that women’s opinions don’t hold as much weight as ours? That what women have to say, what they feel, isn’t quite as legitimate?

Stereotypes for lunch Sign up for daily or weekly email

Yashar will be soon releasing his first short e-book, entitled, A Message To Women From A Man: You Are Not Crazy — How We Teach Men That Women Are Crazy and How We Convince Women To Ignore Their Instincts. If you are interested and want to be notified when the book is released, please click here to sign-up.

This post originally appeared on The Current Conscience.

—Photo lempicki.maciek/Flickr

***

Read Mark Greene’s response:

6 Reasons ‘Why Women Aren’t Crazy’ is Only Part of the Story.

Sponsored Content

NOW TRENDING ON GMP TV

James Franco Goes Man to Man with The Good Men Project
Good Men Project TV: Break Out of the Man Box!
A Stay At Home Dad Spills

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About Yashar Ali

Yashar is a Los Angeles-based blogger, commentator, and political veteran whose writings about women, gender inequality, political heroism, and society are showcased on his website, The Current Conscience. Please follow him on Twitter and join him on Facebook.

Comments

  1. I don’t think it’s a case of one or t’other (those with emotions are being totally fine and people saying they’re too sensitive are gaslighting).

    Some people actually are too sensitive, and that in itself is a form of emotional manipulation (men and women both), and people who are inconsiderate are not necessarily manipulative, they might just lack empathy (which is not a deliberate act, as manipulation is).

    I just think it’s more complex than that. At the end of the day, everybody has a right to whatever emotions they are feeling – everybody, regardless of the emotion, regardless of the circumstance. But everybody also has responsibility for their behaviour. If you behave poorly toward another – whether it’s being insensitive, or whether it’s showing your emotions in a way that is hurtful or unhelpful to another (such as shouting, name-calling, suddenly getting upset without communicating why etc.) – then that is your responsibility.

    If you communicate your emotions helpfully – I feel upset when you say that (not ‘you’re upsetting me’ – there’s a difference) – and they’re a prick about it. Get a new boyfriend, get a new job, whatever, just get away from them. If you burst into tears and say they’re trying to _____ you, or you say ‘stop putting me through this’….sorry, but it’s your emotion, it’s your responsibility, it’s up to you to look after yourself. If you’re upset, tell them calmly. If they’re worth being in your life they will apologise and you can have an adult conversation about how to change things in the future – and usually the change has to be on both sides. If you tell them calmly and they’re insensitive, it’s your responsibility to look after yourself by getting away from them.

    At the end of the day, no one has the human right to be treated with sensitivity. But you can choose to treat people with sensitivity. You want to choose to be around those that choose to treat people well, and choose not to be around those that choose to put themselves first.

  2. Marianne says:

    I’d actually like to go so far as to say it’s not just men doing this to women. Many women will do this to “weaker”, more sensitive, softer and gentler women. I’ve discovered this is the reason I don’t think most of my emotional responses are valid: because I have been told my entire life that I was overreacting, I was being crazy, I was imagining things, etc.

    What do you think this DOES to a person?

  3. Thank you for writing this.

  4. Fargles Fergusun says:

    Telling someone they won’t be accepted isn’t gaslighting them. It sounds like this goof heard a phrase, thought it was cool, and tried to make a blog about it. He’s not even getting basic terms correct.

  5. Noah Ynclan says:

    This is all bullshit. Like Comedian Chris Rock said, “Whatever happened to Crazy!?!?? Did they just illiminate crazy from the dictionary all of a sudden!?!?!?”

    In essence what Im saying is the “Gas Lighting” is simply excuses and “Word Play”. Being emotionally unatable or bi-polar is a disorder. “Gas Lighting” is simple word play and justification for ones emotional or mental instability or overreacting.

    Its the equivilant of temporary insanity etc except on a way more frequent basis/level.

    Just like a murderer can attempt to justify his behavior

    • Are you kidding me? So when people continuously undermine you, make negative comments about you and then write off your understandable and justifiable anger/upset by saying “You’re overreacting”, you don’t think that’s unacceptable?

