Can we stop calling guys 'creepers'

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I can’t think of single word in the English language that pisses me off more than “creeper.” It’s everywhere and has even started showing up on TV and in movies. I hear it every day, like it’s any other insult. Women – specifically – tend to throw it around like it’s synonymous with “asshole” or “douchebag.” But the implications are much bigger and most of the time unrealized.

In the original sense, a “creeper” was a stalker-ish person who you could potentially see as a threat, usually sexually. Think of it like “he looks like a serial killer/rapist/mugger…” It was a way of saying you were made to feel uncomfortable by this person’s creepy actions. This was a fine word when it was used to describe the guy staring in your window/trying to shove drinks down your throat/following you for 12 blocks. However, that’s rarely how it’s used today.

Recently, creeper has become a word that could describe anything from a guy who randomly grabs your ass to an unattractive guy who hit on you and graciously walked away when you turned him down. For the former, this is a perfectly legitimate term. For the latter, it’s a completely erroneous label that suggests his chatting you up was tantamount to attempted rape.

With the word “creeper,” you aren’t saying he’s hot but mildly annoying and far too tan. But you are saying that you could imagine that guy drugging your martini or installing a hidden camera in your bathroom. These are two incredibly different things that are often confused due to our cultures vilification of male sexuality.

Our culture requires that men must initiate. If a guy wants to get some, he’s forced to put himself out there, face rejection and often ridicule for his efforts. Even in post women’s rights America, it’s rare for women to approach men. When they do, it’s unlikely that they’ll be full-on rejected or ridiculed for their bravery. This archaic system often works in the top/bottom and butch/fem dichotomies of gays, you’re not immune.

Because of this system, guys are always hitting on people in order to increase their odds of finding someone who will return their advances. Men are unfairly burdened by the current status quo for dating. But no one really seems to give a damn. They’re too busy laughing or calling them gross creepers to think that there may be more to his advances than some innate predatory drive.

The idea of the male predator is a social concept based upon the fact that people who commit violent/sexual crimes tend to be men. By looking at the way men behave in dating situations, it would seem that they all fit into that primal, mouth foaming archetype of male sexuality but they don’t.

The reality is that their testosterone/culture driven propensity toward violence simply makes them look guilty. It makes them look like crazy, predatory “creepers” who are six seconds away from going all King Kong on anyone they think is cute.

It is a fact that women all around the world are subjected to objectification, assault and harassment in amounts that are far greater than men. Because of this, many women tend to stay a bit frosty when it comes to interacting with male strangers. This is despite the fact that a woman is more likely to be assaulted by someone she knows rather than a stranger. Although slightly irrational, the hyper-vigilance is completely understandable. Regardless, it’s still fucking annoying and sexist.

Ladies, I understand that the world can be a scary place for you. You’re constantly told that every man is out to get you and their behavior may lead you to believe it’s true. But that idea is just as false and sexist as the frigid cunt/bitch label some guys place on you for ridiculing and rejecting them. A man who hits on you and is slightly awkward or not up to your standards is no more of “creeper” than the guy who didn’t.

Instead of fearing men and their cultural mandated sexuality, try to have a little understanding. Dating is rough and few of us do it right. So, give guys a little slack… unless you run into a real creeper. In that case feel free to stomp him in the nuts, it’s a great stress reliever. 

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