Home Featured The Problem with Black Men Accusing Their Women of Being “Crazy”

The Problem with Black Men Accusing Their Women of Being “Crazy”

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Today’s post is a Guest Post from a good friend of mine, Ayanna Abrams, Psy. D.  She graduated from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and is completing a postdoctoral fellowship as a Psychotherapist at Emory University Student Counseling Ctr.  I thought this would be a good way to present this post.  I had long thought about writing an article after reading this article from Yashar Ali on Huffington Post, titled, A Message to Women From a Man: You Are Not “Crazy”.  I didn’t agree with this article, I thought he was trying too hard.  I thought it would be better presented from a woman.  Anyway, please enjoy today’s guest post.  I’ll see you guys in the New Year!

I first want to begin this guest post by thanking Dr. J for the opportunity to speak about a particular area of interest for me in my clinical work: relationships within the black community, and particularly, the sociohistorical and political influences that continue to have an impact on the ways in which we, as a community, see one another and therefore, interact and develop meaningful relationships. When asked to contribute to this blog, I was initially surprised that I would be thought of, but I’m excited to offer a small snippet of what I see, what I do, and to be able to have an open and honest dialogue about the impact of language on our perceptions and behaviors.



I pretty regularly have conversations with friends and colleagues about relationship happenings, whether in my own, in theirs, in friends’, and what we see with our clients and in the media, and there’s much overlap.  Probably too much.  Who and what we have as relationship role models is in many cases, lacking, and has a direct impact on how we are in relationships, as well as how we expect others to be when in relationships with us. What I’ll write about today holds importance for any race/ethnicity, but has been specifically been more detrimental to black relationships for well known reasons of racism and sexism that are too much to really delve into today.

So…“crazy.”  This is a word that gets thrown around pretty often, and has a number of different meanings, positive and negative, depending on the context. For the purpose of this post, we’ll assume that the use is negative.  First of all, crazy literally means, “full of cracks or flaws; unsound; mentally deranged, demented; insane, etc.”  *Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Dictionary.com.* Clinically, the word is not even utilized, because of its derogatory nature and complete inaccuracy when used to describe a person’s character.  What I find problematic with its use in relationships, and its use by black men towards black women, is that it is:

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1) A false accusation and label that has been used to define, determine and limit the character of a black woman who asserts her needs in any given relationship, be that romantic, professional, familial, etc.

2) Oftentimes a blanket and loosely based reaction to women holding men accountable for actions that are inconsiderate, offensive, invalidating, etc.

3) Undermining and gives chance to ignore his role in what has led her to do or say something “crazy.” It’s easier to point the finger at others, rather than keep the focus on and take responsibility for your own actions.

4) Consciously and unconsciously used to manipulate women into confusion about what is acceptable, to the point where she’s now second-guessing herself and accepting bad behavior as normal. How many times have you or have you known a female friend to ask, “Am I crazy, though? Is this just me?”

5) In fact, counter-productive to RESOLVING the issue, which lies at the heart of the problem, right? Think back to a time when you either called a black woman crazy or watched the scenario go down when someone you know did that…it’s kind of akin to saying “You need to calm down,” right? When’s the last time that’s actually worked for you?

Bold labeling in any relationship is problematic, because it makes a generalization about a specific problem and cannot be taken back. The impact of words used against us cannot and should not be forgotten, especially when our reaction to these words is useful information for how we set boundaries.  In addition to this, there are many more implications when peers from within our already mis-labeled community label us in hurtful ways. For many black women, these labels become internalized and can lead to a number of psychological problems and relationship misconceptions and dysfunction.  The waters under the current functioning of black relationships are already muddy, and reactively using language to divert from problems within your relationship, without diligent attention, is not only insensitive in the moment, but devastating over time.

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Black women have enough myths perpetuated by the majority, and to have a black man use this power against them is unacceptable and damaging.  The impact of labeling does not stay with the woman who you accuse, but trickles into the remainder of your relationship and her other relationships, in which she now begins to question herself and her right to be treated a certain way.  It encourages her not to express herself, to take what is laid before her without challenge, and to de-value herself as you have clearly demonstrated for her. If you, her partner, view her as such, what reason is there for her to believe that others will view her any differently? That she can BE any different? Men can “crazify,” women at any given point during an interaction, and the ease with which certain wounding language is used makes it normalized and believable.

The other side of the coin is, let’s face it, men AND women in relationships can frequently engage in really unhealthy behaviors when they do not get what they want or feel they deserve from a partner.  I do not want to put out the perception that not calling women “crazy,” means that unacceptable behavior should be overlooked for fear of not perpetuating a stereotype and uplifting the black community.  Actions like damage to property, stalking, harassment of you or others close to you (or thought to be close to you), manipulation of any sort; these behaviors are not healthy in any relationship, and before leaving her with the words, “You’re crazy,” this might be a chance to a) remove yourself from a situation that is harmful to both of you, or b) decide to work through what the issues may be, with BOTH partners being accountable for what has led to this moment.  She did not get to this point on her own; trust me.  And whether that is because of you or someone else, there is a better way to acknowledge this.  Honestly, if you cannot think of a better way to resolve an issue than to call her names, then maybe this is not the relationship for you.  But, in many cases, diversion to what you may deem as her problematic thought processes will work, and allow you the flexibility to act how you want.

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It might be time to take a deeper look at yourself and your relationship patterns if you continue to engage with the “crazy,” woman or women.  We all know a man, and some of you may be a man, who complains about it, but, in fact, ENJOYS the “crazy.” …hence reinforcing it.  There’s the phenomenon that the main men who complain about “crazy,” women seem to always be in a relationship with one, right?  The “crazy” chick is a chick who provides almost non-stop attention and ego-boosting potential, so there’s a secondary gain for him.

As a psychotherapist, I also want to point out the powerful negative stigma associated with the word “crazy,” and how shaming it has been for many individuals, particularly in the black community, in seeking out mental health services because of the connotation that it holds.  Now, I’ve seen the clinically “deranged, unstable and unsound,” individual, and the black woman before you, who may be asking for more than you are willing to provide her, is far from that.  Calling her “crazy,” leaves her more damaged than when you entered a relationship with her, whether either partner recognizes this.