    • Lucinda says:

      Uh…no. Gaslighting is a real thing. It is validated in the psychological community and is the experience of most women and some men, so what you are saying just comes off as you admitting that you do this behaviour but it’s not your fault…it’s the women…which IS gaslighting.

  6. Jeannette Meade says:
  7. Matthew says:

    Or hey, here’s a thought. Maybe, just maybe, it has something to do with the fact that from the time we’re old enough to talk, males are taught to man up when we act like drama queens. We’re told to control ourselves. To be strong. To deal with what comes. And no one cries “emotional manipulation” when we do it, either. Because you know what the response to that would be, if a full-grown man, after over-reacting man said “stop that, it’s emotional manipulation and I don’t have to take it? He’d be told to man up and stop acting like a teenage girl. Because that’s the level of expectation we hold for each other. Men expect other men to conduct themselves like…well…MEN. That means being reasonable. Logical. It means offering an emotional response equivalent to the level of offense.

    Women have been demanding to be treated as equals for decades. We can’t do that – we can’t treat women as equals, SEE women as equals, while simultaneously holding on to this idea that women are somehow less capable of controlling themselves and their emotions than men are. And if we’re NOT holding on to that idea, if we’re to believe that women are every bit AS capable as men of controlling their emotions, that they can be as strong, as logical, as reasonable as men, then I see no reason to treat them any differently when they’re over-react than we treat men. That’s equality.

  8. My husband said that a woman will never be President because of the way MEN think.

  9. So you’re saying that it’s all men’s fault no woman is president. gotcha. ok. well then i guess women simply aren’t allowed to vote. Or, if they are, then quite obviously men must outnumber women 457 to 1 at the polls…

    GTFO with your senseless, useless, worthless, baseless broad-sweeping generalizations. you are doing nothing but taking up space and wasting oxygen.

  10. Your husband is wrong. Women have been voted into the top political leadership position in India, Pakistan, Great Britain, Israel, Germany, Philippines,…

    BTW, it was the women’s vote that brought the German Nazis and Italian Fascist into power resulting in the world’s most destructive war.

  11. Sadly, I knew a girl in high school who said a woman could never be president because women are too emotional.

  12. Loling @ you says:

    The only reason a woman would never become president is because she never tried hard enough to be president.

  13. Patrice Winter says:

    so true

  14. I think statistically there are more “thinking” women than men. We have the numbers, we can unify and organize, and we can help to evolve that viewpoint.

  15. Lady Cass says:

    The way that men think isn’t the only problem. The way that women degrade each other is also an issue.

  16. Nonsensical Comment. Women are over half the population. To put it all on men is acting as if women don’t have some ways to change how they think too… as if they too don’t have responsibility… oversimplification.

    Myself and at least 25 Million other men will vote for Hillary in the 2016 presidential election. I don’t expect her to get the majority of the male vote, but it will be close, and she may, in fact, do worse with women than Obama.

    Hillary also did not lose the 2008 primary because of men. Both polled pretty even between men and women.

  17. Go Hillary 2016!!

  18. Any evidence in favor of your last statement? What was the percentage of wome who voted for them? What was the percentage of men? Was that difference – if it existed – enough to bring them into power?

  19. The U.S. has already had de facto women presidents anyway. Certainly women who were major decisionmakers and presidential powerbrokers in their own right. John Adams and James Madison didn’t make any big decisions without talking to Abigail and Dolley first. When Woodrow Wilson was incapacitated by a stroke, his wife was for all intents and purposes in charge of the White House in 1920. In the 80’s, when the cameras left the room, the first thing Ronald Reagan usually said was “Where’s Nancy?” Not to mention the fact that there are White House insiders who joke half-seriously that Hillary already has been President, in the 1990’s….

  20. LOLing Woman says:

    My husband was refrring to the USA. I hope he’s wrong, but my instincts say something else.

