On creepiness. - untitld
A word on “creepy”: I know it gets thrown around a lot without necessarily being explained, so I’ll take a crack at it.
“Creepy” doesn’t have to be a one-on-one thing, or even an attraction thing. People can notice it even without an overt sexual aspect.
I like to think of it as a Spidey sense women develop under duress. When you’re female, unwelcome male attention kicks in when you’re YOUNG, with no power to do anything about it. Sure, you could slug a classmate, maybe, but not six of them, or the grown men who follow you down the street in their cars trying to get you to come with them, or the mob of boys on bikes who chase you in a pack every time they see you, or the godfather who leers and says inappropriate stuff even with other people in the room, or the guys who scream “Cow!” out the car at you because they can see your (skinny, even!) midriff in the cool new shirt you cut up, or or or … and that’s just stuff that happened to me in the year I was 12. It starts young (no, really, young) and doesn’t go away.
We don’t get to fight back, either. When we complain, we’re told the same things:
“It means he likes you. You should be flattered!”
“Oh, that’s not that bad.”
“You should’ve known better than to wear that.”
“Well, walk a different way next time.”
“just ignore him.”
The only way we’re given to deal with it is avoiding trouble, so we get really good at picking up on subtext. Like, REALLY good. “It’s your job to predict the future and avoid it” good. Like, “your life actually depends on it” good. So we learn to see the world through that head-up display from “Predator.” We don’t get the luxury of not noticing stuff.
. . .