Let's face it, many women have been faced with creepy male behavior at one point or another. It's not always intentional, but it happens. Men are constantly looking for ways to impress women, and it can sometimes be difficult to come across as well-intentioned. They'll do something they think is fine, but is definitely not. Not sure what you're doing wrong? These women share the creepy things men do that they think is okay, but actually isn't.
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#1 Hug Time
"Where's my hug?"
#2 Physical Contact at Work
My wife had a boss that would come up behind the ladies and start giving them shoulder massages... not cool dude. She was a resident at a hospital. The guy doing it was an attending physician. He did it to all the female residents. Not that it matters but he was in his 50s and kind of looked like Danny DeVito's Penguin. It was bad because the power dynamic between residents and attending made it hard to say much, especially at the time.
#3 These Words
Saying anything along the lines of “you’re perfect” upon minutes of meeting.
#4 Inappropriate Gestures
My workplace is mostly men. There are three women and approximately 25 men. I used to bring in homemade baked goods a lot... pumpkin bread, brownies, cookies, smores bars and the like. I enjoy being in the kitchen. It's a nice gesture to share. One guy started drawing me borderline inappropriate Minnie Mouse drawings. Not done well. Traced images but with small changes like her bloomers too short. Weird to explain. I'm the exact opposite of a person you'd think would like anything Disney related, let alone sexy Minnie. He said he drew them to thank me for the treats. I stopped bringing in treats which resulted in everyone else questioning why I quit baking. Very awkward all around.
#5 Unwanted Touching
I have a large tattoo on my shoulder, and I've had several men come up from behind, and move my tank top strap and bra strap to see it better. It's been mostly in grocery stores and Lowe's of all places.
#6 Constantly Pushing
Constantly pushing for a date after saying we aren’t interested. Like a high school boy having a crush and the girl saying “I just like you as a friend...” and they keep pushing like she’ll fall in love. Sorry, that’s just a fairytale. Please stop after we say we don’t like you. No hard feelings! We just don’t want to date you.
#7 No Boyfriend Doesn't = Date
That hassling you for a date because you don't have a bf is not okay. "But you don't have a boyfriend..." The point is, dude, I'd rather be single than date you. Take the hint.
#8 Touching Hair
I've got curly hair and I'm sick of men thinking they can just come and grab a coil of hair and pull it like I'm some kind of slinky spring! Don't touch my hair and don't call me moody when I tell you to stop! Also, I've not had many women reach for my hair but obviously they do! Please don't touch our hair (without permission), it's such an intimate thing to do for a lot of us.
#9 Following in Your Car
When I am walking down the sidewalk, follow me slowly in a car while trying to talk to me. I hate this.
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#10 Not Taking "No" For An Answer
It's not most men at all but there was one man who acted super creepy and seemed to think it was fine. I worked with this guy back when I was 18. The two of us as well as some other coworkers would hang out all the time and I was generally friendly with the guy. The same sort of friendly as I'd use with anyone else but I guess it made him obsessed with me.
For about five years he would constantly message me telling me how amazing I am. He clearly seemed to think that was a good idea and it would make me feel good and I guess to make me into him? Or maybe he already thought I was into him? Point is if someone turns you down they probably aren't playing hard to get. Try once. If they turn you down and you suspect they're playing the stupid hard to get game then ask them directly. Don't pester them constantly for years. That is scary behavior.
And yes, I did block the guy eventually. Then he started making alternative accounts to add me with. That's where we are getting into stalker territory though.
#11 Friendly Not Flirting
Putting their hands on your thigh or back casually while talking to you. If I’m being friendly it’s not a signal for you to touch me. Far too many co-workers, creepy uncles, etc. find this okay!
#12 Recording Them
I’ve had men who have been on FaceTime in public follow me with their phones talking to their friends about how I look and such and it’s just really uncomfortable because I didn’t consent for my body to be recorded and sent to your pals when I’m just trying to get my effing groceries.
#13 Unwanted Conversation
I don't have air in my car but it's so hot where I live so my windows are always down. When I come to a red light, men try to talk to me from their vehicles and it makes me wildly uncomfortable because I obviously can't get away.
#14 Using a Guise
When you get messages like "hi hun" in a business setting. I draw for a living and regularly get guys messaging me under the guise that they want to commission something when it's really just an excuse to get closer to me. This will sound blunt, but I don't want you. I want your money. You commissioning, or not? Alright stop wasting my time, thank you!