  21. Women couldn’t vote in Italy until 1946.
    Fascism formally ended in 1945.

  22. Aharon, in making your last comment, you’re missing a whole heap (several decades) of complex social and political context. Plus there might be an inaccuracy in there. Probably best not to make such bald comments without considering the multiple factors in play? Someone might misinterpret your intent.

  23. Unfortunately, if you look at current and former presidents and prime ministers around the globe who are were women, you find they did NOT appoint other women to their cabinets nor their ranks of advisors. Women throw other women under the bus at every opportunity. Women believe it takes a man’s persona, experience to succeed. Some women will have one close female friend, i.e., Hillary Clinton, Oprah!, but never more than one. Just the way we women are wired.

  24. Way to completely provide a real life example of what the article is about. “BTW, it was the women’s vote that brought the German Nazis and Italian Fascist into power resulting in the world’s most destructive war.” Who would take you seriously after that absurd remark? Facepalm.

  25. Jessica Austin, TX says:

    Aharon, point taken with your first observation. However, the subsequent comment requires a nuanced, historically contextual explanation. Without data to back up this sweeping proclamation, your “BTW, it was women…” comes across as defensive and suspect.

  26. sadfulness says:

    Right, because female candidates TOTALLY just have people lining up like crazy to fund their campaigns. Definitely.

  27. Wow, I can see here that you are an experienced gaslighter yourself. Congratulations.

  28. NoNameNecessary says:

    Your entire comment is over-emotional, openly aggressive, attacking, and massively projects your own assumptions onto a single sentence comment that was not even an expression of the commenter’s own opinion. There is not a shred of logical discussion in your attack. Try again.

  29. LMAO …seriously… You talk about democracy but you tell someone who expresses an opinion you don’t like that they waste oxygen, and to gtfo?

    Seriously, chill out dude, and go buy yourself some self-esteem because if you need to spit your hatred on anyone who says something even slightly idiotic on the internet then you really have issues in the confidence department…

  30. wait…. that last part is a joke right? cause it reads kinda like gaslighting…..

  31. This comment is gaslighting .. thank you for such a clear example.

  32. Jeanette says:

    Stop being so overemotional and hysterical. Nobody is going to listen to you if you’re so shrill. You need to calm down and collect yourself.

    /See what I did there?

  33. Kate Liesl says:

    LMAO… YOU’RE OVERREACTING!

  34. Wow! That is a lot of anger and meanness expressed for such a small comment.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Article’s point proven with your comments.

  36. 100%Cotton says:

    Poor Hillary. No money, no funding. The first REAL shot at a woman President and what happened? That big old bad Obama just privileged himself right over her head!

  37. Peter Houlihan says:

    -ahem-Your secretary of state-ahem-

  38. There are what, 8 million more female voters vs male? Why aren’t women supporting the female candidates? Are these candidates in particular just terrible vs the males in this current run? Are the women supporting and funding these women?

  39. No, a woman can never be president because they cannot be held ACCOUNTABLE. Legally they are treated like children. If a woman drinks and has sex with a man, that man is instantly guilty of rape. And basically they can murder anyone they want and get away with it. Well, if they’re white anyway.

  40. rebecca says:

    that’s what the sexist pigs want us woman to think so we will stay out of politics, have no aspirations, and stay at home where THEY want us. note: I have no problem with a woman who chooses on her own accord to stay home with her kids when they are preschool or even when they are in elementary but I do have a problem with how some men (key there is SOME) think that is a woman’s ‘place’ no it should be our choice and be respected as that.

  41. I hear this all the time, then I mention Queen Elizabeth I

  42. True, women can also gaslight. My ex-wife was amazingly manipulative in that regard. Everything that the article cites as examples of what men do to women, my ex did to me, our children, and her friends.

  43. Frankly, if all women had the same emotional stability as high school aged girls, she may have had a valid point. Thankfully, people usually grow up and get past that.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps your high school shool forgot to teach that there are countries like Finland and Iceland and many more with femail presidents. This is so sad when education fails people.