I encourage anyone reading this post to retreat from destructive labels, open up communication within your relationships and consider the larger context and impact of your words.

– Ayanna Abrams, Psy. D.

Comment(86)

  1. "She did not get to this point on her own…"

    I have a scenario which will lead to a question — Lets say a woman cheats, gets caught & then gets broken up with by the guy she's cheating on…..she not only gets angry & (has the nerve to be) surprised that the guy that caught her ends it, but then proceeds to harass the guy, stalk the guy, even has the manipulative ability to get the guy she's been creepin with to do some stalkin as well, with the whole defacing of property thing that you described (yea I went to church with all that)……you tellin me that theres a logical & reasonable explanation for this behavior, and its unfair to label folk?? More rhetorical than anything. Then again, we have a constant barrage from the media that basically says that this sort of thing is ok & that she's a 'strong woman' for doing those sorts of things. Smh

    1. I think the writer here is referring more to the general use of the word "crazy" to describe and define any woman who acts in a manner that the person calling her crazy disagrees with. For example, the woman who calls her boyfriend 30 times in a row, because he's not answering the phone and she therefore believes he's being unfaithful. A man may decide she's "crazy" where in reality, it's more a fact of her being emotionally immature and unable to believe herself worthy of love or commitment.

      The example you mention is extreme. That woman is unhappy, angry, unfaithful, and manipulative. What's she's doing is against the law. A "strong woman" is not defacing property, stalking her ex, and harassing him. A "strong woman" owns up to her own issues, and works to fix them.

    2. Z45, see what I would do here is I would say that she is a criminal, not crazy. All those things she's doing are against the law. I think the key to communication is to not be lazy and say, "Oh she crazy" and just be patient and explain the actions that you are speaking of.

    3. Come on, THIS B$tch is CRAZY! You had to have seen some signs, bro. As a female, I don't condone that CBB (Crazy B$tch Behavior) because they ruin it for women like me. And I hope you called the police on her a$$ because she needs to be locked up. Period.

    4. I'm not condoning her behavior, but, yes, I do think there's an explanation as to why she responded in the way she did. Maybe she suffered a traumatic event or head injury or some form of abuse as a child, maybe she has multiple personalities, maybe it's a chemical imbalance, maybe just a "different" take on reality, but to call her crazy is to completely ignore all of the information that was just presented to you. You probably weren't the one who drove her to Crazytown, but just like she said, "She didn't get that way on her own."

      The thing that always gets me with these kinds of stories, though, is how the guy always wants to shun any accountability in finding himself in this kind of situation by denying the fact that there were no signs of instability beforehand.

      Truthfully speaking, I love hearing about this kinda stuff though. Makes me think my dating life isn't so bad after all, lol! If y'all are willing to deal with THAT kinda mess, I know I'm gonna make a great wife someday!

  2. Here's the thing: This isn't new. This is simply a product of men and women not taking the time to listen and understand each other. Note: I didn't include agree because men and women aren't going to agree on everything, but there is never an excuse to not understand each other. Men call women and the actions they take at times crazy because they don't bother to understand them, just like women call men and the actions they take that those women don't understand or agree with crazy, dumb, or some other derogatory term for the same reason. They are simply both sides of the same f**ked up, selfish, lazy, dysfunctional coin.

    Of course it doesn't help when you have people that can't/won't clearly articulate what they want, need, or even mean yet give them a platform like FB, Twitter, or access to a blog or a book to perpetuate this level of laziness and stupidity. (No, I'm not singling anybody out in particular, but look on your TL, and you may see this quite a bit).

    1. I agree with you. It comes down to a lack of communication and a no desire to understand the root of the problems the couple is facing. Some people rather place the blame on the other person, toss their hands up in defeat and keep it moving. Sometimes that may be the appropriate response. At other times we should take the time to talk to the other person and understand why they've been acting the way they have. It takes time and commitment from both individuals involved in the relationship.
      My recent post The Art of Faking Orgasms 101

  3. I am tired of women blaming men for all of their problems. WOMEN ARE NOT INNOCENT HUMAN BEIINGS MADE EVIL BECAUSE OF MEN. THERE TONS OF GOOD HEARTED MEN WHO HAVE BEEN TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF AND HURT BY A WOMEN ALL THE SAME. THUS CREATING THE CRAZY MAN, THUS CREATING THE CRAZY WOMEN AND VICE VERSA. THIS BLAME GAME IS CREATED BY VARIOUS SCENARIOS AND WAYS OF NO ONE KNOWING HOW THE PROBLEM EVEN STARTS BUT PEOPLE CONTINUE TO AID THIS STEREOTYPE. WHICH THEN CREATES A SPIRALING SYSTEM OF EVERYONE BLAMING EACH OTHER BUT NO ONE STOPPING TO CHANGE THE CYCLE. SO TO THE VICTIMIZE WOMEN, IF YOU DON’T LIKE MEN THEN TURN LESBIAN, SO YOU CAN START BLAMING OTHER WOMEN FOR YOUR PROBLEMS. AND THE SAME GO FOR MEN, YOU THINK WOMEN ARE TO BLAME THEN TURN GAY. No body wants to take responsibility for their actions. Being a black man I see in the black community everyone wants to blame another person or race for their problems when the problems are us. WE VICTIMIZE EACH OTHER!!!!!!!! Even the most kind hearted person aren’t always the most innocent. We are all fucked up in individual ways. There are tons of different factors why someone turns out the way they do. Whether money, social pressure from their environment, Parents, friends. We posses the power to make a choice. We all at some point are dishonest, we all take advantage of one of the other. But they are all choices. The solution starts with you. But I’m not the one who’s going to try to change everyones opinion. I’m just going to lead by example by living my life the best way I can. LIKE Martin Luther king said in the BOONDOCKS Cartoon. I” aint going to be there with ya, I’m going to Canada” Look up that episode black people need to watch realize that we are the problem and we are the solutions…. This is why I date out of my race..

    1. I actually agree with 90% of what Devon ever so un-elequently said. I agree people should take personal responsibility for their actions and their reactions. But it's ironic that you decided to throw that last sentence in there and basically destroy your entire argument, bro.

