Fucking Weirdos


Following on from the Guide: How to Not Unsuccessfully Chat Up a Lady Person and also Kato’s thoughts on the subject where upon she says this:

“Look, I don’t want to give you the impression, with all these posts, that I’m constantly being badgered by men everywhere I go and oh Lord it’s just so exhausting and if only I weren’t so devastatingly beautiful maybe life would be easier because that… does not happen. But I also think some men just don’t realise that there’s a big difference between being trying your hand in an appropriate setting (this = good. We like this!) and unrolling that same behaviour in inappropriate setting (this = bad. We don’t like this!). For example, Random Street Dude, I’m not being an uptight bitch for keeping my eyes on the ground when you say somethng to me as I walk past at night en route to the pub or the taxi line: I’m trying not to engage with you, as a random, stronger-than-me stranger, because I’m scared there is, on some level, a chance you might rape and murder me.”

I started thinking about the recent creepy, creepy men who have done 1 through to 5 of the Way baaad chat-up things. Or sexual harassment. Or stalking. Or ill-conceived niceness. Take your pick. They’re all fucking weird.

1. The Potential Stalker

There was the guy who worked at my local liquor store who sent me a message on Facebook, telling me he had tracked me down through my Loyalty Card (!!! Stalker alert!! You also have access to my email, my phone number AND you know my address! AND you looked it up! Faark!) and suggesting we might hang out and have a drink because he was also a “writer” who wrote about “beer”. That also tells me he knows what I do for a living cos I truly as all hell never told him that. I was actually introduced to him (again) the other night at a bar where he was doing some beer thing and I made a Big Frickin Play of pretending I did not know who he was. He is also fat and bald.

2. The Work Sexual Harasser (maybe)

There is the creepy, creepy whispery guy at work who whispers hello and your name under his breath like a rapist. He also has made many possibly-go-downstairs-and-fill-out-that-form-from-HR-type remarks. Until I shouted at him in a rage because I was tired and emotional and it was Just One Two Many of those comments. He had also slunk up behind me, which I hate. He still whispers, he just doesn’t say anything about taking advantage of me when I am drunk or wanting to see me in a “bunny costume” anymore. And I usually avoid him bigstyle.

3. The Work Weirdo

I’m not going to say too much here but dude, you’re quite a bit older than me. And you creep me out. Just because we had that polite conversation by the lift does not mean I want to date you (ugh). After dodging a slurry of emails and neatly getting out of the suggestion we should have a drink by inviting you to the work drinks (one drink, on a Friday, in a group, because I felt sorry for you), I’d like to think you’ve given it up. But stop with the creepy staring thing, purlease.

4. Crazy possible murderer/rapist or maybe slightly desperate person

As I was walking past the bus stop on the strip, a slightly dishevelled man politely asked me to stop and if I had a few minutes to spare. Sure, he may have just wanted money or cigarettes or something but Fuck. Am I going to stop? Hell No.

5. The “I’ll just try it and see what happens” dude

Again, walking down the strip in the evening (early evening I might add, and I wasn’t drunk, but so what if I was? this isn’t the 90s..), I am accosted by a drunk man who puts forward the proposition that he’d “do me” if I fancied it and perhaps we should go back to his place? No? How about my place? No? Well I’m just a fucking bitch then, aren’t I?

Hey, I like being chatted up as much as the next lady-person. But there’s a difference between “nice compliment in a safe place” and “you’re reading this wrong/stop that/potential date rapist/rapist in general/fear”.

I’m not suggesting my workplace, for example, is a hive of men desperate for my attentions, far from it. And I’m not a prude who can’t take a joke. Indeed, I laughed heartily when a (male) colleague suggested I should “check-in” my vagina on Facebook, which was a stupid thing to say because I haven’t had sex in ages, nor am I likely to, but it was funny all the same in the context of the conversation and if only because he meant it in the nicest possible way (as in he had my romantic interests at heart).

This is the problem. We are all terribly non-PC in our workplace, but there’s a line. There are jokes and sexual humour and everyone who’s normal and not a douchebag gets where the line is. What you can say to whom and how.

But what do you do about the guys who either don’t get it or are just massive perverts? You just dodge them in the kitchen and tell yourself you’re paranoid. So therein lies the rub, if you will. Some men think they are being nice. Some are trying to chat you up. Some are trying to get in on the conversation and be funny like everyone else. Some are gross.It’s hard to tell sometimes. But it’s a helluva lot better and safer than weirdo creepy dudes who stalk your name or accost you on the street.

Perhaps there are many men out there (none of the above though) who aren’t very good at the nice chatting up thing. The physical and verbal cues. The ones who have you grabbing for your mace when they approach you on the street, rather than saying something nice and polite in a well-lit, well-populated area where you have people you know around you who can help should they pull out the rohypnol and/or bundle you screaming into their car.

Perhaps they might just want to chat to you because you might be able to (won’t) help you in your career but should really just say it rather than admit they stalked you a bit. Because That’s Fucking Creepy.

Perhaps there are men at work who don’t realise they are a lot, lot older, not in “the group” and saying shit like that to a lady ain’t the way to do it. Who knows?

All I’m pointing out is that men have rare occasions to be afraid or to feel intimidated. Whether you are Scarlett Johansson or Plain Jane, you get hoots or comments from men on building sites, men in bars, on the street, at work, in cafes, in cars, whatever. I can guarantee women are 99% more afraid, more of the time, than men. And sorry, but most men have no idea whatsoever how that feels.

And furthermore, if a man got drunk and took a woman home and fooled around a bit and decided he didn’t want to have sex with her but she was still totally into it and he’d invited her home and shit and taken some clothes off, if he said “no”, what would happen? She’d get kicked out clutching her handbag. Not what would/could happen if the situation was reversed. Unless you live in Germany and there’s a Nympho on the loose. But that’s hilarious (no it isn’t. But let’s all laugh because it rarely happens to men and All The Time to Women, so we can laugh at this and not at that).

Of course, as Kato mentioned in her post, most men who read this won’t be the kind that do any of the above. But it’s worth putting it our there, just in case the ones who google “sex tapes” and end up here Do read it. Unlikely, but there’s always a small hope, n’est-pas?

 

Fucking weirdos.

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About ohhellwhatthehell

I like gin, mittens and otters, not necessarily in that order. Here's some stuff I felt like writing down when I'm not chained to a desk writing other things for a living. Please use caution when using this site; there may be sweary words, cute animals and general bullshit. Don't say I didn't fucking warn you.
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