Creepy Man Rant

Last week, while at a gas station, I was approached by a man. He was probably in his sixties, with shabby, dirty clothes, and a scruffy beard. The following conversation ensued:

Man: I like your necklace.
Me: Uh, thanks.
Man: (staring far too long at the chest region) At first I thought it was gold.
Me: (awkward silence)
Man: But it’s not is it? It’s silver. Heh.
Me: Okay, I need to go.

I would have extracted myself from the interaction sooner, but I was in the middle of pumping gas. As I got into my car and drove away, I couldn’t help but feel icky and violated.

Honestly, I am fed up with this sort of encounter. I have had far too many creepy interactions with men. In fact, I’m beginning to wonder if my neighborhood (or possibly the city of Los Angeles) has an inordinate number of these men prowling the streets.

When approached by a stranger, I used to give as much benefit of the doubt as possible. Hey, maybe this is a friendly grandfather with no other motives than to chat. But midway into the conversation, the man says something inappropriate or lingers too long with his eyes. My intuition starts to send warning signals to me. I begin to feel unsafe and self-protective. I start reaching into my purse for my keys, strategically planning how to gouge the stranger’s eyes out if I am attacked.

Creepy Men, do I look like I want to talk to you? Am I giving off some sort of Please Come Hit On Me vibe? Just to set the record straight, I do not appreciate your advances. I am not interested in being objectified or disrespected. How would you react if someone treated your wife or daughter like that? Yeah, I thought so.

I would love to live in a world where everyone can be trusted. Where we didn’t have to worry about people’s dark motivations and secret agendas. But unfortunately, it is not that type of world. So from now on I think my new modus operandi will be to wield a large can of mace around, and pretend I don’t speak English (or whatever language Creepy Man is speaking).

Women, has this sort of thing happened to you? How did you respond?

16 thoughts on “Creepy Man Rant

  1. mean face comes on, closed body language (crossed arms, elbows out, etc.) and I avoid eye contact. If I am still engaged then I will keep my answers to yes or no. sorry to hear about the creeper =(

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  2. hahaha! this is hilarious. i'm sure in this situation i would've just said, “really? no, i mean reeaaaalllly? c'mon man. don't you have something better to do?” and i would've said it super sarcastically.
    this happens to me sometimes too, and whenever it does, i don't hesitate to tell them that they're being creeps. more often than not i don't even mean for it to come out. it just happens.
    mase is a good idea.

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  3. I don't usually have this happen with old men, but I do deal with this from a middle-aged guy I work with. I wear skirts to work maybe 1-2 times a week. So that's pretty common, right? Well, tell me why, EVERY SINGLE TIME, I wear a skirt, he says “you look really nice in a skirt.” Followed by a head to toe check-out and a creepy smile. He's married, staunchly religious, and old enough to be my father. It gives me the heeby-jeebies every.single.time.

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  4. Yikes! I'm sorry to hear that happened to you. When I first moved to my condo, I was out with my son in the courtyard and there was a guy there as well. He was pretty young, I'd say in his early 30s. He was creepy as well.. he had this grin on his face. I got out of that courtyard fast. Turns out he lives in the building and one time I was in the pool with my son and he was there. He kept a respectable distance away from us – for that I was grateful. But I was so ready to defend us if anything did start to happen. It's too bad the world is the way it is.

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  5. I feel you! Commuting to work has allowed me to catch one to many men checking out women walking down the street. So now I'm super paranoid and I usually get really angry when I'm stuck walking in front of a skeezy guy and the mean face (spurred by many mean thoughts) comes on. However since that only leads to thinking about what I could do if I knew tae kwon do (insert evil laugh here) recently I tried reciting psalm 23 and thinking about Jesus tae kwon do-ing the skeezy guys and it was much better. Maybe that's not such an improvement but it calms me down. 🙂

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  6. Ooh, there are so many creepy men in this world, huh? The crazy thing is that when I bring my (big) dog out for walks, more creepy men talk to me than usual. You think they'd be scared off? No!

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  7. I just had a gnarly experience at a gas station too!!! And I was stuck b/c I was pumping gas… This creep was either intoxicated or mental. He said something about my sandals (he was barefoot) and then proceeded to ask me for $ for a burrito. I had literally driven thru Jack/Box for their breakfast burrito… anyway, he then falls to the ground crying and wailing about how hungry he is. So I pulled an Adam Sandler from Happy Gilmore and literally jumped in the van, threw my burrito out to him, and drove off. Yikes!! You would think that the people inside could help out in this situation… call the police!!! Not that it would help – this is LA.

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  8. We must have magnets born in our bones. Because I got one too. I was at Ralph's when an older man hit me with his cart (not subtle, and it kind of hurt, since I was wearing flip flops) and asked me if I wanted to “party” with him later.