    2. I was with you until the last sentence. You date who you want, no explanations needed. It's not like any of us here can physically stop or interfere with who you want to be with.

    3. I didn't take the tone of this article to be about women being so innocent. I understood it to address the issue of men wantonly throwing crazy in the air as a means of deflecting from whatever the true issues are.
      I have witnessed it before men can be just as manipulative as women. But the titled explained what the context of this article would be. Now when titled says "People are crazy" then goes on to lambast men only feel free to enter your rant there.

    4. "I am tired of" Black men saying this is why I date outside of my race. Perhaps that should be the topic of a new blog. How many times have I heard a Black men say they date out of their race because Black women are crazy, when many times the truth is, they choose to date outside of their race because they are holding onto (and perpetuating) the stereotype that Black women are "crazy", ghetto, gold diggers, have attitudes, don't listen, etc. Or because they dislike that some black women will stand up for their thoughts and beliefs, and they would prefer a passive woman that will not voice any thoughts or opinions that differ from his. I'm not going to make any assumptions about what your issue is, but to believe that an entire race of women shares these characteristics and qualities is ignorant. European women, Indian women, Hispanic women, it doesn't matter what race, in every cultural group you will find women with those negative qualities that turn you off. There is absolutely nothing wrong with interracial dating. If you find a particular individual outside of your race intriguing, that is A ok with me. It's not about race or ethnicity, it's about the qualities in the individual that you are attracted to. BUT, there is something wrong with saying you date outside of your race because it is your solution to whatever problem you have (let's not forget that a Black woman pushed you out of her womb).

      1. Actually, I think people should date outside their race for that very reason. Simply put, if you date around in different races, you'll figure out what problems are gender problems and what problems are regulated to that of Black women.

      2. First and foremost I just want thank everyone seeing my point of view up until the last sentence. This is why I had to use Caps, to grab peoples attention. So as far as I am concerned most people agree with me because you guys can only point out the last sentence. I am happy to be black, and my mission being a black man is to try to reverse the negative stereotypes that black men go through. And stereotyping comes from any and everyone. We do it to ourselves and get pissed when other races stereotype us. To not steer way off the subject, I am glad you guys were paying attention. It is sad that I had written at least 7 paragraphs defending my outburst but my phone screwed up on me. Guess it was a rough draft, but I am not re writing all of that.

        So for a shorter answer, let me say that Yes I did say that, this is why I date out of my race. Fortunately for me this is not a political debate so I can take that back, for I was really stereotyping the american black woman. Not necessarily all black woman. I live in NYC, so I date different black woman from different countries I.e british, african.. I even had the luxury to experience, korean, japanese, russian, Mongolian, Caucasian, Indian, Sri lanken, I’m all over the fucking place but were these women perfect? No way in hell but I loved their mentality for it was different than american woman..

        Am I wrong for stereotyping black american black woman, yes I am but from bad experiences from the past I got the bad perception of A.B.W. (That’s american black woman for short guys) in general. Just like women stereotyping men in this situation that they are at fault for making them crazy. Keep in mind that I am basing this article on the race. I am addressing the black man and black woman. Forgive me because I admit that I did not read the entire article, after the 2nd paragraph I took it upon my self to assume the article is based on black women blaming black men. Black woman think all black men cause them to be crazy.

        Now let’s say that it is true for most of them but I have no idea because I’m not apart of that stereotype. And for people who don’t know, Stereotypes do not Cover the whole race but a good majority of them fall under it. I am starting to lose my train of thought like I starting to now, I actually do like black woman, but I go for open minded ones. I need to make a topic.. And for the first guy, I did refer to the Boondocks episode. With Marting Luther King. I encourage all black people to watch it because it has a deep yet obvious message in the episode to our race. Actually the whole cartoon series is addressing the problems and ignorance black people tend to accept.

        MY OPINION OF THE BLACK RACE is that we are a little too satisfied with where we are in the world and I will not stand for the negative stereotypes that we accept upon ourselves. We all fall under stereotypes once in a while but the negative ones I will fight. For instance, I like fried chicken, I do have a BBC (that’s adult language guys) but I refrain from saying the N*** word, I hardly listen to hiphop, I don’t wear urban clothes anymore and fitted caps (Goodbye Jimmy Jazz, Dr Jays hello Express, Zara, H&M) I make sure I am always on time, I know how to talk in a professional manner that I DO NOT TALK to my boys in. Why do I go out of my way to do these things? To show other races the opposite of what they expect from the typical black man. And by other races seeing a positive example of a black man can allow me to one day walk into a bank without bankers staring at me thinking that I might rob them. I’m swerving off the topic yet again geez. I’m going to start my own convos soon. You guys can not mess with me on this.

        1. Devon, I see what you're doing and what you're saying; but you're contradicting yourself. I'm not judging, but you're coming across as really having a poor perception of Black Americans. Borderline internalized racism. You are blaming the black community, but you seem to equate all these negatives things to people of color (Hip-Hop, 'urban clothes,' fitted caps), which I may add, I do not think are negative. Wearing clothes from Zara, speaking a certain way, listening to certain music does not make you any less Black. It's probably the way you carry yourself. It's always great to show others a great perception of who you are and therefore leaving them with a great perception of your race… But, you act like these things make you less Black. I like to think I'm pretty successful… You know, I'm 24. Have owned my condo since I was 22. Have my college degree. Own my car. Work at a bank. Speak very proper. Carry myself in a proper manner. Dress so professionally, people usually mistake me for a supervisor…. But…. I um… Listen to Hip-Hop… I drop the n bomb outside of work… And hate to break it to you… But just about everyone shops at Zara and H&M. Having grown up in the projects hasn't made me a hood-rat. Listening to Jay, 'Ye, Wayne, Nicki, French Montana, Wiz, has not made me ghetto. Just how buying European styled clothes and getting to work on time has not made me any less Black. I also hate that you differentiate, and break people of color ('ABW') into categories. Do you think that when a Caucasian person looks at you they think "Devon must be an Black African/Black Latino/Black American?" NO! Black is Black… IS BLACK. It just adds to the identity confusion most people of color have as they sit around trying to figure out what type of Black they are. You also mentioned dating an array of different women… But do you really think that women of different races cannot behave the same way you equate American Black Women? Don't you think it's the type of girls that you date rather than the race? I do… And I think it's so sad when people say they won't date a person of their race… It's cool to have a preference… Everyone has those. But to make it a point not to date someone from your race? You have such a poor perception of Black American Women, that it's really making me wonder what's the perception you have the women in your life (g'mom, mom, aunty, sis)? And, I'm glad you quoted Martin Luther King from the Boondocks, because Dr. Martin Luther King… You know, the real one? I doubt he'd agree with you. Remember… He married Coretta Scott King, and she Black. I don't know how you could feel so poorly about your race…. I'm in love with the Black community. I look forward to marrying someone with chocolate skin, and having little chocolate kids…

