It’s one of the “five deadly words” men use to shame women.
Image via Filippo Monteforte / Getty Images
Men often dismiss women, their thoughts, and emotions by offhandedly labeling them “crazy.”
Case in point: Look no further than the current president. Trump has a long history of dismissing his female adversaries by calling them “crazy.”
According to Harris O’Malley of The Washington Post, “crazy” is one of “the five deadly words guys use to shame women into compliance. The others: Fat. Ugly. Slutty. Bitchy.”
Natalie Portman had a few choice words for men who label women crazy at this month’s Variety’s Power of Women luncheon.
“Stop the rhetoric that a woman is crazy or difficult,” Portman said. “If a man says to you that a woman is crazy or difficult, ask him, ‘What bad thing did you do to her?’ ” she continued. “That’s a code word. He’s trying to discredit her reputation. Make efforts to hire people who’ve had their reputations smeared in retaliation.”
Natalie Portman gives a step by step guide on how to help women. Step 5: "Gossip well. Stop the rhetoric that a woman is crazy or difficult. If a man says to you that a woman is crazy or difficult, ask him: what bad thing did you do to her?" #PowerOfWomen https://t.co/1PJ3dEgBuu pic.twitter.com/1mX6EAHYZN— Variety (@Variety) October 12, 2018\n
Portman’s comments came as part of a step-by-step guide on how to help women in Hollywood, but the advice can apply to people across any profession. In her speech, she also denounced Harvey Weinstein and dispelled the myth that women are underrepresented in leadership positions because they choose to have families.
“There are too many that don’t choose to have children, do not yet have children, or have grown children to account for the gaping lack of women in leadership positions in almost every industry,” Portman said.
Portman has been an outspoken advocate for women’s rights throughout her career. Last year, she had an epiphany in the wake of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.
“When I heard everything coming out, I was like, Wow, I’m so lucky that I haven’t had this. And then, on reflection, I was like, OK, definitely never been assaulted, definitely not, but I’ve had discrimination or harassment on almost everything I’ve ever worked on in some way,” she said at the 2017 Vulture Festival.
“I went from thinking I don’t have a story to thinking, Oh wait, I have 100 stories. And I think a lot of people are having these reckonings with themselves, of things that we just took for granted as like, this is part of the process.”