creepy

To the creepy guy who reblogged the post about creepy guys

Someone reblogged my post About Creepy Guys with a comment along the lines of:

“LOL. I guess there’s no safe place for men to flirt with women anymore, unless they’re attractive guys.”

Quote over.

That’s a creepy comment.

Here’s why it’s creepy. My post was about how it’s unsafe for women to reject unwanted attention, because men hit on them in ways that leave them no polite way to say no. Because men are allowed to implictly threaten women with impunity in public, and women who tell them off are seen as rude or otherwise bad.

If by safe, you mean places in which your attentions are guaranteed to be welcome, then no, there is no safe place and there should not be a safe place. Women are allowed to be uninterested.

Consensual flirtation is an offer. It isn’t a negotiation. It isn’t an attempt to pressure a woman into saying yes or convince her to do something.

If you’re continuing the conversation after someone has made it clear that you want them to stop, you’re being creepy.

If you’re flirting with someone in a place they can’t easily walk away from you, you’re being creepy. No one should ever be a captive audience for flirting.

If you take no as a humiliating personal insult, you’re being creepy. No is the default. Most people aren’t going to want to date you or sleep with you. They are not wronging you by being uninterested.

It’s true that hot guys tend to get away with a lot of things they shouldn’t. It’s harder to tell that someone has no regard for consent when you want the things they want you to want. It’s easier for people to tell that you’re being creepy if they aren’t attracted to you.

That doesn’t mean it’s ok to be creepy, or that women are wronging you by being creeped out. It means there’s a bad thing you need to stop doing even though some people get away with it.

About creepy guys

justdrinkyourtea:

realsocialskills:

A lot of men (and probably other genders, but mostly men) like to creepily hit on people (usually women) in contexts in which it’s not ok to hit on people. (Eg: on the subway). 

Girls start experiencing this before they’re considered old enough for sex ed.

Creepy men regularly do this in a way that’s slightly deniable.

Like sitting way too close. Or asking an almost innocuous thing. And it feels really horrible to be on the receiving end, but it can be hard to put your finger on why. And if you object, the man who started it will try as hard as he can to say you’re being unreasonable. Often, bystanders or people you tell afterwards will empathically agree and tell you he was just being friendly and that didn’t have to be rude.

This is not your fault. It’s not your fault that creepy guys are awful to you, and it’s not your fault that people punish you for refusing to cooperate with their creepy actions.

There is usually no polite way to object. Because they manipulate the rules of politeness so that you have to be rude to say no.

It’s ok to be rude in that situation.

Being in that situation doesn’t mean you’re a rude inconsiderate person. It means you’re asserting an important boundary in the only available way.

Most of these guys know exactly what they are doing. It’s not innocent awkwardness. It’s a different thing. It’s doing something they know they can probably get away with denying that they’ve done.

(People do sometimes do this kind of thing by mistake, too. But it’s not ok then either. And most people who do this, know damn well what they’re doing.)

justdrinkyourtea said:

I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. When I was in high school, a chaperone for a field trip asked me what underwear I was wearing. Middle aged men asked me to get dinner when I was canvassing for political candidates. We need to tell young women that this shit isn’t okay.

realsocialskills said:

Reblogging for the concrete example. This is one of the kinds of things I am talking about. It’s really important for girls (and boys, but especially girls since they are the main targets) to learn how to see this creepy aggression for what it is. 

Girls: you’re not imagining it, and you are not alone. It’s not ok, and it’s not your fault.

clueless creepiness vs skillful creepiness

There are two kinds of problems that get conflated a lot but aren’t actually that similar:

  • People who do creepy things because they have trouble understanding boundaries
  • People who do creepy things because they understand boundaries well and have highly developed skills at violating them with impunity

People who are good at violating boundaries and getting away with being creepy sometimes seem socially awkward, and sometimes don’t. Sometimes they get away with it by getting people to think things like “Oh, that’s Bill. He’s just awkward like that. He doesn’t mean anything by it,” and sometimes it’s more like, “I can’t believe James would do that! He’s like the nicest guy ever, and he does so much for this community. Don’t you remember the awesome party last month?”, and sometimes it’s more like, “Steve is really sensitive right now. Did you really have to turn him down like that? Couldn’t you have given him a chance? Don’t you understand how much courage it takes to approach a girl? What harm could giving him your number have done?”. 

