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Are women truly locas?


If you’re a woman, chances are you’ve been called loca by a man. I certainly have. But where does this “crazy women” stereotype come from? And, is there any truth to it?

First of all, let’s take a look at some of the sources of women’s alleged mental instability. I will start off with the so called craziness that’s actually backed up by scientific evidence: hormonal imbalances. There’s PMS, or Premenstrual Syndrome, menopause, pregnancy and even PMDD – Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder – which is basically PMS on crack.

Aside from physical symptoms like headaches, fatigue, acne, bloating, and weight gain – which are enough to make anyone lose it – these hormonal imbalances can cause emotional symptoms such as mood swings, tension or anxiety, depression, crying fits, and social withdrawal. And if you happen to fall into the 8% of women who experience PMDD, your symptoms are exponentially worse – think Linda Blair here. In other words, we’re not crazy; it’s hormonal imbalances.

Another trigger of our supposed craziness is the ever-increasing demands placed on women, particularly working women. Despite the fact that sixty percent of women in the U.S. are either the sole bread-winners or are earning as much or more than their spouses, the responsibility of housework and childcare still falls mainly on them. Our society teaches women that it’s their job to cook, clean and take care of the kids, whether they are stay-at-home moms or not. And even when the man contributes to household chores and childrearing, the woman still does most of the work.

The pressure of trying to take care of everything and also succeed professionally places a huge burden on women, causing their stress levels to fly through the roof. What are the emotional consequences of high stress levels? You guessed it, a host of behavioral changes: anger, hostility, (more) mood swings, depression, etc. In other words, we’re not crazy; it’s high stress levels.

Last, but not least, our society has conditioned men into labeling women as irrational or crazy when they express certain concerns or react to certain behaviors. In psychology, this is called Gaslighting, and is named after the 1944 movie Gaslight, in which a husband wants to make his wife – played by Ingrid Bergman- believe she is going mad so he makes the gaslights in their house flicker on and off. When she notices it, he tells her it’s her imagination.

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation in which the victim is made to believe they are being unreasonable, overreacting, reading too much into things, being too sensitive – basically acting crazy. The person starts to doubt their instincts, reasoning, and the validity of their feelings and sometimes even winds up apologizing for their “looney” behavior. Women are told they are being too touchy or emotional and are often asked to calm down, relax, or let it go, forcing them to question their sound judgment and back off. In other words, we’re not crazy; it’s emotional manipulation.

Sorry guys, us women aren’t locas, and if you want to live in peace with us, simply follow these three rules: bear with us when our hormones are whacky, give us a hand when our stress levels are insane, and stop trying to drive us crazy.

About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.


  1. Gloria says:

    Very true and precise. I like it

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