I’ve been called absurd by friends and foes alike. AC Voice commenters like to lob it at articles that challenge existing power structures as if by deeming an article “absurd” they can effectively conceal the glaring inequalities proved by numerical evidence. (Calling my articles absurd won’t make anyone’s bladder less full or their professor less white.) But there have also been times when I’ve been called absurd by a friend and thought to myself, “I’m sure they mean, like, effervescent.”
It seems that absurd is the new crazy. Not that people don’t still call me crazy (I hope I’ll always be Crazy Freshman Gina to some), but now it’s similarly used to discredit real facts and feelings. Dave Chappelle put it best when he said, “The worst thing to call someone is crazy. It’s dismissive.” The main argument against calling people crazy is that it completely invalidates their feelings. Calling something “absurd” is similar in that it dismisses the relevance and importance of the issue. Contrary to popular belief, we don’t have a screening system that insists that all AC Voice articles must meet some criteria of importance.
People have written time and time again about why men need to stop calling women crazy but they still do it, and many women and girls feel that they need to constantly be on the defensive against that damning label. And while many young women are consulting their friends for an opinion on if their double-text sounds crazy, straight boys are out there straight white boy texting with absolutely no shame.
Now, sometimes people do act “crazy,” in that their reactions are above and beyond what is reasonable, or seem completely unrelated to the interaction at hand. But that’s an iffy distinction to make because everyone reacts differently to things, and it doesn’t mean they aren’t reacting with reason. Basically, someone having a reaction that isn’t favorable to you doesn’t give you the right to call them crazy.
Similarly, if you read an article you disagree with, come up with something better to say about it than that it’s just absurd and “laughable at best.” (If you DO think it’s laughable at best, record yourself laughing and post a download link in the comments.) You might think this article is absurd but then, saying so in the comments is kind of a cheap joke, right? Haha, then what? ;)