I think it’s important for me to have absolutely no regard for how people should or shouldn’t respond to what I’m writing. Thinking about your readers seems like a morass that will only end in a flabby, pandering piece of literature. At the same time, you can’t have zero regard for the reader’s experience; they’re participating in this nightmare, too.
"But you do want a career, don’t you?"
"No. I want to work at Dunkin’ Donuts when I get out of school. I want to get fat. Or be addicted to heroin. I want to be a disaster."
—Mary Gaitskill, “Connection” from Bad Behavior
What men mean when they talk about their “crazy” ex-girlfriend is often that she was someone who cried a lot, or texted too often, or had an eating disorder, or wanted too much/too little sex, or generally felt anything beyond the realm of emotionally undemanding agreement. That does not make these women crazy. That makes those women human beings, who have flaws, and emotional weak spots. However, deciding that any behavior that he does not like must be insane– well, that does make a man a jerk.
And when men do this on a regular basis, remember that, if you are a woman, you are not the exception. You are not so cool and fabulous and levelheaded that they will totally get where you are coming from when you show emotions other than “pleasant agreement.”
When men say “most women are crazy, but not you, you’re so cool” the subtext is not, “I love you, be the mother to my children.” The subtext is “do not step out of line, here.” If you get close enough to the men who say things like this, eventually, you will do something that they do not find pleasant. They will decide you are crazy, because this is something they have already decided about women in general.
What color do you like most?
Red! and black… It will be thirty years that I dress in black. Red because of something I have always wanted to have been: a bullfighter. To be male. Beautiful. Piss everyone off: men, women, children, old people, old men that duel for me… It’s crazy! Black because I have always liked myself in black. A black pillow. Even when I was young, I used to go horseback riding and I taught children to do the first obstacles, in handling. I always wore a black shirt because it gave me the idea that this ugliness of mine had a mysterious air. That of a bloodsucker, that of a deadly woman. That was at least fifty percent, the deadly woman is worth half. It’s crazy.