If Halsey Were a Man, No One Would Be Calling Her Crazy


Breaking down the altercation between the pop star and an audience member at a Pre-Super Bowl concert.


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Scrolling through Twitter on Saturday night, I came across dozens of tweets from people all over about Halsey’s “manic outburst.” She had, apparently, done something so erratic that people were calling her crazy. Living in this patriarchal society, I have become well-versed in the “crazy” label that women are given by men and women alike for things that are actually not crazy at all. So, I kept reading.

I learned the name of her new album, MANIC, was used to further the jokes made at the singer’s expense. “She’s doing a great job of promoting that album,” said one user. “Halsey is crazy, but we all knew this. That new album name fits,” someone else commented.

Wondering what everyone was talking about, I found the link to the video of the singer performing at a recent Pre-Super Bowl concert in Miami on February 1st.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=082FYB_0Y0h2JWP00Screenshot from Twitter User, shows Halsey yelling back at someone in the crowd who was repeatedly screaming her ex-boyfriend rapper G-Eazy’s name.

In the video, Halsey is standing on stage, about to start a song, when she addresses someone in the crowd who has been screaming the name “G-Eazy” again and again.

For those that don’t know, G-Eazy, also a musician, is Halsey’s ex-boyfriend. They dated on and off from 2017 to 2018. When their relationship ended, she wrote and released her 2018 hit single, Without Me”, which is about the rapper. (Lyrics include, “You know I’m the one who put you up there/Name in the sky/Does it ever get lonely?/Thinking you could live without me?”)

She has since talked about their toxic relationship, but during her SNL performance in February 2019, she let the stage do the talking for her.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0XvqNN_0Y0h2JWP00Without Me Performance by Halsey on SNL, February 9, 2019

As she performed “Without Me”, the background behind her lit up (at 1:35) with the words, “I’m so sorry I cheated Ashley” (Halsey’s real name) and the names of several cities, referencing places where he admitted cheating on her like, “At home in Los Angeles, In New Orleans, In Austin, In Dallas, In Minneapolis.” Written near the floor, “I’m so sorry” and “More places I can’t even remember.”

Fast forward to the apparently “crazy” Halsey outburst at the Pre-Super Bowl performance in Miami. She is about to sing when someone in the crowd yells out her ex’s name. That ex. The one she wrote that song about. The one who inspired her to sing on a stage decorated with the locations of all the places he cheated on her. That ex.

A man is yelling G-Eazy’s name at her own show, so she responds. Anyone familiar with Halsey would expect nothing less. Not because she is “crazy” but because she has always been an “I’m not taking shit from anyone” type of gal. She is a strong, empowering, brave young woman, and she stands up for what is right. (Just watch this 2018 NY Women’s March video, where TW: she reads a poem about her friend's rape.)

So, she responds to the fan by yelling back. Here is the transcript of her interaction:

“If you say G-Eazy one more *** time, I will kick your ass out of this party. Test me. You want to get out of the crowd? Who was it? It’s you? Who said G-Eazy? Who’s *** yelling it cuz I’ll kick your ass out of the *** club. Do not disrespect me like that at my own show!”

After watching the video many times, I can hear the pain in her voice and I can see the pain in her body as she bends down and points her finger at the heckler near the front row. I can’t imagine going through a public abusive relationship, then a public break-up, then trying to move on with her career, just to be reminded of the toxic ex, while she is performing her music at her own show.

We can all relate (to an extent) when it comes to the bad break-up and the cheating ex. We feel her pain. We can understand what it’s like to be reminded of our hurt. If someone stood a few feet away from me and started yelling the name of my cheating ex, I wouldn’t be calm about it either.

But for someone to come into her space, and heckle her like that, it was beyond disrespectful. And yes, MANY online users defended her. But so many others called her crazy and told her to calm down. “Is she mentally stable?” “Eww, she made a whole scene,” commented others.

But if Halsey were a man, she would not be attacked with comments about her mental health.

No one would be telling her she needs to get help or that she’s having a “mental breakdown”. People would applaud her for standing up for herself — if she were a man. Fans would tell her that she did what was right — if she were a man. Everyone would talk about how badass she was — if she were a man.

But she’s a woman, so people call her crazy.

I’d like to present another incident between artist and audience member.

In this video from a 2014 Migos concert, rapper Offset is shown diving off stage to punch a fan in the crowd. Offset, the American rapper who is part of the rap group Migos, and who shares a daughter with female rapper Cardi-B, was apparently visibly upset during the performance before jumping into the crowd and starting a brawl.

From this article, the backstory behind the fight is revealed as the victim was trying to steal a chain from the rappers while they performed. So, they fought back.

The comments from the video include:

  • “Offset seem (sic) like the only hard one in the group.”
  • “That *** is hilarious."
  • “This why Offset my favorite.”
  • “I got new respect for the Migos now cuz lets (sic) be real, most rappers wouldn't do that they wud of (sic) just talked ***.”

I had to scroll for a very long time before I found the word crazy in the comments of this fight. Most people were commenting on how “savage” Offset was, how funny the video was, and how the rapper is now their favorite for throwing a punch.

Assault is applauded in the comments section of this video.

However, in the comments of the video of Halsey yelling to defend herself against someone who is at her concert, yelling her toxic ex’s name to her, the majority of people aren’t talking about how badass she is.

Instead, she’s crazy, she needs help, she is embarrassing herself.

I do recognize that not all men are excluded from mental illness accusations. Rapper Kanye West is notorious for receiving constant attacks about his “mental breakdowns” while going on his many twitter rants. (He did get a chance to talk about his bipolar diagnosis on David Letterman’s Netflix show, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.”)

But there is no denying, even though men like Kanye are on the receiving end of mental illness jokes, women are the butt of the joke far more often, especially when it comes to how we navigate romantic relationships and how we handle the breakups that come after.

Halsey broke my heart even more as the night of the concert ended, and she posted this on her Instagram.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3ncVM1_0Y0h2JWP00Halsey’s Instagram story after the concert.

Halsey already knew how people would interpret her actions because she is a queer, bi-racial woman with bipolar disorder.

“Don’t tolerate disrespect in the name of being “nice” is something far too many women are familiar with. We’re conditioned by society to take up the least amount of space. We’re told to be polite and kind, to be ladylike, sometimes even while being disrespected.

Halsey wasn’t having it. And later, in a tweet she deleted later, she wrote,

“I see y’all in the comments and I know you think you’re funny. Cause you’re at home on your iPhone and I’m not a real human being to you. I hope to God you never have to experience an abusive relationship. And if you do, I hope the world is kinder to you than you are to me.”

My heart goes out to that poor girl, and anyone else who has ever been in an abusive relationship. It is not easy, the healing process. But where there is shaming and blaming, trolling and harassing, there is also 10 times more love.

Men and women, we all have to see how detrimental our choice of language is to the mission of an ultimate equality between the sexes. We have to do better than this and stop throwing the word crazy around because a woman is showing emotion.

Any emotion — good or bad — and we’re crazy. We cry, we’re crazy. We worry about our partners, we’re crazy. We ask what time you’re coming home, we’re crazy. We stand up for ourselves after someone yells our toxic ex’s name to us in our own space, we’re crazy.

But when men do the same, or worse, they’re applauded. It’s exhausting.

© Jessica Lovejoy 2020. All Rights Reserved.

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I share my life through stories about relationships, healing, self-improvement, and pets. Sometimes, I write articles that online trolls can't resist.

Los Angeles, CA

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