This started off life as a reply to a comment in my recent column about the Manosphere and taking responsibility for your own fate, but since I’ve been received more than a few comments – including many that I’ve deleted from various kooks, chucklefucks and the occasional blatant troll – on the “laziness” of women, the unfairness of labeling men “creepy” and the myriad hurdles that women supposedly throw in men’s way over the course of a social interaction, it’s time to address it directly. I’m going take time out of my vacation to drop some knowledge on the subject, which I’ve seen repeated during my ventures into the manosphere, Men’s Rights groups and anti-PUA forums.
Pay attention, school is now in session.
First and foremost: I’m sure there have been men out there who have been unfairly labeled as “creepy” by women who were offended by the temerity of an unattractive man who approached her.
Well, I feel bad for you son, but fact of the matter is, some people are just assholes. Shit happens, wear a hat.
The fact that some people are assholes does not invalidate what I’ve said before: to be a woman is to live with the threat of danger in ways that men do not have to.
As much as some people would like to try to disassociate women’s experiences with the all-too-common encounters with men who see women’s bodies as public property or the ones who feel that a woman’s mere presence is incitement to harass/threaten/grope/assault with dating, seduction, or day-to-day social interaction, the cold hard truth is that it’s impossible. 78% of the victims of sexual assault or sexual violence are women. 1 in 12 women will be stalked in their lifetime. 1 out of every 6 women has been sexually assaulted or endured an attempted assault. This is the background noise of what it means to be a woman on a day to day basis.
Every woman out there – save those who have lived such sheltered lives that one wonders where the hell they’ve been hiding – lives under the potential threat of harm in ways that men simply don’t. Thus: women have to develop their Spidey-sense. Labeling someone as “creepy” isn’t about women being lazy and forcing men to jump through hoops to earn the right to get her phone number. It doesn’t mean “I’m not attracted to him” or that she’s throwing obstacles in his path. It means “This man’s behavior or attitude represents a heightened threat to my person.”
He may not mean to cause her discomfort, nor may he actually be a threat, but for whatever reason, his behavior indicates that he does not seem to be willing to acknowledge her boundaries, whether physical or psychological. Attempts to re-define creepy or to remove it from a woman’s lexicon is effectively telling her “you don’t have the right to trust your instincts when it comes to your own safety, because my desire to approach you is higher than your personal comfort.”
Part of what engenders this attitude – that somehow women are lazy and using “creepy” as a way of putting men unfairly in their place is the idea that somehow the relations between genders is confrontational and combative.
This is one of the aspects of the Pick Up community that I see frequently and it’s one of the reasons why men who try to get better at dating (the original raison d’etre of this blog, as you might recall) are often seen as socially awkward losers; it’s guilt by association. The idea that trying to approach a woman and foster a relationship, whether sexual, romantic or otherwise, is about running a gauntlet of challenges and obstacles that women deliberately put in men’s way is part of what causes women to refer to men as “creepy”.
Here’s a hint: I don’t give a shit what Pat Benatar said, love’s not a goddamned battlefield.
Coming into the interaction with the preconceived notion that you have been rejected in advance and that you have to fight your way into her good graces inevitably colors the your behavior, tone and body language; in effect, you’re sending off many, many signals that you’re already angry and resentful, which is going to put any woman on the defensive.
The memes that women are always conscious of social status and are looking for reasons to reject men who dare to approach them unless they prove that they are somehow worthy entered into the conversation – especially where dating advice is involved – because of The Game and the early pick-up community; Mystery, Style, Tyler Durden and the others started off trying to pick up the supposedly “hottest” women in the world: the ones they were seeing in dance clubs and trendy bars. Small wonder they kept running into women who were looking down their noses at them: these are locales that attract and encourage people – not women, people - with elitist “what can you do for me lately” attitudes. The whole appeal of these clubs is their exclusivity; if you can’t get past the velvet rope without waiting in line, what good are you?
Like a deep-sea fish dragged up to the surface, this approach to dating falls apart as soon as you apply it to anywhere outside of this incredibly specific arena. Trying to neg the barrista at Starbucks because you think she’s pinging your social status doesn’t show that you’re a man of high standing who doesn’t need to seek her approval, it shows you’re an asshole. Trying to prompt compliance through car-salesman tactics such as the “yes ladder” with someone you met at a bookstore is both creepy and unnecessary; you should be more concerned with showing that you’re a cool and interesting person, not whether or not you can get her to do a little spin for you.
Quit looking for shit tests, bitch shields and social status games. Sometimes a joke is a joke and not her attempt to drop your social value. Sometimes a penis is just a goddamn cigar.
Don’t want to be labeled creepy? Then start spending more time thinking about how you make women feel. Want to prove you’re not a creeper? Start examining your behavior with women and fucking change it. Trying to put the onus of proof – that you’re not creepy – on women is at best misguided and at worst insulting and potentially dangerous for them.
Gentlemen: do you feel that there has been a time that you were unfairly or falsely labelled as creepy? Did you accidentally creep someone out without intending to? There’s a thread specifically for your stories on the Dr. NerdLove Facebook page. Your responses will help contribute to a follow-up article.