People who are inadvertently creepy *care* when they’ve violated boundaries, and try to fix it. Saying, “oh, they’re just awkward” isn’t doing them any favors, because people who are inadvertently creepy don’t *want* to trample all over other people’s boundaries. They want to know, so that they can stop doing it. This doesn’t mean it’s the job of victims of their creepy actions to explain it to them – it isn’t, particularly since most creepy people are doing it on purpose, and calling skillfully creepy people on things tends to go badly. I am mentioning this because skillfully creepy people often convince others that being “just awkward” means that everyone else is obligated to refrain from objecting to their creepy actions.

Skillfully creepy people who boundaries boundaries on purpose come up with excuses about why it was ok, and try to make you feel horrible for objecting. (Eg: “I was just being friendly! Learn to take a compliment!”, or “I know that if you were in your right mind, you wouldn’t have said that you didn’t want to spend time with me. I forgive you. We can still spend time together.”, or “Wow. Harsh. I guess girls really don’t go for nice guys. Have fun dating assholes.” or just getting a lot of people to laugh at you, or any number of other things.)

As a culture, we shouldn’t tolerate creepy behavior from anyone. Part of not tolerating it means assessing when people are being cluelessly creepy, and when people are being skillfully creepy. 

If you are a supervisor/teacher/community leader, or otherwise someone responsible for intervening and keeping things safe, it’s important to respond appropriately. Communities need to help cluelessly creepy people understand how to act, and to expel skillfully creepy people so that they can’t keep preventing the people they hurt from being part of the community. 

About creepy guys

A lot of men (and probably other genders, but mostly men) like to creepily hit on people (usually women) in contexts in which it’s not ok to hit on people. (Eg: on the subway). 

Girls start experiencing this before they’re considered old enough for sex ed.

Creepy men regularly do this in a way that’s slightly deniable.

Like sitting way too close. Or asking an almost innocuous thing. And it feels really horrible to be on the receiving end, but it can be hard to put your finger on why. And if you object, the man who started it will try as hard as he can to say you’re being unreasonable. Often, bystanders or people you tell afterwards will empathically agree and tell you he was just being friendly and that didn’t have to be rude.

This is not your fault. It’s not your fault that creepy guys are awful to you, and it’s not your fault that people punish you for refusing to cooperate with their creepy actions.

There is usually no polite way to object. Because they manipulate the rules of politeness so that you have to be rude to say no.

It’s ok to be rude in that situation.

Being in that situation doesn’t mean you’re a rude inconsiderate person. It means you’re asserting an important boundary in the only available way.

Most of these guys know exactly what they are doing. It’s not innocent awkwardness. It’s a different thing. It’s doing something they know they can probably get away with denying that they’ve done.

(People do sometimes do this kind of thing by mistake, too. But it’s not ok then either. And most people who do this, know damn well what they’re doing.)

Anonymous asked realsocialskills:

Anonymous asked:

Your most recent post about physical boundaries really hits home with me because I’m a butch lesbian and I’ve noticed that, the more I stand out as “different,” the more often straight / bi / curious women seem to feel entitled to touch me in exactly the ways you described. They freak out if I reciprocate the touch, and if I tell them to back off, they tell me I’m making things up or projecting my insecurities onto them or, worst of all, over-estimating my attractiveness.

It seems like this boundary violation is a kind of microaggression aimed at me under the assumption that my gender presentation is evidence that I’m a pervert with infinitely huge sexual appetites and couldn’t possibly have boundaries to violate in the first place. Most hurtful of all is the way more gender-conforming lesbians point to this attention as evidence that I’m “highly prized and sought after” and therefore “privileged” in some way.