        2. Flo this site is not allowing me to put my respone up. You guys arent getting me, Im not ashamed of being black. I am ashamed of the negative stereotypes we accept upon ourselves and just do not see the big picture. Ima try to copy and paste bits and pieces. hold on.

        3. @ Flo, I don't think you read my whole passage. I admitted of being wrong stereotyping American Black Woman. It goes hand in hand with women stereotyping men for making them crazy. You see we all have bad experiences with one another and then all of a sudden we all stereotype which is only natural. I do like black woman, and I also like other women from different countries. My preference will always be open minded ones who are not stern with their opinion on how life should be. Dealing with the A.B.W I have had a better experience dealing someone out of country, but to my understanding that I just happen to encounter a few bad apples. And me seeing this now I know I am neither of this stereotype of making women crazy. Because experiencing a few bad men doesn't mean all of them are the same.

        4. To the clothes and hiphop music, and N*** cursing, I don't know where your from but unfortunately a lot of young black men come into different neighborhoods, dressed up in urban attire, always rapping hiphop and blasting obscene hip-hop lyrics out loud, they act very rude and are very obnoxious in public. Where I am from When you see CIVLIZED BLACK PEOPLE they are usually OLDER black people. THESE DAYS I AM PROUD TO SAY that YOUNG BLACK WOMEN are known more for knowing how to act in a civilized PROPER WAY. Not all though, the black women are still burdened with the stereotype of Hair and Nails being a priority, caring about having a fat ass, gold digging,ghetto talking, rude, Hoes, and manipulative liars to get what they want. BUT for my age group of BLACK MEN which is 15 through 30 I have to face the negativity no matter what I do. And I try my best to not fit under the negative stereotype. No one wants to face the fact that black men have a BAD REPUTATION.

        5. And believe it or not the Bad Reputation did not appear on its own, There's is a bad stereotype for black men and as I explained before, stereotypes are actually true its just that the majority fit under it not the entire race. I am only targeting the black man ages 15 through 30 on this one. We are known for dressing a certain way, acting very stubborn and aggressive, we are looked at as thieves, and thugs, drug dealers, money wasting consumers, Weed smokers, Only good for physical athletics, gun toting bullies, letting our pants sag showing our underwear, and we use our (500 year old slave nick name N***) all of the time but we hate it when someone calls us N***. No matter how many times we want to say that all of us are not, it is portrayed on the media about black men being violent, our favorite music is hiphop and we all cheat on our women, and we all act the same. So of course we are going to be treated a certain way. On a slight different note I see a common response on here for some of you that I AM TRYING TO BE LESS BLACK. I LOVE BENG BLACK BUT I WILL NOT ACCEPT THE NEGATIVITY THAT I AM AUTOMATICALLY LABELED WITH JUST BECAUSE I AM BLACK.

        6. The black men I am talking about may not all be bad people but they must not know better, for the way they act will effect the rest of the races image . They don't have any consideration for how they present themselves. So for the next black person other people of other races see that looks a similar way. They will assume the person is the same. Me knowing that I represent all black men whether I like it or not I dress different just to set myself apart from what other races expect from me..

        7. Going on the clothes situation, when you see a black man on the news for a crime what is he wearing? Black kids dress that way because that's the new fashion in, that's how you get the girls/boys, their role models dress that way. Unfortunate to say what you wear will signify a certain lifestyle. HIPHOP style is not positive like it was when it first STARTED. IT IS NOW GANGSTA TO DRESS IN URBAN ATTIRE. WHY? BECAUSE MOST GANGSTAS WEAR THOSE CLOTHES!! For that young 13 year old boy wanting to look cool like their favorite rapper, he will automatically bring on a stereotype that he "He Must Be A Thus" because THAT'S' WHAT THUGS WEAR! Even though they he does not mean any harm, SAGGING YOUR PANTS AND WEARING FITTED PANTS IS IN TODAYS WORLD IS A GANGSTA TRADEMARK. I wear blazers, suits and nice sweaters now because it symbolizes what a SUCCESFUL business person wears.

        8. They stereotype the black man around the world from what they see on TV and media. Just like we stereotype a asian girl walking with a book bag, we ALL assume she is smart because that's her stereotype being portrayed by the media AROUND THE WORLD. We see a guy on a plane with a turban on and we ALL assume that It is a potential bomb threat because that's what the stereotype is AROUND THE WORLD. We see a mexican guy and he could be a millionare but we ALL assume he must be a bar back or a kitchen staff working for cheap because that's his stereotype from around the WORLD.

        9. As stated before my mission is to try to change the stereotype for a more POSITIVE LIGHT for the black man. I am not a racist I am a realist that does not want to accept our position in the world. Black men, we are dying out from HIV and black on black violence, the war on drugs. Tyrese copied and pasted a article report on twitter that 50 years at this rate that we are going the black man can and will become EXTINCT. Obama is but only one person who showed the potential of the black man.. I'm only talking about men you guys, no disrespect to Oprah her highness. My thumbs are tired… Sorry guys, I took the original convo into a new direction.. Great practice..

        10. @Devon

          I am having a field day laughing at all these responses from that one sentence about dating non-Black women. lmao….

