As a woman, there is nothing I resent more than being called “crazy.” The “slutty” card holds a close second due to obvious double standards, but to be deemed crazy connotes a sense of manic desperation that doesn’t look good on anyone and I HATE IT. The “He’s Just Not That Into You” era has set the universal crazy bar exceptionally low and now there’s not much a girl can’t do these days to be called “batshit,” ridiculed among circles of guys who read their text messages aloud as Friday night fodder over Keystones.
Sex and the City revolutionized the “He’s Just Not That Into You” notion that women should do NOTHING in the pursuit of men but rest quietly on their laurels and look longingly at every passing gentleman in hopes that one just might take the time to talk to her. If he wants to see you, he will. And while I hate it, I’ve generally subscribed to it because the alternative is that you become Crazygirl: the girl who is so sad and pathetic that she actually might call you (gasp).
We’re told that there are no exceptions to this rule, regardless of how shy or introverted and socially inept the man is; if you are the right girl, he will overcome all of his lifelong personality defects to woo you. The dude peddling this idea around says he wants to preserve the dignity of women. You deserve to be pursued in spectacular and romantic ways. And while the chivalry behind his sermon is somewhat admirable, I think he’s done serious damage to a whole generation of women who associate a simple gesture of reaching out to the male species as taboo and–you got it–crazy.
I’ve spent the better part of the last five years as a single girl and it’s been fabulous. I wouldn’t change a thing. But I genuinely believe I’ve missed some great opportunities with great men because I’ve been completely silent about my feelings, not wanting to disturb the delicate balance of the dating universe, not wanting to be perceived as desperate or crazy. I think what I’m finding is that there aren’t absolutes when it comes to men and women. Yes, I get that man’s inner Tarzan prefers to do most of the chasing (and quite frankly I like it that way too), but it’s not always that black and white. I probably sound like Mr. Rogers right now, but we’re all too damn different to be defined by one sweeping rule. I think the best part about romance is how unique and quirky and offbeat it can be. When you try and smudge it all together with one broad stroke, that all gets lost.
And so I am mentally slaying the Crazygirl beast once and for all. I’m not recommending you ladies blow up Johnny’s inbox with 34 texts tonight, because if that’s the case, there’s nothing I can do for you, and odds are you probably are somewhat disturbed. And admittedly, there is something to be said for playing the hard-to-get game. I’m just talking to the simple girls who don’t want to feel jumpy and humiliated for reaching out to a guy they like. You are not crazy, assertiveness does not automatically equal desperation, and we do not have to be wallflowers in order to be attractive. If nothing else, I think I’d prefer a slightly more evolved man anyway, one who wouldn’t judge a solid initiative on my part as insane. I mean, it’s 2011 bro. Get a grip.