  45. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. Mod note; Edited for personal attack on the commenter. Can’t be held accountable, kind of like the shitheads that dumped our economy in the toilet? Were those all women? When are they going to jail for that again?

  46. I can understand your comment, but I do disagree with it. Women are accountable as men are, there are potential issues with the alcohol + sex if the law is gendered. There are women who do get convicted with murder, there might be the odd one that slips away but you’ll probably find men who get off too. If you can provide stats and info though to backup your claims, I’d like to see them.

  47. If a man drinks and signs a contract he can rescind!!!!!!

  48. Dave that is the stupidest thing I’ve heard. (am I gaslighting or he just crazy?) How many convictions of rape are there in America at the moment? How many of those go to prison? I like how you think there is some grand conspiracy by women to convict all sexually active men (nearly al of them??) with rape when the facts say otherwise.

    People like you are the reason assholes try to pass laws like this
    http://www.alternet.org/gender/crazy-republican-lawmaker-wants-jail-rape-victims-ending-pregnancies

  49. So many lies so little time. Actually sir, the numbers for false rape reports are often inflated (http://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/Publications_NSVRC_Overview_False-Reporting.pdf). Having drunk sex and waking up the next morning feeling guilty about it does not count as rape. Should people be having sex at that level of intoxication? No. Consent gets sketchy then. And actually, if you were to go on rainn.org, you would find many wonderful statistics on rape reports and offenders. The more you know right? And women don’t get off easy for murder. They, just like everyone else, have to answer to their actions. I do however agree that white people have it way easier. And I do agree that women are treated are treated like children unfairly and wrongly.

  50. Jennifer says:

    That is a myth. When a woman wants to accuse a man of rape, its her character that goes on trial. This can be easily observed in high profile rape cases if you listen to the language used by reporters and those creating commentary on the event itself. There is also a huge myth about how easily women can accuse men of rape on college campuses. If you really think a woman drinks and has sex with a man that the man can easily be accused of rape, I would encourage you to research the channels women need to go through in order to do so. http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/i-got-raped-then-my-problems-started

  51. textbook misogyny example

  52. HAHAHA! I don’t usually laugh out loud but I laughed out loud when I read your comment. Yea, when are all those people going to jail, I forget!

  53. So false!!

  54. Women like Thatcher will get my vote every time. Hillary…not so much.

  55. please. women have had to try at least twice as hard for most things…or many times more that. the right to vote, for instance.

  56. care to expand?

  57. Wrong women are not as much held accountable as men when it comes to sentencing. Like it or not women are treated more delicately than men because they are perceived as weaker. This sexism helps no one. Buts honestly this article is dumb I have met plenty of women who say mean things to men and then say they are just testing them. I have met plenty of men who are emotionally unstable.

  58. Stefan Thiesen says:

    What then is specifically different between American men and men elsewhere?

  59. agree

  60. Pat Riarchy says:

    rebecca, that sort of psychotic nonsense is what has caused all the problems females now face. Men don’t want them. Please name a few of these sexist pigs who want females to be dependents on men so that men have to work even harder and miss out on their own children. Maybe you haven’t noticed a term called EQUALITY. That is to say that men want to be treated equally. If a female has the choice to quit work and retire then why can’t a father have the same choices? The problem is that females are determined not to work and not to be responsible for even themselves let alone their offspring.

    Why haven’t you stood for election? If you are over 18 without a criminal record you are in. But no. You blame men for you not doing something you are freely able to do. That is truly pathetic in and of itself but it also exhibits clear indicators of clinical psychosis. This is what has caused society to cleave along gender lines. Men are bad. Men oppress females. All psychotic nonsense. However, the losers out of your misandry are females. In 7 years time men will have a choice and you females can not possibly compete. Human females will go the way of the dinosaur while we men explore the Universe. It’s just natural evolutionary progress although we men are boosting it along by a few hundred million years.