          I understand what you're saying, but do YOU understand that it leaves the impression that you've given up on us (Black women) when you say things like that? I think that's probably a part of the issue a lot of Black women have with interracial dating. Everyone will have some disappointments, but to discredit ALL of us based on the shortcomings of a FEW you've dealt with? C'mon man! You're basically saying that you're unwilling to exercise the patience to try and to find a good black woman, that we as a whole are a defunct species of woman, and that none of us are deserving of that opportunity to change your mind. All of this contradicts everything you said before that in your comment. If you understand the dynamic that perpetuates this hurtful cycle in Black love and relationships, why not make an attempt to break it by being the solution you so apocryphally preached for us to be.

        11. "I even had the luxury to experience, korean, japanese, russian, Mongolian, Caucasian, Indian, Sri lanken…"

          Yep, it's a luxury not to HAVE to date Black women. We're terrible. Date another, more LUXURIOUS race ASAP.

          …What a nutjob.

        12. Yes it is a luxury to be able to date women for different countries because most people rather do not have the oppurtunity to mingle in a diverse cultural area or they just stick to their own race. Ive been dating black woman all of my life nut job.

        13. I think your emphasis is misplaced…

          Being able to travel and explore the world is a luxury. I grew up in japan, England, Virginia, Hawaii- spending most of my childhood overseas. The culture, life experiences, and tolerance for societal ignorance is what this luxury afforded me.

          Rather than focusing on how many countries you have been in, I think it would be more advantageous to focus on how many countries you have been to.

          While you base your you life's experiences on the women you encounter and have encountered, the frustration we have is that you leave it at that and perpetuate the stereotype in your mind about black women and the "perception" of what you should be giving or how you as a black man should be living…

          Good luck to you and your endeavors…
          My recent post CarmaKoma Spring 2012 Collection: Attitude is Everything

        14. @ Donai,
          I still don’t think you guys understood what I said. Ima start blogging on another website it was fun writing it while I did. Read the first paragraph I wrote to FLO, further up. I hate repeating myself.. Or just assume I’m a nut and have no clue of what I’m talking about.

    5. I ACTUALLY agreed with your comment until that last sentence, too. Date who you want…no one really cares.

      But, it sounds like you have some kind of self-hate issues going on. Here's a reminder: dating outside your race doesn't make you less black, or less of any race you belong to.

    6. People don't realize that when you read a comment whether it is in CAPS or correct capitalization, it doesn't increase in volume. Just looks like the person has something against their keyboard.

  4. This is so true. Men need to step up more, and hold themselves accountable for what they have done for the female to have done something “crazy.” I do agree that this is their way of taking the spotlight off of them. It’s just sad that females fall for it, and stop being “crazy” only to begin questioning their own characters. Smh..we need more grown, mature, and responsible men who aren’t afraid to admit when they are wrong, instead of looking for a scapegoat.

    1. Good comment. I used to tell a story about a crazy situation that happened to me. And each time I would tell it, I would say, "I'm not going to be the negro who act like he ain't have a part in all this…" I agree that people don't just get crazy on their own. There has to be something to ignite it.

  5. I must say, as a black woman, I take an ever bigger issue with WOMEN who call themselves “crazy” thinking it’s what men like. I’ve heard several women say “well you know…psych pu**y is the best pu**y!” As appalled & irritated as I am by that thought process, I cannot fully blame men for 1) possibly telling women that and 2) suggesting they love alil crazy. Some women do any and everything to seem more attractive to a man, & if acting irrational is the thing, then they proudly accept calling THEMSELVES crazy. It needs to stop. It isn’t cute. And as a psychology professional myself who has worked with mentally unstable individuals, let it be known…there is no luxury or appeal is answering to “crazy.”

    Big s/o to Ayanna, reppin for The Chicago School!!!

    1. Yes… Women being proud of being called crazy are the same as women being happy when dudes call them a "bad bi*ch" but get mad when he just calls her a bi*ch".

      Men calling women names or saying things to make women doubt their intuition when something isn't right is'nt anything new. Men have been flip the script all the time and women fall into who are not sure of themselves. Men are just as guilty in the crazy game, alot of men think that crazy crap is cute until it back fires on them. If your a guy and all the chicks you date are "crazy" you probably not to much of a catch yourself.

      But women need to take a little blame in this as well because its all about your reaction. A man not responding to you the way you wont him to does not give you the right to act stupid , break his property or act a fool in public. have some pride in yourself

    2. Advice for Men: When a woman says she's crazy. Create a No-Fly-Peen Zone around her vagina.

      This has saved my life, i'm sure. A chick told me she was bat sh*t one time to the point of random inspections. I never saw her again.

  6. Yeah, the good ole flim flam, switcharoo: A person calling another person ‘crazy’ because the 'crazy' person is calling out the other person. This does not negate the fact that there are situations when using the word is appropriate and we all know those situations.

    People in general just need to trust their intuition. If you feel slighted, make it known. I grew to understand that when person attacks your character instead of trying to understand you….that's a big sign that your feelings don't matter. Also it shows that they care more about saving face then doing the right thing.

    1. "when person attacks your character instead of trying to understand you….that's a big sign that your feelings don't matter."

      You got it. That person is far more concerned with themselves and how they feel. It speaks volumes when a person isn't willing to take the time out to understand how you feel. They rather disregard you and leave you. It may hurt initially, but they are actually doing you a favor. No one deserves to be with someone who doesn't care about them.
      My recent post The Art of Faking Orgasms 101

  7. Great Post! Its pretty ironic that when women make references about the "crazy men" they've experienced in the past its quickly accepted and never questioned. And maybe its because the most of psycho's we see on TV typically are men. For some very weird reason its not Ok for women to be crazy. Its like we have to get to the root of her because thats not really her, thats years of bla bla blah! Im over it! Crazy is crazy, and you know it when you meet it! And if you dont know give that person the crazy test: while laughing and joking out the blue call them crazy. If their facial expression abruptly changes and they look deeply in ya eyes and say "don't call me that"…then they crazy as hell!

    1. BRUH, RIGHT ON!….But she is right about one thing, we shouldn't call them "crazy", the men should simply AVOID SLEEPING(SEX) WITH THESE LUNATICS!

