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Crazy, PMSing Nutjobs: From Kangana to Cardi B, We Love ‘em Labels

How many times have we dismissed our women celebs as “hysterical’’? 

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Are you a woman? Strike one.

Now, if you are a woman, you need to have f**ks to give. An unhealthy number of them. If you don't, your devil-may-care slant may land you a lot of unsought labels. You've usurped a man's territory by ''not caring'', by not ''watching your mouth''. Strike two.

Finally, what happens to you if you are not just a woman who's laid claims to traditionally masculine traits, but you're also someone who's not put a premium on conventional definitions of  ''normalcy", ''sanity'', ''regularity", and other protocol-driven aches that serve as all-season bonanzas? You say what you want to say, do what you want to do, without having any f**ks to give about what's 'proper' and 'improper'. Strike three.

You become irredeemable. And come “unhinged”. History decides to be brutally unforgiving to you. 
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Take, for example, Bollywood's pull-no-punches queen, Kangana Ranaut. She's forthright, she is unexpected and she doesn't hold back. Her spat with Hrithik, her remarks on Karan Johar's show, her political views, and other ''crazy'' comments have landed her in hot water quite a few times.

How many times have we dismissed our women celebs as “hysterical’’? 
She doesn’t conform to most limits, and the ‘beyond-comprehension’ factor kills us softly and mercilessly.

We usually steer clear of what we don't understand and Ranaut happens to be-hallelujah!-a woman we don't understand. Thus, all her traits bundle up together to affect an outrageous ripple effect, worse than one a man would affect, because there is a terrible backstory to her reality- she is a woman.

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When she chooses to throw a ''fit'', she is ''hysterical'', ''crazy'', and a ''PMSing nutjob''. Of course, we have the likes of  KRK, Imam Siddiqui and others who are probably called similar names. But here's the thing:

It is not the same. We hate ''difficult'' women more than we hate ''difficult'' men.

(PS: Hippocrates, the Greek kingpin, came up with the word "hysteria"-- from hystera or uterus.)

How many times have we dismissed our women celebs as “hysterical’’? 
KRK
(Photo: Facebook) 
How many times have we dismissed our women celebs as “hysterical’’? 
Imam Siddiqui
(Photo: Facebook) 
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Remember what Cardi B gyrates to in Maroon 5's Girls Like You?

"You don't want a girl like me, I am too crazy, the others you meet are too fugazi".

How many times have we dismissed our women celebs as “hysterical’’? 

Cardi B, the flagbearer of acidic sass, is also a few steps ahead of her detractors. She's couldn't care less if she is dismissed as a "crazy whackjob".

''Crazy'' is her sell and she is not- in the least-apologetic about it.

There is no denying that her fights with Nicki Minaj, her “crazy’’ comments littered with a generous sprinkling of  words like “b*tch’’ and “hoe’’ (She once compared the hate she receives to ‘’f**king farther than the a**hole’’), and her overall mince-no-words directness have drawn a lot of ‘she-is-a boss-but-she-is-crazyremarks. 
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Has Cardi B not said things that have inspired awe? Yes.

Has she not said things that have sounded a bit off? Yes. But we've still called her a ''bit nutty''? Yes.

When we choose to call a woman ''hysterical'', we trace our footsteps back to this:

There was a time when women, in the mid-centuries, were being diagnosed with an imaginary ''mental disorder'' called ''hysteria''.

The symptoms?

“Fainting, anxiety, sleeplessness, irritability, nervousness, excessive vaginal lubrication, erotic fantasizing, and ‘a tendency to cause trouble for others’,’’ according to Rachel Maine in The Technology of the Orgasm.

How many times have we dismissed our women celebs as “hysterical’’? 
“Treatment of female hysteria. Lithograph, Jean Pierre Megre, 1822”
(Photo: Twitter)
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Gradually, ''female hysteria'' became the go-to ''diagnosis'' for a range of things.

This was a time when there was a dearth of female doctors around- and beat this- the attributed reasons for this ‘’condition’’ was a case of “wandering wombs’’, used to diagnose women with incomplete sex lives!

PS: Such was the moral panic of letting women be that- at one point- early trains (a technological change that faced an instinctive resistance at first)  were believed to make women's uteruses-easy targets, of course-fly out!

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Unfair?

Can't understand a man prone to unconventional opinions?

He is ''crazy''. Perhaps redeemable. And that's about it.

Can't understand a woman who is prone to the same?

She is ‘’crazy’’. And there is SO much more to it. You are, by virtue of an established history of discrimination, dismissing her and reducing her to her gender.   
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So, go ahead, say all you want to say about the Cardi Bs, Miley Cyrsuses, and Kangana Ranauts-good or bad- but please, for a woman's sake- don't dismiss them as ''crazy women".

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Bollywood   Women   Kangana Ranaut 

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