This column was originally published in the Santa Fe Reporter.
Charlie Glickman educates around adult sexuality and is an author and speaker. He recently posted a brief piece about creepy men and gave tips on how to avoid being creepy when you are interested in a woman. I think these rules can be applied to any person.
Creepiness ends up affecting all of us, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, and it’s especially challenging for male-female interactions. Plenty of women have articulately described how annoying it is for them, though so far, I’ve seen far fewer men talk about how it affects us.
It’s important for guys to be talking about this, too.Given the very scary possible consequences for women when men approach them, I think it’s entirely reasonable for someone to assume that a random guy hitting on her is a possible predator until he demonstrates otherwise. I understand that that creates a frustrating situation- after all, who likes to have to prove their good intentions? And it’s also one of the many ways in which sexism and misogyny make things harder for men. If you want that to change, work to change things. Don’t complain that women don’t assume you’re a good guy. Their reasons for not doing so are useful protective measures in a world that sets them up as targets to be harassed, groped, and assaulted while simultaneously blaming them for it.”
The other day a friend referred me to an article that made me cry. I would copy/paste the whole thing here but I won’t.
It’s written by adult performer Stoya about how the treatment she receives as a porn star tends to be less cruel than the hostility of common street harassers.
First she counts off the times she’s been harassed at a trade show. The harassment is creepy but sounds not much worse than Bridget Jones’s family reunions.
The following bit is what made me tear up. It’s too familiar.
They say I have a sweet ass, nice tits, a real pretty dress. They say I’m their future wife, or I’d look good with their dick in my mouth. They try (and probably succeed at times) to take pictures down my shirt. They ask if they can get my number, they ask where I live, why I’m not smiling, why…
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I greatly appreciate the New School’s effort to make consent a better-known and attractive topic. In April 2011, the school’s board of trustees approved a new sexual assault policy which helps clearly define consent and sexual assault. A group of … Continue reading