  8. First, this was a really good read.

    Second – I don't think this is about playing the blame game as some have said upthread. At the end of the day, it's really about respect. Black women and Black men have dealt with disrespect from every direction for so long…it really doesn't make sense that we do it to each other. We don't all have to be #TeamILoveEverybody, but we don't need to tear each other down with hurtful words either. There's so much more I want to say about this topic, specifically on the dichotomy between "The Wild Woman" (crazy) and "Bigger" (the big bad Black man). These labels are almost a century old, and they are still perpetuated today, but now it's within the community as well as outside of it.

    This is probably all very scattered…sorry for that, but I hope the discussion is thorough today!

  9. Well it was quite startling to see people so defensive this morning over this article. I agree that mis-labeling people or your mate as a means of deflecting your own actions is wrong.

    I really wish someone would do an article on fair fighting. I think a lot of times ppl just don't know how to have a disagreement in a healthy manner. I mean I am all for a good debate but for example my ex always felt the need to bring up the past when he was losing an argument which too me is all kind of out of bounds. He didn't care if it bared on the argument at hand or not. It was his trump card and he was never scared to use it. I have also dated someone who took personal things I told him in confidence and threw them at me. That hurt and once again was not necesasry considering the argument we were having. Anywho that's my two cents.

  10. You make a great point Traveling Type. …..Many people don't know how to verbally "fight fair." In the heat of an argument and/or disagreement men and women say things based on their emotions and many times without even thinking of it. A lot of whats said comes from a place of pain and discontentment and because you feel hurt you want to hurt back. It's not right but it is a natural thing.
    Nobody is really taught how to intelligently debate and disagree and speak their minds in a non-confrontational and hurtful way unless: your on a debate team, you've studied psychology, or you know someone who the proper way to disagree and argue their point of view and they have passed that wisdom on to you. I took a debate class in college and that's where I learned how to disagree intelligently and in a non-hurtful and spiteful way. I also learned from my family because we were always taught to talk things out with the purpose of reaching a resolution, not just to see who could out-talk who and see who could tear the other down more.
    I honestly think people of all races should take Love & Communication Classes where people are taught the "right way" to love each other and communicate with each other.
    There is a woman in DC named Nisa Muhammad who runs a school called Wedded Bliss in DC. She actually has classes and training where she teaches single people and couples how to effectively and intelligently communicate with each other and how to love each other right.
    website is: http://www.weddedblissinc.com

    1. "There is a woman in DC named Nisa Muhammad who runs a school called Wedded Bliss in DC. She actually has classes and training where she teaches single people and couples how to effectively and intelligently communicate with each other and how to love each other right"

      Great information!

  11. Just getting back to sbm after a week of nursing a sick child…who made sure he was healed by C-Day, lol. As for "the count", I now believe in "don't ask, don't tell" after having a rela destroyed once I asked and found out my ex was a recovering cheating man-h*e. As for "signs of an upcoming fail", I believe in signs…that many people ignore because they decide too soon that "s/he's the one". #4 is based on the individual and #5 deserves a "C'mon, Son". The chorus of a PJ Morton song says, "Now that I've got a girlfriend/the ones that didn't care then all of a sudden get concerned with what I'm doing/It always happens/I get all the attention from other women when I get a girlfriend." I can testify to this.Dudes come out the woodworks when I'm locked down. It's crazy. People want to be with wanted people. So, if #5 is an issue, prob best to stay single.

    1. Now, for today's post, I'm of the mindset that everyone has a bit of crazy in them. Push the right buttons and anyone is quite capable of doing anything…quite capable of becoming unhinged. Thats why you have to stay humble and be careful of who you allow close to you…and aware of what's going on around you.

      SN: Major AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW at the picture of the SBM fellas over at vsb!!!!

        1. LOL!

          And correction…it's a picture of a group of great writers being friendly when they could be hating, etc. AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!! Heartwarming…

      1. Cynical very true statement…."push the right buttons and anyone is quite capable of doing anything….quite capable of becoming unhinged."

  12. I really appreciate the fresh voice of a a guest post today. It was an interesting read.

    But ultimately, I think there's a difference between "crazy" as we've come to use the term and true, clinical mental instability. This argument reminds me of the case against the N-word. There is history with the word, but we can not ignore the ways in which its definition has evolved. I am not a mental health care professional, but I've done my required clinical rotations in locked down mental institutions and mental illness research units… and in conversation with my family/peers who have social work and psych backgrounds… I can tell you we don't conflate the socially redefined "crazy" and mental disorders.

    My point is, in my experience, "she's crazy" has become something meant much more lightheartedly than what we're suggesting here today. In other words, it just aint that serious. When someone calls me "crazy" I don't take extreme offense… I don't consider it an attack of my character… and maybe that's because I kinda view sanity as the illusion and insanity the reality… but in any case, I usually laugh about it because I don't think the person ever really means it to be as serious as it apparently is to most folks, lol.

    But as always, I appreciate an intellectual deliberation about a socially popular phenomenon.
    My recent post So Much Happens Over A Weekend

  13. The only issue I have with calling a person who fits the bill "crazy" is that it's not descriptive enough. It's being a lil lazy. Usually it can mean one of the following: manipulative, irrational, impulsive, selfish, delusional etc; These are all legitimate causes for concern (or dismissal if they get out of hand). So it's not a problem that we think she's crazy. It's a problem that we didn't get more specific and diagnose what it is that we can't tolerate about her (and if you're really mature, you'd give her the specific diagnosis of what's unattractive about her personality).

    Now as far as guys saying "I like em a lil crazy". I don't think they mean the same crazy that yall are thinking about. What they usually are referring to is the fact that certain desirable traits are usually coupled with undesirable traits. For example, extremely passionate (in life and the bedroom) women tend to be the most irrational and stubborn. Those that argue, fight, and wild out the hardest, also love the hardest and leave no stone unturned in the bedroom. They'll have you feeling like a king fa real fa real. Impulsive chicks are more adventurous and fun in and out of the bedroom, but at the same time they're..(I'm tryin hard not to say crazy lol) more likely to do illogical/dumb ish and have you scratching your head and tryin to explain to your fam what you see in her. Also a woman who's only slightly manipulative and neurotic is sort of endearing and most likely comes off as more feminine, cute, and challenging. Trying to find that balance is tough. The ironic and hilarious thing is that I sound just like a woman explaining why she's so attracted to thugs and swagged out idiots lol. So yeah ladies, I get it smh lol

    1. Naw, I got a boy who likes "crazy" women because he thinks it keeps him honest. I tell him, he really doesn't mean that. But he's just like, "I know not to be texting other chicks, because my girl crazy, she goes through my sh*t." Or he's like, "Nah I don't hang around other women, cause my girl crazy, she know I might try and f*ck one of them jawns."