  61. I think it’s important to note that Rebecca said “SOME MEN”:however you Pat have generalized all women as lazyand irresponsible. Thank you for your insight!
    Also, I am intrigued into your prediction into the next 7 years… Please explain?

  62. A natural evolutionary process? If you ever turned on the Discovery channel or picked up a science book, you would note that women greatly outnumber men, and many are rising into positions of power all over the world. Your archaic views on women and their alleged determination not to work makes you the dinosaur, sir. All of the women that I know, including myself, are hard workers that have absolutely no desire to slow down, put their feet up, and leave all the work to the men.

  63. Well, man, in todays world (at least in developed countries) men DO have a choice whether to stay at home with kids or to work. The question is: do they use their right to do so? At least in my country many men are still bullied for choosing fatherhood, and they’re bullied by men, not women. Does that say anything to you?
    You’re plain generalising what all females are determined to do (not to work and not to be responsible). Seriously? Is that all you know about women?Thats the same as I’d be saying “all men only want to rape women /use women/etc”, which is obviously not true. Not all men oppress females, yet many men do,as they are raised believing they are entitled to be respected and heard, whereas a woman must act a certain way to be respected and heard.
    Your diagnose of “psychotic nonsense” is a clear evidence you can’t handle oppinions you don’t like. I suggest you read the article once again, cause thats exactly what it was about- calling women psychos and etc. just because you don’t like what they’re saying.

  64. Emily Baker says:

    I work four jobs to provide for my husband and child. (Peeks down shirt and pants.) Yep, still female.
    And actually, one has to be at least 35 years of age to run for President.

  65. NicoleZ says:

    I’m sure Hillary would disagree.

  66. ^or because of systemic sexism in American politics and society…
    I would love to see a female president! But I worry that because of stereotypes about women (to take the author’s example, being labeled over-emotional or “crazy”), it might be hard for us as a country (both genders) to get there. Both men and women can push for more equal representation of women in media and politics!

    Loved the article and appreciated the arguments. Thanks!

  67. The main reason most people will never become president is that we’ve got over 300 million citizens in this country, and there can be only one president in a given 4-year term.

  68. Philippa says:

    You seriously have no idea.

  69. Margerie says:

    Because women don’t have as much money as men. They are kept out of the highest paying jobs. And the ones who have managed to become wealthy aren’t going to risk their careers funding a liberal candidate.
    It would be awesome if women could earn as much money as men and fund these candidates, but they don’t. Until they do, the United States and many other countries will continue being run by men.

  70. What about Queen Elizabeth II?

    Actually, during the Renaissance, when the world was overtly patriarchal, women held power in France (Catherine de Medici), Spain (Isabella), Scotland (Mary, Queen of Scots) and England (Bloody Mary, Elizabeth I). This would be every major monarchy in western Europe, except the Holy Roman Empire.

  71. I don’t agree, I feel that there is less choice of women to select from and that is because women are not given the opportunity to pursue their work beyond a certain upper management level. If there are a 100 men and just 2 women to select from then how can there be women selected

  72. ogwriter says:

    Meghan Only two women have run for president in the entitre history of this country.Shirley Chisolm,the first,ran in ’72.Think about that for a moment.A black women from Barbados,in a uber racist and sexist country who doesn’t have the money or power or connections of Hillary (and many other white women-hello Diane Fientein,Barbara Boxer-Nancy Pelosi and many,many others).Yet, she ran.As far as I am concerned Hillary treats the office like she is entitled to it. Hence,I would vote for a Shirley Chisolm,but not a soft,entitled, woman like Hillary. Hillary said herself recently that women need to stop bellyaching,making excuses and run for office.Privilege can take the edge off a person.

  73. God, I love facts. Thank you.

  74. Anne Skupin says:

    GASLIGHTING!!!! This is a response from a 70 yr. old grandmother with 2 under grad degrees and a MFA who has been told she is “too sensitive”, “over-reacting”, and her perceptions are just plain wrong, more often than she would like to remember since she was a young child up to as recent as 6 months ago.
    Is it not possible for most “adults” to listen to one another and at the worst just agree to disagree? is it necessary to tell others how to think, to attack their opinions and to be hostile toward anything the listener does not agree with?
    The comment above is a beautiful example of how to do fail to do any of these things!

