Sunday, November 6, 2011

Newsflash: You are not crazy and neither am I

This a really thought-provoking piece about the "epidemic that defines women as crazy, irrational, overly sensitive and unhinged." I think it's important reading for women, men and, especially, girls.
    The writer - male, for the record - blames men, mostly, but I'd argue that women are guilty of perpetuating the myth, too. I've been hearing "calm down, you're over-reacting" my whole life, starting from my parents (mostly my dad, but Mom, too) and, now, even my kids get into the act once in a while. (I confess that I have accused my daughter of the same 'offense," especially at that time of the month.)
    What's more troubling are the people in our lives who - intentionally or unknowingly - practice 'gaslighting', which means "creating a reaction -- whether it's anger, frustration, sadness -- in the person they are dealing with. Then, when that person reacts, the gaslighter makes them feel uncomfortable and insecure by behaving as if their feelings aren't rational or normal." I am fortunate not to live with a gaslighter, but I have been 'gaslighted' in the past, and it can be damaging to your sense of self. 
   My take-away: Our reactions are simply our reactions. Our sensitivity levels are neither over or under. They just are. From now on, let's stop apologizing for being normal.


KJ said...

I agree! Great post, Cathy.


Loved this. Took the liberty to send the link to a couple men who have gaslighted me. Take care.

Cathy Hamilton said...

Go, Terre! I think most men who gaslight don't do it intentionally, as to belittle. It's becomes a way of winning an argument, getting an apology or getting their way. It's so accepted - this notion of the over-reacting, overly-sensitive woman, it's like they've got a mandate to push us to the brink then call 'foul.'

Ann alka WorkingBoomer said...

I agree. We as do not deserve being told how to feel. Great blog!

Cathy Hamilton said...

Thanks, Ann. Welcome to the blog.