Michele Bachmann is many things but she’s not crazy
January 5, 2012
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Bigoted, ignorant, malevolent…I could go on. But calling a woman in power “crazy” just because you disagree with her is harmful to all women. Not to mention abelist.
Today alone I have seen dozens of posts (many from feminist sources) rejoicing in the result in Iowa last night that left Bachmann behind, and I’m with them. However, deciding to laugh about how “crazy” she is and say shit like “Now you can go back to the loony bin” is totally unacceptable.
I get it, she sucks, the stuff she says is terrible and terrifying. But when you call a woman who is attempting to make her voice heard “nuts” and “psycho” you are actually furthering the default retort for all women who speak out and fuck people off. The retort is always around how hysterical and “batshit” they are.
And yes, those things get leveled at men who fuck people off to, but usually in the context of a slew of other adjectives around how “archaic” or “uninformed” or “bigoted” he is. Usually as part of a deeper discussion on his politics. It is very, very rare for a man in power to simply be written off as “crazy” the same way Bachmann has since she came on the scene. Even if those men spout identical views (and much worse).
Left wing and liberal people should know better. I expect to be (and have been dozens of times) called “crazy” by socially conservative right wingers and Christian fundamentalists, because writing me off as crazy for Being A Woman With An Opinion is clearly logical if you take the view that I’m unsexing myself in doing so, and I should just shut up and let the (white) men do the talking.
But left wingers and liberals (should) hold progressive, feminist, oppression-averse values. And part of that is thinking critically about your internal monologue and default responses to things, when pretty much everything we are socialised to do hangs on deeply rooted (often subconscious) misogyny. It’s hard, and I personally know I will never stop untraining myself from problematic habitual stuff, but knowing that calling women in power “crazy” because you want them to stop talking is not rocket science guys.