Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Real C Word

We've all heard it before: "That girl is craaazayyyy!!!!!!" But does the emotional woman idea hold any water? Unsurprisingly, not a drop. The stereotype of the overly-sensitive, weepy-woman isn't a new concept: woman gets dumped; woman eats a few pints of rocky road ice cream; woman wallows in despair for a week or so. But what gets left off in this ever-so-popular fiction is this: woman moves on. Although the guy feels better right away when a romantic relationship breaks up, its actually the male counterpart that suffers the most from intense emotional distress over the long run.

In my social psychology class we discussed emotions and how the sexes feel them, use them, and perpetrate them. Its actually quite fascinating if you're into that kind of thing. As early as 1931 research has shown that, contrary to popular belief, it is actually the men that are the more emotional of the two genders, although only slightly.

Think about it. Who resorts to violence when someone bumps into them at a party by accident? The guys. Who feels the need to shut down marital conflicts, rather than talk it out and discuss the problem? Men again. Even in infant studies baby boys are more likely to have angry outbursts and throw temper tantrums than little girls are. Elementary school aged boys seek exciting rough and tumble games, but when disputes arise are known to resort to arbitrary rules made up on the spot, sometimes going so far as to "replay" the event rather than admit someone is wrong. Perhaps its not that men are as stoic as the act they like to give off- its simply that we live in a culture that says men aren't allowed to be emotional- so they run from it. Because of the roller coaster that is the male psyche, men may work harder than women do to avoid having emotions in the first place.

Don't get me wrong fellas, I do not pretend that we girls aren't sometimes a bit emotional, but for pete's sake can we all stop using "crazy" as a cop out for your own lack of emotional security?

One of my very good friends was telling me recently about how her guy said she was overreacting because his first snapchat best friend was his recent ex, while she wasn't in the top three. Was it a big deal? Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't, but the point is this: instead of saying something like, "We are actually still friends, but I'm sorry you are feeling insecure about it. I am with you because I want you  so please understand that me and my ex ended for a reason." No, instead he hit her with, "Wow stop being so crazy!"

Wait, what? Shouldn't a guy that is being faithful be cool-headed enough to have a rational excuse for such a pretty obvious betrayal of her trust? Instead, he pulled out the one word most women cannot stand to be called: the real C word. He spun the situation around so that he could get off scot-free, and she is left feeling like an insane person for daring to question him.

That may seem like a trivial story, but in reality, ladies, we know it happens entirely too much.

When your gut tells you something doesn't add up, more likely than not you are correct. Female intuition is a powerful force. Studies on brain scans from different research organizations are showing that the female brain is wired more heavily between the right and left hemispheres. This means that women are linked more strongly than men between intuition and analytical thinking. Listen to yourself! You might just be right. Don't let this power-play keep you from asking questions that deserve answers.

As for the C-word, guys? It's disrespectful. It shouldn't happen. Stop using it. Embrace your masculine emotions so we can all move on.