  75. Agree and I’m sorry you had to put up with that for so many years! Hopefully the next generations will be far more evolved. We are paving the way for them!

  76. Poetentiate says:

    Kept out? by whom?

  77. Uggg please stop commenting, the reason YOU (not all women, just you) don’t make as much money as a man is because you’re not as intelligent and/or hardworking – that’s it, plain and simple. You revealed as much with your comment on women being kept out of the highest paying jobs. High paying jobs aren’t just handed out, if you want that high paying job you have to be willing to work the long hours and sacrifice for that type of work and position.

    Do you need a list of women that are incredibly successful? Here’s a few: Sheryl Sandberg, Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton, Virginia Rometty, Ursula Burns, Meg Whitman, Nancy Pelosi, Anne Sweeney, Marissa Mayer, Marylynn Hewson, Amy Pascal, Arianna Huffington and the list goes on and on and on….

    None of these women complained about being kept out of the highest paying jobs, google them all, they’re all at the top of their fields making the most money. The United States will continue to be run by men because most women wouldn’t want that job, if they really did I’m sure they would be just as successful as men are if not more so.

    Do some research before you make such a sexist comment, your lack of effort when making such a post revealed to everyone why YOU don’t have a high paying job.

  78. Legal Eagle says:

    This is a misstatement of the law. Generally, intoxication is no defense to enforcement of a contract. In some states, if the promisor is very intoxicated, the promisor may disclaim assent, but only if he or she does so immediately upon sobering up.

  79. Some men do have a choice to stay home with the kids – but it is a fallacy to think it is a really choice for all men. I brought this up in a conversation at a dinner party once and ended up having the biggest fight of a relationship because I had the audacity to suggest that I would be willing to stay home with the kids if that situation came up. It was merely a hypothetical, and it nearly caused a break up. I live in a modern, first world country – and this woman is a lawyer. I know 4 men who stay home with kids – I know hundred of women who do – It’s still far away from being an Actual choice for men – and It continues to be a viable option for women..if they so choose. Just because it is allowed and happens – does not mean its an on going option for most people.

  80. This, it’s heart breaking to see women fight each other over such petty things when we could unite and be a great force in the world.

  81. I completely agree with you. While I agree with this article for the most part, I think he should have also spoken about the fact that women do this to other women all the time, not just men. And In my opinion, that is so much worse. Women should support, uplift and respect each other. Instead, we have petty, catty, and cruel emotional manipulation going on.

  82. Tell me about it. One woman I know HATES other women. I’m trying to teach her that no, women as a whole are not bad, just some PEOPLE are. Her family seems to have a low opinion of women altogether, so I see where she gets it from. I used to be catty but I realized that was immature. Women need to encourage other women like you said, not tear them down.

  83. That in itself is sexism. You’re just as bad as the people you claim are bad.

  84. That is correct. My mother was offered one of the highest paying jobs in her firm, but she declined. And you know why? Because she didn’t want it. If she accepted it, it would mean that she would have to enter a political party, longer hours (which means less time with her family, and there are me and my two brothers, which is a lot here). It was her choice that she declined it.
    Women don’t think like men. Men are basically single minded, while women look at everything. That means that men will focus on one thing and will know that one thing only, but they will know it fantastically, better than anyone else (if they have the potential). Women though, they cannot focus on just one thing, they look at everything. Which means that they know more things and know them very, very well, but they will not be fantastical in anything.
    That is the main reason why there are more men in higher ranked jobs than women.
    Plus, a lot of men, once they stopped working, have admitted that they would have much rather spend more time with their family than worked. That that is one of their biggest regrets.
    Look at that angle too, not just one.

