Even in today’s society, women have been marked with a transparent target of craziness and insanity that is created through their interactions with the opposite gender. Men perceive women has “crazy” mainly because they feel if a woman has any say in what happens in their live, they lose a sense of masculinity. The whole idea of “Men put food on the table, women cook it.” scenario is slowly changing, and with thousands of years worth of thinking engraved into the minds of the common person leave no room for exploration into female empowerment.
What makes a woman a woman? Why are they perceived to be crazy? Why do the adjectives we use to describe people change based on the gender of the person we’re referring to? All of these questions have been disregarded, and as the push for female empowerment continues, the rationality of society’s thinking is pressured to change. According to Gary Nunn’s article on “the feminisation of of madness is crazy”, the word “hysterial” was only used to describe a woman. Other theories of hysteria included female genitalia, including the uterus and the menstrual cycle. The word “loony” was created to describe how a woman’s menstrual cycle coincided with the moon’s cycle. Woman have been seen as an almost secondary entity- they are left on the sidelines as the males run the world. They are not allowed to think, to evaluate, and to have opinions. If a woman has those things, they are crazy and should be fixed, so to speak.
When comparing this theory to House of the Spirits, this line of thinking is very apparent. As the males metaphorically (and sometimes literally) blow up everything around them, the women are created as signs of hope within the story. When you think of the powers the women in this story obtain, it’s deemed crazy by the men, but in truth it is the very thing that helps these women thrive in their world. Without the craziness to fuel their desire for things to get better, women would still have no say. It TAKES crazy women, and people in general, to make a change happen. People with power see the “crazy” as weakness, but in reality that is the only thing that can stop them. The crazy manifests itself as a voice.
(Sorry Duffey, still not feeling well, and I tried to get it turned in before midnight, but wasn’t quite successful. I hope you won’t hold that against me too much.)