I’ve been in Brooklyn for approximately 24 hours hangin’ with a friend. We’ll call her Gem. Gem and I are both outgoing, vivacious young ladies, and we have lots of crushes and flirtations. We both have our share of sob stories and fun times. We were talking tonight about what happens when the romance ends and you try to be friends. We both noticed how, in this scenario, boys seem to be more emotional than girls. Or at least less mature.
My theory is that boys get into a pattern, and its not a nice one. It’s been my experience that boys use a variety of excuses to play off their own bad behavior. The most popular that I’ve heard is “Oh she’s just crazy.” Now, before we move on, I should point out that calling women crazy is part of a tradition. Freud is the most famous asshole, blaming everything on our uterus and overall weak constitutions. Of course, it’s easy to call patients crazy when you are abusing your power and having sexual relations with them and/or doing a lot of coke. And obviously, the uterus is not the issue (usually.) But the point is that calling girls crazy is not a new tactic, and its pretty smart considering once you’ve labeled a person crazy its hard for them to defend themselves.
Ok so, why do boys think girls are crazy? Because, YOU DRIVE US CRAZY!!! I think it’s because boys are worse at communicating when it comes to feelings, which isn’t entirely their fault. But I know plenty of perfectly sane, smart girls who get twisted into crazy behavior when boys engage in typical boy behavior: flip flopping, saying one thing but acting otherwise, playing hot and cold, stretching the truth/omitting details/outright lying. Now, obviously, girls play games also. It’s important to remember, however, that girls are always on the bottom of the totem pole in the power structure. I think it’s also fair to say that adolescent girls are much more vulnerable than their male peers, and this is the age when most kids start dating and getting physical. Patterns and behavior are learned early, and girls learn soon enough that they need to protect themselves, which can mean playing games ect. However, in general, bad behavior is more accepted in boys (cowboys and casanovas) than in girls. I know that everyone has the capacity to be mean and lie and mess up relationships, and I’m not trying to say that boys are always the villians (DUH see previous posts) but I do think this pattern exists, and that boys in general get away with more because of cultural narratives and assumptions (which make girls out to be obsessed with commitment and boys out to be crazy sex fiends.)
And ultimately this stuff does make us crazy. Everyone does dumb things, can’t sleep, goes out on a limb or shuts off. That’s why it’s so hard. But don’t let yourself get smeared. If you feel like you are acting crazy as a result of any boy’s behavior, call him out! And the other important thing to remember is that we all have baggage, and just because you have a broken heart or can still feel the scars doesn’t mean you have a free pass to mistreat anybody. If you aren’t ready to treat people with respect and consideration, hibernate longer. Ultimately, no one should be able to just excuse away bad behavior. Baggage is an explanation, not an excuse. Just own your feelings, own your patterns, and try to be as honest as possible. No one is without responsibility when relationships end, just like everyone is responsible when things go right. It’s a team effort people, and we have to start acting like we play for the same squad.