Death Of The Crazygirl

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. TC mark

image – Ms. Phoenix

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  • http://summerslowrunner.wordpress.com/ Summer

    Love this. I have never had qualms about being the one to pursue a guy I like, but I do occasionally wonder if I’ve ever been perceived as “crazy” for doing so.

    Oh well. Bottom line, if I like you and I want to text you, I’m going to do it.

  • Guest

    the “crazy” title is not given to those who reach out, but those who fail to reason/flake and can’t understand why their relationships inevitably fail.

    crazy is not about visibility, it’s about irrationality.

    • http://twitter.com/kaimcn Kai

      It’s easy to say that, but crazy is the label given to anyone (and their emotions) that you want to dismiss as invalid.

      • Holly

        I agree completely. All emotions are valid, but just because you feel angry doesn’t mean you should blow up his phone or do something you’ll regret later. Maybe you should wait for it to pass, or get another perspective on the situation.

        (I learned this the hard way)

      • Holly

        *And then decide on a plan of action. (forgot to include)

  • jcathe

    PREACH

  • http://twitter.com/kaimcn Kai

    Preach it, Sane Lady!

    I’m so over women being dismissed with the “I was just flirting, she’s crazy to have thought it meant anything” bullshit.

    If you’re sending signals, I might receive them. And I may or may not act on them.

  • http://www.wilfordlauren.tumblr.com Lauren Wilford

    I am allllll about this. Any good relationship I’ve had happened because I went for the gold. 

    But personally I am totes amused by Mr. Rogers talking about how we’re “too damn different.”

  • Anonymous

    I HATE IT

    if this makes me a crazygirl so fucking be it

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    bat shit crazy

    • http://www.facebook.com/indiangiver Amanda Mae Viers

      no, you.

  • guest

    Have you ever actually watched Sex & the City?  I wouldn’t say Samantha was sitting around waiting for men to come to her.

    • Puddles

      but she does worry about farting in front of boys

    • Guest

      but she was also perceived as the slut of the group.

  • http://rayguntest.tumblr.com Raegan

    OH so true. I swear, the social progress women made in the seventies, eighties, and nineties is slowly dwindling with every mainstream book or sleazy song about women or in-the-name-of women by some asshole who needs to STFU. Run-on sentence complete.

  • what

    I personally tote the title fat crazy slutty bitch with %100 pride. Like Kai said, probably 96% of the times I hear any of those words directed toward myself, its out a male trying to render me illegitimate, so fuck them. Fuck the patriarchy. Hit on/show interest in whoever the fuck you want, regardless of whats in their pants.

  • Puddles

    NICE I LIKE THIS ARTICLE.
    i also think that the men who label women as crazy because they pursue them is because the men aren’t comfortable enough in their own skin to have the traditional gender role of man-hunts-woman turned around. they’re dependent on their identity as a male ( the male as the hunter/provider) and can’t identify as just themselves – just Brad or Caleb or Felipe or Louis or Pascal. Thus when a woman upsets their role as male, they label her as crazy – crazy for making them feel “unmanly” or weak or pursued. maybe.

    • Puddles

      also i’m watching “running with scissors” and three times now i’ve read a word in the article/comments and within moments the same word/idea has appeared in the movie. weird weird weird

  • ATL

    I love being pursued.  It’s never worked out well for me when I have gone after the guy and I do respect those gender roles.  HOWEVER.   If a guy tells me/acts like he likes me, I’m going to believe
    him.  I’m not going to apologize for believing what he tells me.  I’d
    rather not assume everything is a lie.  So…sorry I’m not sorry when I
    got pissed when I never heard from you again after you told me how smitten you were with me.  Of course I called you.  I wanted to know what the hell happened.  If wanting an explanation makes me crazy.  So be it.

    • Guest

      i hate when guys tell me upfront that they really like me. it ruins the mystery in the beginning so bad

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

        i really liek u

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    thought catalog’s feminism…

    any guy who thinks you are crazy for calling/texting/making a move in normal, chill way is douche and doesn’t not deserve the puss

  • Guest

    Whether friend or lover, I prefer that they take the initiative..because I have low self esteem. .

  • molly

    you’re fantastic 

  • Guest

    females have more hormone fluctuations than guys..so ..more crazyness. any guy that can’t deal wiht a little crazy doesn’t deserve hot sexy lady anyway okay

  • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

    True story. On the other hand, reaching out means being comfortable with the fact that no matter how restrained you are there’s the opportunity for it to be interpreted as crazy. That goes for both sexes, though.

  • Mlb620

    Thank you Thank you for this insight!  I’ve been of the same mindset for about half a year now: maybe “He’s Just Not That Into You” isn’t exactly for my generation, because it sure as hell doesn’t seem like 20-something men are leaping bounds to get the girls they want.

    I think “He’s Just Not…” was meant for the S&tC generation of women- the 25-40 year olds who were watching the show when it was on HBO, and not the young teenage girl sneaky-watching it because it was a little too mature for me- I mean, “her”.  The book was published in 2004 & made into a movie in 2009- I was 18 in 2004; 20 when I read it in 2006 after the end of my first relationship, and 23 when the movie came out.
    With a broken heart but determination to learn from our mistakes in the relationship I had had, I read “He’s Just Not…” and thought the Light Bulb of Love was turned on in my head.  I preached it to my friends, I encouraged it for broken hearted girls to read it, and I lived what the book said for 4-5 years.

