YES SIR, I AM INDEED CALLING YOU A DRAMA QUEEN.
I know there is no way on earth that I'm alone in my irritation over the phrase "drama queen". Reserved for women and some gay men, this put-down not only works to belittle anyone who displays any sort of emotion BUT also identifies anyone who displays this unacceptable behavior as feminine, regardless of gender. So the equation works thusly: emotion is bad, women are emotional, so women are bad, if women are bad then their defining qualities are too, ergo emotions are bad. QED. And so the vicious little circle of woman bashing and emotional repression goes on.
With this in mind, I'd like to share a few experiences I've had that neatly explode the idea that emotional outbursts, in both personal and business settings, are reserved for women and gay men. In fact, some of the most egregious examples of whacked out emotion-driven behavior I've ever seen have come from avowedly straight men.
I'm sharing this for the sole purpose of getting an unpleasant phrase and stereotype out of the way, not to hassle straight men. But if you're a straight guy or know one who might benefit from this, please keep reading and pass this on.
Throughout my adult life, I've seen men throw some primo hissy fits in both public and private spheres. Here are a few of my favorites:
1) The boyfriend who, upon realizing I was breaking up with him, followed my silent self down the street, hurling invectives and crying. When I got in a cab, he stood in the street and pulled a full Shatner, screaming "Khaaaaaan!" (actually, it was my name) to the heavens. He proceeded to call me at work every day for over a month. Crying.
2) The head of my department at Company X who, upon hearing that I had received a promotion (I was one of very few women to do so), falsely reported to HR that I got the promotion because I was banging a member of the management team. When it became clear that Head of Department was not able to dispatch me in that manner, he was as heartily back-slappingly cheery with me as possible. He beamed at me every day but he was dead behind the eyes, clearly wondering how, when and why his brilliant plan had slipped off the rails.
3) A colleague wanted me to work for him but didn't want to pay me. Why pay if uncomfortable pressure and harassment might get him the same results? Good thinkin', Lincoln. I understand playing dirty, but if you want to go that route, best not to tip your hand by revealing all your anxieties and nefarious doings to me from the get go. Not to mention divulging exactly how you fear those shenanigans will bite you in the behind later. No need to get into the insanity of this dude's screaming fits, threats and doubts about my loyalty (to whom?). I know it's possible to distract people with loud noises and shiny objects, but I'm not as think as you dumb I am.
In light of the above, I suggest that we either implement the term "Drama King" with the same careless shrug that we do "Drama Queen", or, use the handily non-gender specific blanket term "pain in the ass".
Let's face it, whatever your chromosomal makeup may be, most of the time an asshole is just an asshole.