LW Women Entries- Creepiness

Stan­dard Intro

The fol­low­ing sec­tion will be at the top of all posts in the LW Women se­ries.

Sev­eral months ago, I put out a call for anony­mous sub­mis­sions by the women on LW, with the idea that I would com­pile them into some kind of post. There is a LOT of ma­te­rial, so I am break­ing them down into more man­age­able-sized themed posts.

Seven women replied, to­tal­ing about 18 pages.

Stan­dard Dis­claimer- Women have many differ­ent view­points, and just be­cause I am act­ing as an in­ter­me­di­ary to al­low for anony­mous com­mu­ni­ca­tion does NOT mean that I agree with ev­ery­thing that will be posted in this se­ries. (It would be rather im­pos­si­ble to, since there are some posts ar­gu­ing op­po­site sides!)

To the sub­mit­ters- If you would like to re­spond anony­mously to a com­ment (for ex­am­ple if there is a com­ment ques­tion­ing some­thing in your post, and you want to clar­ify), you can PM your mes­sage and I will post it for you. If this hap­pens a lot, I might cre­ate a LW_Women sock­pup­pet ac­count for the sub­mit­ters to share.

Please do NOT break anonymity, be­cause it low­ers the anonymity of the rest of the sub­mit­ters.

Sub­mit­ter D

The class that a lot of creep­iness falls into for me is not re­spect­ing my no. Some­one who doesn’t re­spect a small no can’t be trusted to re­spect a big one, when we’re alone and I have fewer op­tions to en­force it beside phys­i­cal strength. Some­times not re­spect­ing a no can be a mat­ter of omis­sion or care­less­ness, but I can’t tell which.

While I’m in doubt, I’m not as­sum­ing the worst of you, but I’m on edge and alertly look­ing for new data in a way that’s stress­ful for me and makes it hard for ei­ther of us to en­joy the en­counter. And I’m sure as heck not go­ing any­where alone with you.

I’ve writ­ten up some short anec­dotes that in­volved some­one not re­spect­ing or con­strain­ing a no. They’re at a range of in­ten­si­ties.

Join­ing some­one for the first time and sit­ting down in a spot that blocks their exit from the con­ver­sa­tion. Some­times un­avoid­able (imag­ine join­ing peo­ple at a booth) but limits my op­tions to exit and en­force a no.

Block­ing an exit less liter­ally by com­ing across as the kind of per­son who can’t end a con­ver­sa­tion (fol­lows you be­tween cir­cles at a party, limits your abil­ity to talk to other peo­ple, etc).

Ask­ing for a num­ber in­stead of offer­ing yours. If I want to call you, I will, but when you ask for my num­ber, I can’t stop you call­ing or ha­rass­ing me in the fu­ture.

Ask­ing for a num­ber while block­ing my exit. This has hap­pened to me in cabs when I take them late at night. It’s bad to start with be­cause I can’t exit a mov­ing car and I can’t con­trol the di­rec­tion it’s go­ing in. One driver waited to the end of the ride, asked for my num­ber, and then handed my re­ciept back and de­manded it when I didn’t com­ply. I had to write down a fake one to get out with­out es­ca­lat­ing. This is why I’m torn be­tween walk­ing through a de­serted part of town or tak­ing a cab alone at night.

Talk­ing about other girls who gave you “in­valid” nos. Any­thing on the or­der of “She was flirt­ing with me all night and then she wouldn’t put out/​call me back/​meet for coffee.” Re­spond­ing pos­i­tively to you is not a promise to do any­thing else, and it’s not lead­ing you on. This kind of as­sump­tion is why I’m a lit­tle hes­i­tant to be warm to a strange guy if I’m in a place where it would be hard to en­force a no.

With­hold­ing in­for­ma­tion to con­strain my no. The culprit here was a girl and the tar­get was a friend of mine. The two of them had gone on a date and set a time to meet again and pos­si­bly have sex. The girl had a boyfriend, but was in some kind of open re­la­tion­ship and had in­formed my friend of this fact. What she didn’t dis­close was that the boyfriend was back in town the night of their sec­ond date. She waited to re­veal that un­til my friend had turned up. My friend still had the power to say no, and did, but there was noth­ing pre­vent­ing the girl from dis­clos­ing that data ear­lier, when my friend could have post­poned or de­murred by text. Wait­ing til she’d already shlepped to the apart­ment put more pres­sure on her. It sug­gested the girl would rather rig the game than re­spect a no.

Over­step­ping phys­i­cal bound­aries and then as­sign­ing the blame to me. You might go for a kiss in er­ror or touch me in a way I’m not com­fortable with. Say sorry and move on. Don’t say, “You looked like you wanted to be kissed.” That im­plies my no is less valid if you’re con­fused.