“Why don’t you like him?”

Creepy smiling guy with "I like your hair, it smells nice"

A creepy guy meme.

I now know who the creeper/proto-rapist in my neighbors’ social group.

I was half asleep late Friday/early Saturday, when a vehicle pulled into the driveway between our building and the next one. I heard the voice of the 20-something guy that lives with his girlfriend in the unit behind us talking with several other people of both genders while they unloaded something from the vehicle with the engine still running.

As the number of voices dwindled down to just a woman I didn’t know and the neighbor (I believe she was driving the vehicle and the other friends were from a separate vehicle out on the street, perhaps?). The neighbor suddenly asks, “So are you going to go out with Adam?”

And she replied, “I don’t like Adam.”

“Why not? He’s a nice guy!”

“He always acts creepy around me.”

“Oh, he doesn’t mean anything by it…”

“I don’t like him.”

“Why don’t you like him?”

Ah! There we have it. The classic attitude guys have been socialized to have when other guys of their acquaintance sexually harass, touch without permission, and otherwise creep on girls of their acquaintance.

Otherwise known as, rape culture…

There are many excellent articles and posts out there explaining rape culture and how all of us contribute to it in various ways without realizing it.

See, guys are socialized to be entitled. And we’re socialized to support each others’ entitlement. How many romantic plots in books or movies involved a girl who says ‘no’ but the guy persists and eventually she is won over by his charms?

We are taught that this is how romance works. We’re taught that this is how a lot of life works. If someone says, “no,” find a way to ask in a different way. Make jokes. Find excuses to remind them that you’re available. Whatever happens, don’t take “no” for an answer.

I know at least a few couples who have been happy together for many years whose story about how they met, depending on how they tell it, can sound like that summary. But the details are different, and the word “creepy” doesn’t pop up.

Another creepy guy meme.

When a guy keeps talking to a gal despite her repeated indications she doesn’t want to talk, he wants more than talk.

I could quote the statistics about how many women are sexually assaulted or coerced into having sex, but here’s the thing: if a gal you know doesn’t like a guy, that’s the end of the discussion. She doesn’t have to explain it to you. She doesn’t have to explain it to him. She is not obligated to go out with someone she doesn’t like. She is not obligated to hang out with someone she doesn’t like. She is not obligated to “just give him a chance.”

That really ought to be the end of the discussion.

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About fontfolly

I've loved reading for as long as I can remember. I write fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and nonfiction. I publish an anthropomorphic sci-fi/space opera literary fanzine. I attend and work on the staff for several anthropormorphics, anime, and science fiction conventions. I live in Seattle with my wonderful husband, still completely amazed that he puts up with me at all.

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