I think calling guys creepy is the female version of dudes calling girls “crazy.” Everyone knows that when a guy talks about his “crazy ex girlfriend,” what is he is really saying is that he lost interest/slept with her sister and then got mad when he had to deal with the reasonable consequences of his actions. Girls who call guys “creepy” are girls who solicit attention they have no intention of returning so that they can complain about it and feel better about themselves.
As a woman, it is very easy for things to shift suddenly into an unsafe territory. Feeling scared is, unfortunately, an appropriate reaction to situations that happen in everyday dating (or otherwise) life. But I want us to start making a differentiation between a man doing a creepy thing, and us feeling creeped out by it.
I think I really offended this guy by asking where the “least rape-y” area of his lake house was that I could sleep when my girlfriend and I crashed there after a party. In my defense, his friend had fondled me at least three times that night while i awkwardly laughed and pushed him off (who does that?) but I immediately felt badly, because that’s a really disrespectful thing to imply about a guy and all his closest friends.
What was wrong about that situation is that that dude’s friend was awful, and we all laughed it off because he was drunk, but it was gross — and was a situation in which I was appropriately concerned about what could happen later on if there were less people around to make a joke out of it. How do you express that feeling in the middle of a party? If I told someone I felt creeped out, I feel like the word would have been somewhat meaningless to them, as it’s often used in such a misappropriated, banal way. A guy can do something that is defined as “sweet” if you are interested in him and “stalker behavior” if you aren’t. It might be an honest mistake, or it might be someone who won’t take no for an answer — but it doesn’t convey feeling unsafe, really.
As much as it is a part of my culture, I don’t want to think about dudes as inherently creepy. Think about the meme blog OKC Enemies. There are legitimately creepy guys on it, sure, but there are also a lot of guys who are labeled “creepy” just because they happen to be really unattractive. That’s gross. I’d like my intuition to perk up when it’s supposed to, not just because someone I’m not interested in is talking to me. There’s an expression you should use when discussing the latter: “We should all be so lucky.” And that is miles away from creepy.