  14. When a man decides to call me crazy based on my emotional response to something he's done I try my best to respond calmly. If he persists, I simply follow that up with you must like it? I don't like drama and if I am acting "crazy" there is a genuine reason for my discomfort, I don't enjoy it like some do. And once I realize a man i'm seeing enjoys this type of drama, I have to let him go. I have no desires for an up-n-down, rollercoaster style relationship.

    I've had validating experiences, where long long down the line men have admitted that I wasn't being crazy. They just weren't at a point where they could be honest or they admit to not being considerate, or whatever the reason for the misunderstanding. Those moments are always good, now I am mature enough to know that I am not crazy. At times I may overreact, but crazy is not the same thing.

    1. Yeah, I am with you on this. I used to be called the big "C" because I didn't know how to properly deal with being manipulated. I naively believe that everyone shared the same morals, WRONG. I figured out that the only person I could control was myself and to watch for signs that suggested to me that this person was not what they'd claim. I wasn't crazy, but moreso emotionally immature no different from my male counterparts but hey you live and learn. A recent situation occured where a man told me he was "single like a dollar" yet turns out he had change with him called a fiance. I hold a conversation full of why's and how come's, it was obvious he was bored and wanted outside recreation at my expense. I simple told him I am not the home wrecking type, and although I couldn't advise on how to treat her I was going to give him a quick study on me. We conversed and came to a close. He called a couple times afterwards and that is when I broke it to him I don't deal with unstable men maybe he should consult a counselor on his behavior. I was just determine to value my emotional wellbeing and suspend it where it rightfully belong.

  15. I understand that for the purposes of this article "crazy" is used negatively….but it still totally ignores the possibility that she, well, may actually be crazy. From personal experience, I've encountered women that have totally irrational responses to (usually minor) situations and then try to sugar-coat their over-the-top actions by pulling the old "I'm just being a woman" or "It's just that I've been hurt before" card.

    No, your ass is just crazy. And that doesn't get a pass.

  16. I think the article danced around the issue a bit. If a male is not stepping up to be what he’s supposed to be in the situation, this has to be said in stronger language. It is what it is. A man not being a male (supportive, attentive, etc. and desirous of offering things that the woman wants and needs), then this has to be said sharply.

    I think she left off also the other end of it. At some point, if you feel this person to be nuts (i.e., un-deal-with-able), then you have to bounce. But, who is normally mature enough to figure that out in good time. Granted, any bad situation you run into is 95-99.999% your fault, but what about the ones that you see potential for? Are people really apt enough to step once this behavior shows up? And as for being understanding, the issue becomes being able to communicate in a way that gets what you need/want out of the situation. But, that brings up the point of is this necessarily what this other person is shooting for?

    The author mentioned that women can be manipulative, but skips past why ‘crazy’ and the like are used by well-intentioned men: i.e., he’s frustrated and run out of ways to articulate himself. So what’s the alternative? “You’re immature?” “You’re being/ that’s manipulative?” Explaining your way through your feelings? (Isn’t that how you got to saying that x, y and z was “crazy” in the first place)? I’d have liked to have seen a real workable ‘out’ offered. It seems to me that she ought to know that you generally cannot “walk away” from a woman. It doesn’t change the behavior (it’ll probably only get much worse) and it can be damaging (or you can be led to believe that this is so)…. So, where do you have an ‘out?’ Meaning, what means are there to articulate to females that their actions are entirely counter to everything that a relationship is supposed to be about?

    When I’ve been in arguments with ex’s (as an example), it’s been about levels of intimacy that you can’t possibly attain (or shouldn’t even want) at a given juncture in you all’s rapport. I get that the cliché answer is “you step,” but 1) it’s a pattern; women (the outstanding majority of them) just aren’t that mature and 2) if we’re supposed to be sticking by them and helping each other through the twists are turns of life (and rebuilding each other), then what means are left to men to get at the destructiveness of this behavior. Case-in-point: it’s wrong for men to pressure women into sex. But, 1) what man who’s ever tried to make the experience something didn’t encounter resistance—it seems not to matter what this person has professed before you all’s getting together—and 2) women seem to think it’s normal to push for commitment (at ANY stage). If this is as endemic as my 28-years has led me to believe, then there is a major lack of cognizance about what it means to be in a relationship that’s based on anything worth having. Also, women are NOT innocent beings and learn at a young age to use tricks and turns to manipulate people into getting what they want (no anti-female, but teach at an elementary school for a bit and you see it at 7-8—I don’t agree entirely with “she did not to this point on her own,” she’s learned it).

    So, again, what mechanisms does a man really have at his disposal to hit the spot in terms of getting her to realize that he’s on her side? (And the reality is that this is the position that the vast majority of us are going to be in just to have something productive). Women just don’t get that the image of something (a title, sex, holding hands, what-have-you) doesn’t equate to the actual existence of the intimacy that you associate the act with, for one. Second, that someone giving that (or wanting to—or not) is not a reflection on you and your worth, but rather where you all are and what this person is willing, able, inclined and mature enough to give. Ok, “don’t call names,” but certain things need to be made clear and that has to be about a mature vision of the relationship and not how forcefully the words come off (i.e., swagger). You can’t save this person, but how you do get through?

  17. 1/2: To be honest, I don't know how to feel about this topic. I absolutely understand and can appreciate the points made by Dr. Abrams. On the other hand, I recognize that a word is/means nothing without intent and surrounding context. If the situation in which a woman behaves in an unhealthy manner were to occur, does it matter if the offended man chooses to respond with the word(s) 'crazy' versus 'bonkers' versus 'wilding' versus 'deranged' versus 'a mess' versus 'tripping' … etc etc? Is it not the intent and the context of the situation that gives power to the message that he intends to deliver (whether it be one of frustration, disbelief, anger) and not the actual word that he used?