 Not really sure what I’m trying to say, no idea how to deal with this, just wanted to get it off my chest and see if other butch lesbians have the same problem. It really bothers me. So far the only way I’ve found to deal with this without huge fallout is to passively allow these women to touch me and not say anything about it, but I really hate doing that.

realsocialskills said:

I’m sorry that people treat you that way.

I think this is a step above microaggression. Microagression is when someone does something that wouldn’t be a big deal if it happened occasionally, but which becomes a big deal when it happens routinely as part of a context of dehumanizing discrimination. What you’re talking about is a bigger deal.

You are dealing with people who touch you with no regard to your consent, and then insult you in sexualized ways when you tell them to stop. That is beyond microaggression. This is predatory sexual behavior.

It’s a big deal each time someone does that; it’s not just the context of anti-lesbian hate that makes it a big deal. It’s both the individual action and the context.

It’s also a serious problem that people who should have your back are treating you like you’re the problem. You deserve better. No one should be touching you invasively, no one should be responding to your boundaries with sexualized insults - and no one should be blaming you or making excuses for any of this.

I don’t have any good answers here about how to handle this, so I’m going to ask the rest of y'all. Are any of y'all butch women who have been treated this way? Have you found any responses that help?

some indications that a facebook profile might be fake

Some people use fake facebook profiles to stalk or harass other people.

Here are some things that are red flags for a fake profile:

Having very few friends:

  • Most Facebook users friend mostly people they know in person, or friends of friends
  • If someone doesn’t friend anyone they know, it’s suspicious - it’s possible that they don’t know anyone because they aren’t actually a real person.
  • That’s not an absolute indicator. While it is unusual, some people create Facebook profiles in order to interact with strangers. (Some of those people use pseudonyms in order to maintain their privacy. That’s not the same as a fake account).
  • It’s also fairly common for people to friend people they know and people they don’t know. People who do this usually have a lot of Facebook friends.
  • People who friend strangers generally friend a lot of strangers. If they’re only friending you and a couple of other people, that’s suspicious. It suggests that the account is about getting access to you, rather than finding people to talk to.
  • This is particularly the case if they still have very few friends weeks after friending you.

Having suspicious clusters of friends:

  • If there are six people who are all friends with each other and each profile has hardly any other friends, they may all be fake profiles created to make the primary fake profile look more realistic
  • Being a person who friends strangers but has few friends is suspicious in itself. A cluster of people who have hardly any friends is *extremely* suspicious.
  • This is particularly the case if the accounts were all created at around the same time
  • (Again, especially if some of the accounts are claiming to be college alumni in their 20s - it’s very unusual for people who really are in that group to create a profile *after* college. If a whole cluster does that, it’s suspicious).

Undue interest in you:

  • If someone is showing way more interest in you than would be expected between strangers, it’s suspicious
  • It’s an indication that the person talking to you might be someone you know who you don’t want to talk to. (Especially if they’re using unusual idioms you associate with that person).
  • Also if they seem to share *all* of your interests and have very few interests that you don’t share.
  • Especially if they’ve joined hard-to-find groups that you created.
  • It’s a red flag for other things too; people who decide that you are emotionally close before you’ve actually established a relationship are dangerous.

Claims about college that don’t match their profile

  • People who went to college almost always have friends from that college.
  • This is particularly the case for people in their 20s.
  • If someone claims to have gone to a school and has no or very few friends from that school, it’s suspicious.
  • (It’s not an absolute indicator).
  • If you call the alumni office, you can ask if a person with that name ever went to that school, and they are generally willing to tell you.
  • If the alumni office tells you that no one by that name went there, it’s a very strong indicator that the account is fake, especially in combination with other factors.

Pictures:

  • People usually post pictures of themselves on facebook.
  • It’s suspicious if they don’t.
  • Particularly if they post pictures of other things
  • (But not an absolute indicator - some people do this for innocent reasons, or to protect their privacy)
  • If their pictures seem unduly familiar, or have unusual objects you recognize, take that seriously. Even if you’re not sure why it feels that way.