Trackbacks

  1. […] A 2012 piece posted to the Good Men Project site suggests that gaslighting may be a gendered phenomenon — in other words, it posits that women are disproportionately subjected to gaslighting behaviors, including in the workplace. In “Why Women Aren’t Crazy,” author Yashar Ali writes: […]

  2. […] girls that the most important thing about her is her appearance, not her brains. Later in life, we manipulate women against trusting their own instincts, or themselves. From start to finish, we barrage women and girls with everything wrong about them. They […]

  3. […] interesting article of the act of “gaslighting” and why it’s hurting […]

  4. […] Excerpts from http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/why-women-arent-crazy/ […]

  5. […] replacing the neurotic messages we send to women and girls with something true, something sane, something […]

  6. […] just read this super insightful piece about how it’s pretty common for people to tell women they’re overreacting/too […]

  7. […] the term Gaslighting… This was a new term for me. You can read the blog entry in its entirety HERE titled Why Women Aren’t […]

  8. […] Am I being melodramatic? Is the fact that I just asked if I’m being melodramatic simply the product of centuries of reinforced gaslighting? […]

  9. […] Has gaslighting conditioned women into thinking they're emotionally unstable? Yashar Ali thinks so.  […]

  10. […] originalmente publicado no blog do Yashar, The Current Conscience. Nós lemos pela primeira vez no The Good Men Project. Tradução feita com permissão do […]

  11. […] an article making it’s rounds on social media called Why Women Aren’t Crazy.  It has words that I needed to hear.  I didn’t know I needed to hear them, but I did. […]

  12. C O O LTURA says:

    […] publicado no blog do Yashar, The Current Conscience. Nós lemos pela primeira vez no The Good Men Project. Tradução feita com permissão do […]

  13. […] Why Women Aren’t Crazy. An older one that I think I’ve shared before, but still really good. […]

  14. […] habe ich in einem Artikel darüber gelesen, wie sehr Frauen sich “typisch weibliche” Eigenschaften einreden […]

  15. […] ‘Why Women Aren’t Crazy’ by Yashar Ali is worth a read as he describes and illustrates how this interchange gets going, and how it sets up a passive aggressive response in the woman.  I would add though that this dynamic doesn’t just appear between men and women, but between gay and lesbian couples, close same-sex friendships and work relationships, but yes I agree, it is most obvious between a heterosexual couple. […]

  16. […] been wanting to talk about this post on The Good Men Project for a while now. But you know – one thing after another, etc etc. […]

  17. […] Men Project, and they’ve posted, in my opinion, some interesting and thought-provoking things as well. I get my conversations about ethical masculinity, as well as a million other things and […]

  18. […] “What he [Ali] claimed was that when women are told they are being defensive or over-reacting, it’s because of pervasive institutional sexism seeking to shut them down. There is therefore no such thing as an unreasonable woman. End of story” (1). […]

  19. […] when I was perusing the internet in my downtime and was caught my the article title “Why Women Aren’t Crazy.”  The writer Yashar Ali makes what I believe is an incredibly astute argument regarding how […]

  20. […] Yashar Ali wrote a good description of where the term gaslighting comes from and what it is. […]

  21. […] teach the way I’ve been taught. As Taylor Swift would say, the cycle ends right now: the bulldozing cycle*.  It’s funny how you set out to change your students and they end up changing you. And yes, […]

  22. […] gaslighting har även börjat användas i feministiska kretsar men då från ett mer strukturellt perspektiv. Istället för att prata om enskilda manipulativa individer så diskuteras gaslighting som en […]

  23. […] feeds a sexual assault cover-up quite like the pervasive idea that women are crazy for addressing bad behavior. Students in Maryville were quick to tell Charlie Coleman (the older […]

  24. […] publicado no blog do Yashar, The Current Conscience. Nós lemos pela primeira vez no The Good Men Project. Tradução feita com permissão do […]

  25. […] asshats, are just not savvy in the realm of interpersonal communications, are intentionally gaslighting you (link to a fantastic piece on The Good Men Project), or are disordered something-paths or […]

Speak Your Mind

*