    1. 2/2: I think the bigger point (which many of you have touched on) is accountability and communication. But how many women and men are taking the time to evaluate their behaviors or their logic in situations? It's not sexy to self-reflect and hold yourself up to the standards that you expect others to have. So, if a person cannot reflect and come to terms with what's occurring — then how can we expect he/she to properly communicate? Instead, you get knee-jerk reactions that are small sneak-peeks of those hidden emotions — thus, the word "crazy" easily being thrown in the face of another.

      It starts with self, and hopefully ends with all.

  18. Can we just be honest. When someone repeatedly does things that are hurtful destructive or out side of the norms of society we can pick more politically correct words, but some things really just are crazy. Everyone is not a clinical psychologist, or has the vocabulary to accurately diagnosis with particular neurosis a person may be suffering from so crazy is a good catch all. Let's at least be honest, we have all seen people who were doing things so far out of the bounds of accepted decorum that it simply was labeled crazy, and when you explained it to someone else they knew exactly what you meant by crazy. So while technicalities are fun, and it would be great to get everyone the help they need, enriching psychologist all over the world, some people (notice people are both male and female) are just off, out to lunch, a few cards short of a full deck, a few sandwiches short of a picnic, the elevator does not go all the way to the top, in short…….CRAZY.

  19. What a wonderful, well-written article from someone who actually knows what they're talking about! I agree with the author in that the term "crazy" is often used too loosely by Black men to elicit some type of response or get away with behavior that is unacceptable, but I think there are times when that term is warranted. We are all not walking around with psychology degress and cannot use clinically correct terms for everything we are experiencing.

    I dated a guy once. He was crazy in every sense of the word. I would never call him crazy to his face because he may have gone "crazy" on me for doing so, but he knew he was crazy, whether he's always that way or he just lost it for a hot second. Often when a guy I'm dating tells me his ex was crazy, I assume there was something he did to drive her to this point. I think passionate = crazy to most of us, but passionate doesn't drive the point home sometimes, crazy does.
    My recent post Men are from Venus, Women are from Venus

    1. Your comment is very revealing. Basically, you suggested that most men when crazy in relationships are crazy out of their own doing, whereas women are mostly driven crazy by men…and you also equated passion with crazy. If we assumed what you’re saying is true, that mean men’s passions come from within, whereas women’s passions come from men…which believe it or not, I actually agree with, but I doubt any woman would be brave enough to make such a comment. Kind of explains why women can’t stand boring men, and seem to never give men the space they want.

  20. All this nasty name calling! Why don't we just face it? Many of us think we're nothing without a man around and many of us think women can put up with anything just to have us around. We think it's fine to have one kid after another then leave them with the baby's momma when we get tired of all that stuff that goes with babies. Then we go out and have another one. And women think they have to protect us from the big, white, mean world. We take our problems and dump them on the men who come behind us. We need to clean up our act and find one woman to take care of and who will take care of us.

  21. Man, I expected more from a doctor wtf lol.

    If your gut tells you to call a woman crazy, be a man and tell her she’s crazy and deal with the consequences. Just like how freedom and security are often in conflict; sensitivity and honesty are always in conflict. As a dude, constantly editing yourself to protect the feelings of your woman, is a never-ending battle, plus it’s oppressive; it’s basically you sacrificing your own feelings for her own and don’t you ever forget that. What’s the point of having a main woman if you can’t speak freely?

    This article just sounds like another instance of women telling men how they want men to love them, in other words trying to control how men treat them when they’re in love, which many times, is what leads to us calling them crazy to begin with.

  22. Do You Have a Criminal Record?…subtle relationship crimes (pt 1)

    Though not punishable by law, there are many acts that take place everyday within the confines of a relationship that constitute crime on the most insidious level. ~Cullen Mattox

    Emotional Unavailability, Passive Aggressiveness, or Psychological and Emotional Abuse all constitute grave offenses against morality. And though they seem to be menial next to murder, rape and assault, I contend that they are equally deadly. Each is extremely destructive, but the difference is the potential victims of murderers or rapists are more likely to flee their assailants, whereas the potential victims of the more subtle emotional or psychological crimes are more likely to tough it out as if enduring abuse were a natural part of growth in a relationship.

    WhenLoveWorks, individuals begin with a healthy functional love for themselves; so when dysfunction, no matter how subtle, presents itself it sends a red flag. ~Elitia Mattox

  23. I'm a Black American woman and no matter the color, creed, race, ethnicity, gender everyone can be crazy and when you realize it get out the relationship. I'm not speaking of needing medicine, but crazy that leads people to do things they shouldn't do or wouldn't do ordinarily because they can't handle their feeling maturely or deal with the person their in a relationship maturely. It's sad to put this onto stereotype or any ethnic group as whole, I've dated atleast two men I would call crazy and in the end of one of those relationships I felt the guy really needed medicine. I don't judge every man in society or in the black race based on the two men, everyone is different and their own individual lets treat them as such. And if you continue to stay with someone that you say is crazy what does that make you? Good question.

  24. In my opinion everybody has weakness . We don t need to point anybody. Just ourselves. I ve realized that if I m sick I prefer to have somebody who will not judge me but take me as I am. I not crazy…loll just naive on and off. So I prefer to kick the ones who don t have any mind to realize that crazyness comes from lack of peace and love. Thanks.

  25. Hmm, sometimes I still say crazy. But recently I've been saying bat shit ignorant. I dunno, it has a ring to it. Of course the same message is being conveyed. hmm.

    Attacking the word crazy itself instead of the idea behind the word is highly questionable. It's kinda like attacking the word nigger, and you know the copious amounts of discourse around the use of that word. It kinda got ridiculous and IMO, became a distraction from the real problem.

    The word crazy isn't a nice thing to say to a woman, but starting a dialogue that will start people saying "the C-word"…because the real word is taboo, is an entirely worthless thing to do to a woman.
    My recent post The Angry Black Woman: Don't be Mad

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