#15 Blocking Their Exit
Block an exit while trying to start a conversation. Just don't do it. EVER.
#16 Talking Poorly About Exes and Kids
Talking badly about their ex and their kids. I'm a single middle-age woman. I don't know what's going on with some men but a lot of them regret having kids and are mad about having to give money to their ex to raise them. I'm not talking about an unreasonable amount of money but for example, 100$ for two kids at the beginning of a school year. And of course, their ex is crazy for asking for it. "She's the one who wanted kids..." Some have complained about having to spend time with them. Why are they telling me this? We just met. It makes them seem so mean and cheap. If you don't want kids, get a vasectomy.
#17 Personal Questions
When strange men approach me and start asking personal questions like we’re on a first date.
#18 Coercing Them Into Saying Yes
When I don't want to talk/go on a date/accept a drink/give them my number/etc., and they try to negotiate, coerce or rationalize me into saying yes. If I say "thanks, but I'm not interested," it does NOT mean that I'm "playing hard to get." If a woman doesn't respond positively to flirting, back off. "Playing hard to get" isn't a thing outside of 1950s movies.
Showing me random photos of hot women to put me in the mood to go out with them, I guess? I don't even know why men think this is a good icebreaker, but it's happened to me and to my friends on multiple occasions so it seems to be A Thing. Men, why? Am I supposed to be flattered that you collect porn of girls who look vaguely like me? Don't believe movies. A big dramatic confession of TRUE LOVE to a girl you've never even been on a date with isn't romantic... it's awkward at best and terrifying at worst.
When they walk behind you they either touch your lower back or give your shoulders a squeeze. Those things are only okay for my husband to do. No one else. It isn’t cute or endearing. It’s extremely uncomfortable to deal with and makes women avoid you or cringe when you’re near.
#20 Being Overconfident
I once repeatedly told a guy I had zero interest in dating and was 100 percent devoted to celibacy for religious reasons and he kept trying to find out my full name, and when I called him out on it, he said "That's okay, because it'll be [his last name] one day." This was literally in the first and only conversation (online) we'd ever had. I don't do online chat anymore. Guys, don't play that confidence game. Just be you. I swear, that over-confidence-to-make-up-for-perceived-deficiencies thing is CREEPY!
#21 No Means No
I've come across a few men who don't seem to understand that "I have a boyfriend" means I'm not single and I don't want to be pursued or flirted with.
#22 Restricting Movement
Restrict movement in any way. Pinning me in a corner, holding my wrist down, blocking my escape, etc. may make you feel powerful but it makes me worry I will be trapped for a while and then dead.
Tell you to smile. It used to make me really uncomfortable, now I just grin maniacally at them.
#24 Picking Them Up
Pick me up. I’ve always been really skinny, so guys think it’s okay to just...lift me. The really bad part is, I have really bad back problems and have broken my spine multiple times—and picking me up is one of the things that can actually break my spine. Yet even guys who know this do this. WHY?
#25 Following Them
Follow you around while you're out because they want to keep talking to you after you've already made two attempts to end the conversation.
#26 What's Your Number?
At my work, we ask phone numbers for our "club" and countless times I've been asked if I will personally call them, the answer is no... Then, "What's your number?" My reply, "I don't have a phone." Or "Oh you want my number? Where are we going tonight?!" And a creepy older guy like 70s.... "Well, what's your number sweetheart?" Me..."Um no..no..no." Him, "Well I'm not gonna stop asking until there's a ring on this finger (tapping my left ring finger)... I yanked my hand away so fast and I was new at the job so I didn't want to make a scene and just said, "Have a great day!"
#27 Grabbing Wrists
Grabbing my wrists. It is a huge ultimate no.
#28 Following Them
FOLLOWING ME FOR ANY DISTANCE! I was once followed TWENTY BLOCKS by a man trying to basically get me to go home with him. Mind you, I had my HEADPHONES in to make it clear I wasn’t listening (although they were off, I just do it so most creeps don’t approach) but my goodness he didn’t let up. I never even looked at him the whole time he followed me.
He didn’t leave until I finally spotted a police officer and started walking in that direction. I even asked to be left alone, had my pepper spray in hand visible. He just kept calling me gorgeous and asking if my boyfriend treated me right. Could he give me his number in case my boyfriend did something bad? All ignored.
