Men used to think women were stupid; now they think they're crazy, which is a big difference, so bear with me.

Fifty years ago, men thought women were hopeless: bad drivers, useless in the workplace except as a secretary, couldn't be trusted with finances, a bit ... silly.

Now, they see girls excel at school, and women are their employers; they're doctors, lawyers, newspaper editors (hi, boss!) - they run the country.

Yet one of the most common utterances from males about females nowadays is the absolute conviction women are crazy.

Men who say this happily admit there are exceptions - seldom their wives or relatives - overall, however, chicks are mad. Abso-bloody-lutely. Different species. On another planet.

It'd be easy to dismiss pub chatter of this kind as drunken yobbo hyperbole but I've heard it said by sober, tertiary-educated men who moisturise; from stockbrokers, soccer players, pianists, TV hosts, Young Liberals, unionists, gay and straight men.

The fashionable temptation would be to label these men "misogynist" but I tend to think of them more as ... frustrated.

The publishing and magazine industries would evaporate without the whole Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus meme to sustain them, so you can't accuse these blokes of being particularly revolutionary in their thinking, perhaps just inelegant.

Many are simply expressing a confusion with the way women think and act but instead of questioning their own thoughts and behaviour, they opt for the easy choice of blaming the missus.

I'd argue it's is a step up from ye olde notion of masculine dismissal that woman are incapable of common sense, decision-making or abstraction.

The "woman are crazy" vibe is thus often used as a get-of-jail card by blokes who've reached exhaustion dealing with the labyrinth musings and logic of women: instead of questioning women's intelligence, or their own, we (oops) they query their sanity.

It's an old ploy - thus the well-known etymology of the word "hysteria" (from the Greek word hystera for uterus) - which stamps unhinged or overly "emotional" behaviour as female.

This is where I get suspicious of my sex's motives because if there's a group who can "switch off", "shut down" and just get on with it (or at least appear to do so), it's women.

Men often cite this phenomenon when women end a romantic relationship, but I'd argue a woman's "on/off" switch is best displayed after she has a baby and returns to the workplace.

Can you imagine if men had to carry a child for nine months, go through birth, the intimacy and attachment of breastfeeding - and be back at work six months later on three hours a night sleep?

We couldn't do it - hell, men camp in the spare room to get some zeds and still complain. Yet this is commonplace for women.

I was reminded of this ability to "switch off" when Julia Gillard admitted last year she was able to ''compartmentalise'' media criticism, while admitting her partner Tim Mathieson "felt it deeply".

''Sometimes we have a discussion about whether he's watching it too closely, in the sense that he's more at risk that it emotionally affects him than it emotionally affects me,'' Ms Gillard said.

Earlier in 2012, ING Direct released research showing that men were more likely to open joint bank accounts than women and twice as likely to cite "being in love" as the reason for doing it.

Which makes you wonder if it's us blokes who are actually the emotional (aka "crazy") ones; we're just too stupid to see it.

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