    I used to say I had a magnetic personality, but can I set my magnet to repulse?

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  9. Yup…Just the other day, a friend of a friend who I've only met once before decided that it was ok to call me “sexy”. I wear basketball shorts and a t-shirt every single day of my life.
    Is there ANYTHING about me that's asking you to call me “sexy”? Absolutely not. It made me feel so violated.

    One thing is for sure–this kind of stuff really makes you appreciate those brothers in Christ who respect and honor you with their eyes and their hearts. Thank God for them!

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  10. Amen to this post.

    I live in a small, small town, but the creepy men come out of the woodwork for me, apparently. I don't want to talk to them. I don't want to interact with them. I try to ignore them when they approach me. But it's really hard. And they won't go away.

    Everyone at work laughs about this. Nobody has had to deal with these creepy men but me, and I don't get it. So it kind of makes me feel better that, even if you're in another town, you have dealt with this, too.

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  11. I have this happen all the time, as I live downtown calgary. Its almost hilarious how they think you dont notice. Just today I had two men circle me, (like I dont know exactly what your doing- I hardly think its to grab that invisible object off the counter Im standing beside) and another actually follow me off a train trying to engage in what I was doing that day. Its disgusting and maddening like nothing else, and I totally understand your feeling violated. I usually make it obvious that I know what their doing, and threaten to call the police if they try to talk to me. They have no buisness talking to young girls, in the unlikely occasion that they need help there are plenty of men around. And always try to have your phone out and ready. Also, if needed, go up to the biggest guy you can find and ask them for help. Usually one of their stares is enough to send the loser scampering away.

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  12. I am analyzing my weight problem and have come to realize how very violated I feel. I was watched dressing and showering, daily, for 4 years as a teenager. I always wear baggy clothes and come to realize every time I begin to lose weight I feel so vunerable and unsafe and violated, I eat moe again. I think I'm going to start saying, “Stop staring, you perve!, instead of being a victim. It disgusts me.

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  13. It's funny that women respond to a guy making conversation with “mase [sic] is a good idea.”

    @Andhari: Also amusing that you, a girl with a blog titled “Insomniac Lolita” has a problem with older guys hitting on her. You do realize what the character “Lolita” represents, don't you?

    Another woman writes, that she will “threaten to call the police if they try to talk to me”.

    Seriously, what is wrong with you all? Get over yourselves and relax! Enjoy the fact that some guys find you worth looking at!

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  14. My friend taught me the most useful line: “Not interested!” said in a firm voice. Came in handy as I biked to work across LA for seven years. I was called and asked all sorts of things along the way!

    Shouted “NOT INTERESTED!” and pedaled away as fast as possible when the man in the windowless 70s van said he wanted to give me a ride… laughed and said “Not interested” when guys at the bus stop would ask ME for a ride… added a “You got to be kidding me” when a group of men approached me at Target and said, “Wanna be in a movie that we're filming in my friend's apartment? We'll pay you $100, and it's just down the street…”

    But I remember reading in the LA Times about an ongoing scam in which smooth-talking guys would approach young women on the Blue Line and pretend to represent a lingerie company… convincing the women to get off the train with them and have their photos taken in underclothes “to see if we can hire you as a model.” And I'm sure there are much worse things going on.

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  15. Came across your rant after googling and finding someone who feels as grossed out as I do about getting hit on by creepy men.

    I was (and still am) extremely bothered by an experience I had today. I'm usually a pretty friendly person and say hello to fellow walkers on the same trail. Today, there was an old guy with a dog who said hello. I said hello back, gave the dog a quick pet, and was about to be on my way when the guy started talking to me about the dog. So, I stay and listen and nod. THEN the guy starts slapping the dog. Hard. The feeling of discomfort goes through the roof. He was all friendly with his dog at first, but it's clear that the dog doesn't like him. I ask him if he has ever considered clicker training and tell him of the pros versus hitting the dog, but he doesn't think it's effective. I then start to plan my escape, while feeling extremely sorry for the dog.

    So as I start to leave, the guy walks closer to me and starts talking in a louder voice. As in, getting too close, right into my face, breathing down my shoulder, and I AM FEELING WEIRDED OUT while he starts asking me personal questions about where I work, where I live, do I have a Roomba robot (What the heck?). I can't figure out how to get out of this situation, but then some ladies walk by and while he's distracted saying “hello” to them, I quickly get the hell out of there.

    Lesson learned: I am never saying hello to strangers again. At least, not to any men.

    I still feel icked out and also feel like it was my fault for responding to his hello. In retrospect I should have punched him in the gut for treating his dog like crap, and then slapped him for being a creeper.

    Whoops, sorry for the rant on an old blog post. Do know that you aren't alone in feeling violated, or being caught off-guard in mid-conversation…I take solace in the fact that I fortunately do know a few perfectly decent and respectful guys.

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