#29 Inappropriate Pictures
Thinking it's okay to send inappropriate pictures by way of introduction. Maybe I'll want to see it at some point eventually, but try saying hi first.
#30 Trying to Change Their Mind
It has happened more than once where it came up in casual conversation that I don't want kids and some guy tries to change my mind as if it's any of his business.
#31 Sliding Into Their DMs
I’m not interested
You stupid b!#@*$
#32 Greeting Them Differently
Friends, regardless of gender, are often totally fine interacting in a variety of ways and I’m fine with that! I think the problem occurs when someone feels like they can greet an acquaintance differently when they are female. Men don’t generally greet the male coworker that they barely know from five cubicles down by putting their hand on his lower back. I don’t really want that either, but it happens all the time!
#33 Hands Off
Gay men who grope you and say "It's okay! I'm gay! and not attracted to women at all!" So step off my dress Mary, and keep your hands to yourself like a normal gay person then.
#34 Don't Flirt When They're Unable to Leave
Today I was grabbing some chicken nuggets at a Wendy’s drive-thru as a once in a blue moon treat, and the cashier says, “Damn girl, you’re pretty." Here I am in my business suit and blazer like ........ thanks. Then he goes, “Are you a princess or something?” I say nothing. He hands me my food. ”Bye, pretty girl, I hope I see you again!” I know that to the outside observer, that seems innocent, but if I’m trapped waiting in my car I don’t want to have to respond to your flirting. Don’t flirt with women who are unable to leave. And it makes me very uncomfortable to be called a “pretty girl” and “princess” when I’m clearly an adult woman in formal business attire. Feels like I’m not being respected. I’m a woman, not a girl damn it!
#35 Cute? No
"You're cute when you're angry."
#36 Not Giving Up
Screw society or movies or whatever it is that tells you "fail at once try again" or "never give up on what you want." If you pursue a woman and she is not interested in you, take your loss and leave her alone. We are human beings not achievements to unlock in a video game. If we were interested in you we would have had said yes initially. If you keep pestering us we are just going to think you are not dateable AND annoying.
Honking, yelling or some form of catcalling while I'm running or even just walking down the street.
#38 Squeezing Too Hard
When guys hug you and push your upper back into them so your boobs press into their chest. The guys that super-duper creep me out is when they push multiple times. And it’s usually the old guys that do this. First, they hug you tight, totally fine. But then there’s an extra squeeze between the shoulder blades pressing my chest into theirs. It’s a specific separate push into their chest. Then some men do that separate pressing a few times. It’s not a regular tight hug, I can assure you. Ugh! I know what you’re doing, idiot.
#39 Random Favors
When men I don’t know well at all do random favors for me without me asking. I know it can come from an innocent place, but I’ve had enough buildups to creepy behavior that started with small things, that I’m immediately suspicious.
#40 Flirting with No Escape
Flirting with me in a position where I can’t leave, like an uber or a taxi. It’s terrifying. One time I had an Uber driver flirt with me the entire time I was in the car late on a Friday night after a party, I tried to stop responding and he kept telling me how beautiful I was and how I needed a nice man, etc. He actually ended up skipping my street and I thought I was going to die that night. Most of the time when women don’t want to talk with you/aren’t interested and you keep pushing it, we get scared that we’re gonna get assaulted or killed! A real possibility at any time!
#41 Asking Personal Questions
Maybe it's just me but, asking if I live alone. Now if at this point of inquiry there was an already established friendship I suppose it's okay. But if you are a stranger or an acquaintance that would freak me out.
#42 Pet Names
I am an elderly woman and it really really pisses me off when men that I don't know call me "Sweetie" or "Honey" or "Sweetheart." Dudes. Just don't. I am not your grandma with a dish of cookies for you.
#43 Strong Handshakes
Guys who try to assert their dominance by crushing your hand while shaking it. I have arthritis and it is excruciatingly painful.
"Dare" me to kiss my girlfriend in front of him to "prove" I'm lesbian/bi. Disgusting and daily.
#45 Thinking They'll Switch Teams for You
"I know you said you're a lesbian, but I think you're cute and wanted to know if you'll give me a chance." Admittedly that has thankfully only happened to me online (and that is a politely worded version), but I have plenty of friends who have gotten it in real life too.