    And I’ve been single all 4-5 years!

    In just the past 3 months I’ve realized, it’s not me that’s not attractive or interesting, I’ve just come across as frigid and stand-off’ish to men because “if they like me they’ll pursue me” is a stand-off’ish mentality.  Waiting for him to ask for my number, wondering when he’ll text me, trying to analyze every.freaking.thing.he.does— because I thought I shouldn’t be the first to give my number, I shouldn’t be the first to text, I shouldn’t ask what happened between us..

    I do know that when men are interested, they’ll act upon it.  But I now see and acknowledge, that if I’m interested too, I’ll have to gets some guts and act upon it as well.  Men have insecurities too, they can’t all be as confident and as straight-forward as Mr. Big, the Russian and Aidan were- or the men in the so-called “self-help” books for single women, ahem.

    • Liz Owen

      inspired! i coudn’t agree more with everything said. preach girl

    • Guest

      “I do know that when men are interested, they’ll act upon it.  But I now
      see and acknowledge, that if I’m interested too, I’ll have to gets some
      guts and act upon it as well.”

      exactly. i wish i had considered this a few years ago when I failed to express my feelings for someone.  everyone has insecurities and is afraid of rejection. no one is just going to lay their feelings on the table.. unless theyre completely comfortable with themselves, maybe.

  • Mlb620

    Thank you Thank you for this insight!  I’ve been of the same mindset for about half a year now: maybe “He’s Just Not That Into You” isn’t exactly for my generation, because it sure as hell doesn’t seem like 20-something men are leaping bounds to get the girls they want.

    I think “He’s Just Not…” was meant for the S&tC generation of women- the 25-40 year olds who were watching the show when it was on HBO, and not the young teenage girl sneaky-watching it because it was a little too mature for me- I mean, “her”.  The book was published in 2004 & made into a movie in 2009- I was 18 in 2004; 20 when I read it in 2006 after the end of my first relationship, and 23 when the movie came out.
    With a broken heart but determination to learn from our mistakes in the relationship I had had, I read “He’s Just Not…” and thought the Light Bulb of Love was turned on in my head.  I preached it to my friends, I encouraged it for broken hearted girls to read it, and I lived what the book said for 4-5 years.

    And I’ve been single all 4-5 years!

    In just the past 3 months I’ve realized, it’s not me that’s not attractive or interesting, I’ve just come across as frigid and stand-off’ish to men because “if they like me they’ll pursue me” is a stand-off’ish mentality.  Waiting for him to ask for my number, wondering when he’ll text me, trying to analyze every.freaking.thing.he.does— because I thought I shouldn’t be the first to give my number, I shouldn’t be the first to text, I shouldn’t ask what happened between us..

    I do know that when men are interested, they’ll act upon it.  But I now see and acknowledge, that if I’m interested too, I’ll have to gets some guts and act upon it as well.  Men have insecurities too, they can’t all be as confident and as straight-forward as Mr. Big, the Russian and Aidan were- or the men in the so-called “self-help” books for single women, ahem.

  • MaleGuest

    Assuming there has been some recent flirting or some other mutually shared positive exchange, it is highly attractive when a girl reaches out and goes against the “crazy girl” trait described here.  It shows that 1) she probably doesn’t play games & 2) that she is somewhat receptive to the signals I purposely have given her.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Timberman/922794 Steven Timberman

    The “He’s Just Not That Into You” isn’t a dating strategy, it’s a marketing tactic. 

    I read the book and it does make a lot of sense… until you actually start to apply it. I figure if you’re a beautiful little petite waifish girl, then being a wallflower makes sense. But there’s got to be a balance to it.

    Most of my issues with the “let him chase you” line of thought is how closely it ties to “dumb yourself down”. And that’s the one that’s really doing the damage.

    • Guest

      good point. marketing tactic. i think it’s actually supposed to be empowering to women..telling women when things don’t go well with a guy, “don’t worry, he’s just not that into you, move on”. i think it’s actually an attempt to get women to move on faster when they are unsure about a guy’s feelings/motives.

  • Guest

    about this..”he’s just not that into you” thing..  did anyone really get the message? I didn’t read the book but I saw the movie. The dude in the movie kept telling the needy, desperate girl that guys she was dating weren’t that into her.. He said to her, “if a guy wants you, he will pursue you or tell you, no exceptions”. Then, in the end, it turns out the guy had feelings for her, and HE DID NOT TELL HER! .. there are exceptions to every rule. The moral of the story is that emotions are not simple, guys are not always simple creatures either. it’s not always that “he’s not that into you”.. you cannot simplify someone’s feelings, regardless of gender.

  • http://thatswhatshesaidboston.com/2012/10/on-why-hes-just-not-that-into-you-isnt-total-bullshit/ on why “he’s just not that into you” isn’t total bullshit

    […] about a year ago, I published an essay elsewhere on the interwebs blasting the “He’s Just Not That Into You” philosophy that recommends women wait around and […]

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