I think we’ve all met people in our lives that are crazy, nuts, or insane. There are different degrees of crazy. For example, everyone has the relative that is somewhat crazy but still lovable. That is small-sized crazy. Mid-sized crazy is when you start to have some concern if the person is harmless or not. As a result, you start to deliberate in your mind the lyrics of The Clash’s song “Should I Stay or Should I Go.” Super-sized crazy is when you have no doubt the person is crazy and it’s time to take a deep breath, slowly back up, and leave. Off the charts crazy is permanent status at a mental health facility and/or completely off the reality grid.
The reason I bring up the whole crazy issue is the recent Newsweek cover of Michele Bachmann. Did you see it? Well, it’s an unflattering photo that shows Ms. Bachmann looking crazy! The caption under the image is: THE QUEEN OF RAGE. The awkward image shows Ms. Bachmann gazing cross eyed into a bright political bliss light while slightly biting down on her lower lip.
To be honest, I’m a left leaning political individual and found the cover to be strange and inappropriate. I don’t agree with Ms. Bachmann on most issues (almost all) but agree that she was treated unfairly. Was it a ploy by Newsweek to get attention? Yes, and it worked to get attention because print media is a slowly dying industry. It was a smart move to make money but I can’t say with complete certainty it was done in a sexist manner. Newsweek’s editor Tina Brown is known for her global efforts including the highly acclaimed Women in the World summit.
However, there is a pattern of women candidates being treated differently. Ms. Bachmann in a recent Republican debate in Iowa was asked what she meant in her wedding vows to be submissive to her husband. I checked the date, it’s 2011, and she’s being asked this why? Were any of the male candidates asked if they were “submissive” to their wives? No.
Remember when Hilary Clinton ran for president? At a campaign stop, two men stood up in the crowd and started screaming: “Iron my shirt!” Ms. Clinton received backlash when she fought back tears during a campaign stop. She was ridiculed that she wouldn’t be able to handle the stress of being president. The current House of Representatives majority leader, John Boehner, cries publicly often. Where are the questions by the media if he can handle the stress?
Maybe Jimi Hendrex was right: “You have to go on and be crazy. Craziness is like heaven.”