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The Conversation Continues

FeatherFlow
Over on my Wordpress blog, I can see the places others have clicked links to my site. I didn't recognize one of the referring pages that landed on a past post of mine (It's the Same Advice), so I clicked it to find out where it came from. That led me to a different LiveJournal were a person had linked to the above article as well as Where the Boundaries Drawn. That's cool.

Then, the comment right under it made me laugh:

The moment a woman describes a guy who came onto her as "creepy", she loses all my sympathy. "Creepy" means, precisely, "a man who is interested in me, but not good enough for me." All the woman is saying is, "This guy thought he was good enough for me! Isn't that awful?"


I couldn't help but leave a response:

That might be your precise definition, but it certainly is not mine. A creeper is someone who does not believe the object of his/her desire has the right to decline said desire. A creeper is someone who is certain the primary reason the desired object declines is either extreme arrogance or complete stupidity. A creeper is someone who believes the arrogance and stupidity can be corrected by the right amount of mockery, insults, ignoring of requests to be left alone, and/or force.

Are there men who aren't "good enough" for me? Why yes, there are. Men who think the best way to open a relationship is to place hands on private parts of my body, or back me into a corner, or refuse to take a polite "no thank you" as a valid response are, indeed, not good enough for me.

Every person has the right to choose the traits and behaviors they'd like in a partner, and it's rather odd to see that right couched as a dismissive comment.


I've taught women in martial arts for more than a decade now, and I've had the chance to watch women decide what sort of shit they no longer need to put up with. As a result, more than one of the boyfriends/spouses faced with changing abusive behavior or losing their significant other have decided I'm a "man-hater."

Nope. I'm an asshole-hater. There is a difference. Quite a big difference.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
nancylebov
Mar. 23rd, 2014 01:54 am (UTC)
A female therapist who I trust has told me she's seen men described as creeps for offering an appropriate invitation to a meal to a woman who didn't want to have to say no to a man who she didn't think was good enough.

And I'm also sure that creep is used of men who ignore boundaries. I use creepy to describe men who aren't exactly ignoring boundaries in an overt way, but who are somehow too clingy even when they aren't physically too close. They come off as men who'd ignore emotional boundaries (not necessarily physically dangerous) if given the chance.

I think the underlying concept is a man who a woman does not want to have to deal with, and her standards might be very reasonable (I suspect they are reasonable more often than not) but aren't necessarily reasonable.
mrissa
Mar. 23rd, 2014 10:36 am (UTC)
I don't think there is any term that isn't ever misused. The question for me is not whether we can come up with an example of a term being misused, because that's an automatic and obvious yes to me for any term that we didn't just make up in lab conditions, but whether the term has a socially sound use and whether that socially sound use is dominant in current parlance. I think that we really do need a term like "creep" or "creeper" for the boundary-ignoring person as blairmacg describes in her entry, so I think it's worth correcting the misuses rather than banning the term.
nancylebov
Mar. 23rd, 2014 12:49 pm (UTC)
I didn't suggest banning the term. I agree that misuses should be corrected, and I'll add that they should probably be mentioned some of the time when the word is being discussed.
blairmacg
Mar. 23rd, 2014 03:08 pm (UTC)
All around, so much can depend upon context as well, which might change misuse to "appropriate in the situation."

In the past, I've heard "creep" used in the same context as "jerk," but the term "creepy" has (in my experience) always had a the very different connotation of a person who evokes a sense of un-safeness. I see "creeper" as have closer ties to THAT usage, with the added undercurrent of "tries to fly under the radar."

sartorias
Mar. 23rd, 2014 03:55 am (UTC)
Oh, well said!
blairmacg
Mar. 23rd, 2014 03:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :) What made me laugh most was the implied mindreading ability the person used to form the opinion.

elenbarathi
Mar. 23rd, 2014 04:16 am (UTC)
It's not rocket science. Creepers are people who press their attentions on others inappropriately, i.e. after the target has indicated that their advances are unwelcome.

Not all creepers are men. I know one woman in her 60's who apparently gets delusions of teenage hotness when she drinks, and sleazes all over the menfolk in a hideously embarrassing fashion. Another springs to mind, who doesn't even drink; she just habitually comes on to anything in trousers.

The big difference is that very few men have to worry about the possibility of being raped by female creepers. What men need to understand and accept is that acting like a potential rapist will get them treated like a potential rapist. Also that whining about women treating them as such will only serve to persuade other women that the ladies in question were probably right.

There are sensible, well-established rules of etiquette for those seeking dates. It's a good idea for everyone to learn them, both to know how to follow them, and to recognize when someone else is not following them. IMHO it's crucial to teach girls that they are NOT supposed to be polite to guys hitting on them in a way that creeps them out. That's not being a 'bitch'; that's being a lady who doesn't tolerate disrespect.

I totally agree with your other post, the one about women thinking they don't have a right to protect themselves until an assault is already in progress. There are a lot of times when merely showing a hint of one's willingness to make an unseemly fuss is enough to back someone off. If it's not, of course, one can always go ahead and make the unseemly fuss.
blairmacg
Mar. 23rd, 2014 03:22 pm (UTC)
Creepers come in all forms, yes.

My son and I have had many conversations about body language and boundaries, about deciphering "signals" and getting clear and verbal confirmation. We've also talked of how being turned down can be painful, but how pressing someone to change their mind isn't right or fair. (My theory: being turned down saves a lot of hope-caused pain of later realizing there's no chemistry.) I don't want to talk to by son about how to get girls to like him; I want to talk with him about building relationships.

I'm glad you like that other post, too. It's one that's very important to me.

queenoftheskies
Mar. 24th, 2014 04:26 pm (UTC)
Good response.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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Blair MacGregor
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