There is some truth to Donald Glover’s Weirdo joke that every man has a “crazy woman story.” I mean, that’s always the sexist response of any man who acts like women are always angry about the most trivial things. The worst part is they think it’s funny to put women in such a negative light.
The use of words like “crazy” and “psycho,” especially toward women, is meant to question and insult their state of mind. It’s the same language that Jay Sonza used to degrade senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc’s competence. The other reason why I dislike these adjectives to describe a woman—or any person—is because it seems to disregard their actual mental health.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), there are mental illnesses more common among women, like depression, anxiety, and dementia. There are also disorders that are unique to women due to hormone change: postpartum depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and perimenopause-related depression. Additionally, some symptoms may manifest more among women and illnesses are affected by the sex of the individual. Although women are more likely to get treated for their mental illnesses and are said to have healthy outlets for their emotions, there are still 25 percent who die by suicide.
Here’s another reality check: The World Health Organization (WHO) noted that women develop mental disorders mostly because of “pressures created by their multiple roles, gender discrimination and associated factors of poverty, hunger, malnutrition, overwork, domestic violence and sexual abuse.” The effects are also greater depending on the frequency and severity of the events mentioned.
However, even WHO cited gender bias among people who are diagnosed with depression. “Doctors are more likely to diagnose depression in women compared with men, even when they have similar scores on standardized measures of depression or present with identical symptoms,” they noted. Adding that women are also more likely to be prescribed mood altering psychotropic drugs which are used to stabilize one’s mood and mental status.
Let’s not forget that mental disorders can be hereditary too. HealthyChildren.org noted that the chances of inheriting it is higher if you have a family member who suffers from any illness. This is also proof that mental disorders should be treated with as much importance as physical ailments.
Even if you think calling a woman “crazy” is funny, it’s really not. When we show any kind of emotion—whether it’s anger or sadness, we are automatically perceived as “psychos.” Grazia emphasized that using these derogatory terms against a woman implies they’re “not whole” and “full of cracks.” It also harkens back to age-old stereotypes that women are mentally ill due to their emotional outbursts and desires. (This was called “hysteria” and it was usually cured via masturbation until they orgasm.)
Meanwhile, men are given a pass for their violent behavior because it’s expected of their gender. I guess Donald Glover’s other joke is painfully true: “Why don’t women have ‘crazy man stories’? Oh, right… If you have a crazy boyfriend, you gon’ die.”
Think about it: What if we were going through something heavy? Or our boyfriends made us angry for whatever reason? You can’t expect women to stay stereotypically prim and proper. You also have no idea as to what’s happening inside our brains and the possible abuse many of us have experienced.
We are human and using these derogatory terms not only disregards our emotions, but also minimizes our mental health. It promotes the idea that we can freely throw around these words without realizing its true impact on the people around us. We hope such behavior can be mitigated once the Mental Health Act is fully implemented in schools and the workplace, and other places where women are disrespected and discriminated upon.
Photo courtesy of Pexels
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