WHO RULES BARTERTOWN?
Women, or so the theory goes, have it easy in the dating world. Women are in the cat-bird seat; they control the social dynamic because they don’t need to take action to get laid. No, you see, women just have to sit back and let the sex come to them. Of course, when you have all the options in the world, one tends to get a little bored, so why not make sure that they have to fight to win the right to have access to your nethers? Make them jump through hoops just to see who wants it bad enough and who’s actually worthy of the sex!
Men have to be rich, handsome, talented or some combination of the three or no love for them! They have to make the first move because, c’mon, it’s not like women have to lift a finger to find sex! They have to know exactly how to demonstrate alpha behavior, monitor themselves for any behavior that might make a woman uncomfortable and submit themselves to the approval of others – via social proofing – before she even deigns to consider them as a sexual partner! And if they don’t… well, ve haff vays of makink you pay for hyour arroghance! Submit! SUBMIT TO THE WHIMS OF WOMEN!
Obviously, this is unfair of women; after all, how they’re not only denying men the sex that they’re owed, but they’re giving it away! To other people!
These increasingly elaborate theories of female behavior – which is alternately blamed on laziness, arrogance or cowardice, depending on who you talk to – are supposed to “prove” that it’s women who are at fault, not men who seem to assume that they’re oppressed by the fact that the woman they like may not want to fuck them. If you’ve ever spent time around a Nice Guy (or, used to be one, like I did) then you’ll hear a lot of whining and complaining about how cruel women are to taunt and abuse someone who just wants their love and is that so wrong?
The anger generated over the fact that women “get” to spurn men at will is based on the idea that not only do women control all the rules of social engagement but also that men have no choice in whom they might date. Men are forced – forced – to play a numbers game because women have all the power. Men simply cannot sit the game out because otherwise THEY ARE DOOMED TO SEXLESS, IMPOTENT LIVES!
Of course the idea that women have it easy and men have to fight for their right to paaaaaaaahrtay requires some willful blindness; yes, women can get laid with minimal effort… but so can men. It’s very simple: men just have to lower their standards… just as women would have to if they wanted sex on demand.
Women do get approached more often than men, true – it’s part of how both men and women have been socialized for generations, and that sort of deeply ingrained social programming is hard to toss off. However, the fact that a woman is being approached doesn’t mean that those men are automatically the ones that she wants to meet. The fact that sex is offered to them doesn’t mean that it’s the sex they would want to have.
Men, contrary to popular opinion get approached by women all the time too… by women that they have no interest in because those foolish females simply don’t measure up to the standard that the men think they deserve. They aren’t the hottest of the hot, therefore they get ignored in the calculus of “who has an easier time geting laid?” Sure, Dude X could’ve hooked up with the woman who approached him on OKCupid or at the bookstore, but that totally doesn’t count because she was too fat/thin/awkward/nerdy/dumb/crazy/poor/trashy/ugly/whatever. It’s not just that he’s owed a woman, he’s owed an incredibly hot woman, one that makes all of his friends jealous! The sort of woman that he’s been fantasizing about since he realized that women were more than just boys with long hair and weird toys. The fact that he has to compete for those women with people who outstrip him is a source of anger and resentment… toward the women who reject him. It’s her fault for making it harder for him to get what he wants!
Creep Shaming: Threat or Menace?
In principle, you wouldn’t think that the simple act of talking to women would be that difficult; you open your mouth, flap your lips, words come out. Hopefully you manage to string them together in a way that’s vaguely intelligible. And yet, going by the level of anxiety that a lot of men feel at the idea of approaching a woman, you would think that the mere act of indicating you were interested in someone meant that you were risking certain doom if it doesn’t go absolutely perfectly. In fact, according to some of the so-called Men’s Rights advocates, if you have the temerity to approach a woman and you are not her exact type… well, shit son, you’re about to get Creep Shamed.
The idea behind creep shaming is that women use “creep”, “creepy” and “creeper” as ways of keeping men in line and punishing them for having the nerve to approach a woman without actually having washboard abs and a six-figure balance in his bank account. It’s a way that women discriminate against the socially awkward and stick men in a double bind by demanding that men be the aggressors in a relationship and then smacking them down when they make their move, am I right, or am I right? Of course I am. Pound it.
Now, in fairness, there are plenty of guys out there who are socially awkward and may inadvertently trigger a woman’s spider-sense without intending to cause offense. The problem is that when it’s pointed out to them that the way that they’re behaving is creeping people out, a lot of guys will automatically default to “well, it’s not fair, I shouldn’t have to change who I am/my behavior.” They don’t want to take the time to learn how to read social cues or moderate the way they act. Why? Because, once again, they feel that they’re entitled to what they want and it’s the woman’s fault for keeping them from what they want. Why take responsibility for your actions when you can put the onus on women by shouting “Creep shaming!” as a way to shut her up?
The truly insidious thing about creep shaming and how it relates to misplaced senses of entitlement is the fact that creep shaming goes beyond a man’s right of access to any woman he desires; it also means that he is entitled to his comfort above hers. Creep shaming is all about telling a woman that not only does she not have a right to decide who she talks to, but she doesn’t have a right to how she feels. This isn’t about discriminating against those who need to work on their social calibration, this is about telling women that their desire to be safe is less important than a man’s right to hit on her.