On Creepiness

“I was just walking to class and he kept trying to talk to me. We exchanged numbers and now he texts me all the time. It’s so creepy.” Guys and girls alike have probably heard these refrains from their female friends. I can think of several explanations. Perhaps she’s upset and wants your consolation. Perhaps she’s frightened and wants your advice. Or maybe she just wants to let everyone know how much attention she receives from guys, and what better or more modest way than to phrase her boast in the form of a complaint?

For guys who haven’t caught on to this, think about it from the girl’s perspective. When she tells you “I went over to his place at 2 am just to watch a movie and hang out, and he tried to kiss me. Isn’t that creepy?”, the answer is probably no, which is why she still goes over to his place every Friday night. There is a line between being creepy and being forward. Real creepiness implies physical danger. OJ Simpson is creepy. Calling every day for a month is creepy. Persisting after being flatly rejected is creepy. But when a guy awkwardly tells you that he likes you? Or his body language reveals his interest? That doesn’t count.

It isn’t even that female sensibilities are more easily offended than males’. It’s that girls who describe a person as “creepy” are ninety-nine percent of the time exaggerating and ninety-nine percent of the time flattered. That a stranger stopped her on Mass Ave and asked for her phone number is a measure of her desirability and his boldness, nothing more or less. In complaining to her guy friends about this encounter, she is letting them know that others find her attractive and probably they should too.

-Ren and Robert