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Speckla
March 28th, 2010, 08:48 PM
Hey all. I usually wear my hair up but wore it down and curly today. At the grocery store a guy was intently staring at it today. It wasn't a quick admiring glance but a full on stare-down...it was really creepy and made me feel ick inside. I'm very, very close to BSL unstretched and I know that I'm almost at a length that's longer than usual. That makes me feel almost as bad as someone checking out your body in a leering way.:(

Juliannaissance
March 28th, 2010, 08:57 PM
That is really creepy! Like if the guy ended up trying to touch my hair I would walk away very fast! Your hair was probably too gorgeous not to look at. :)

MissMandyElizab
March 28th, 2010, 09:08 PM
Been there it is creepy!I want to like say something or run!

masa_inn
March 28th, 2010, 09:10 PM
Judging by certain communities on Flickr (don't get me wrong, I was just searching for a new curly style for myself:p), there are plenty of...er....hair admirers out there. I'm sorry it happened to you.

Laylah
March 28th, 2010, 09:15 PM
I always cover my hair when out in public so I don't have that problem, but then people just stare at the scarf lol!

Copasetic
March 28th, 2010, 09:33 PM
I've been in that kind of situation before, and it is seriously uncomfortable. Its strange how much attention you can get just for wearing your hair down.

Gumball
March 28th, 2010, 09:43 PM
Funny how I've been on the opposite part of the spectrum. Not two nights ago I was talking to a buddy of mine at a bookstore and a woman walked behind me and looked at the back of my head in a way where my friend commented, "I think that woman must have a problem with you..."

As long as it was just someone observing, then thankfully any form of creepiness just stayed in that medium. We couldn't really know if it's a leering kind of ogling, or a "wow that's really pretty and I'm impressed" kind of stare, of course we weren't there to see the expression either. Some people just have different perspectives, where one may think only a glance is appropriate, while others may think it's alright to have the look prolonged.

I'm sorry it made you uncomfortable. :( I hope the person didn't have an "ick" motive behind the stare down. That would be icky.

gmdiaz
March 28th, 2010, 09:48 PM
I don't get that ick feeling unless the person is actually icky.

Trust yourself to know when to move along. . .ur, quickly. . .away from a person.

Laharwine
March 29th, 2010, 12:03 AM
This is really damn creepy.
I refuse to wear my hair down at work anymore because of all the creeps. It's damn frustrating that I can't wear my hair down for fear of creeps who think it's okay to hit on me/leer at me because I have long hair. (Not coworkers, hotel guests.)

Arctic_Mama
March 29th, 2010, 12:23 AM
Huh, I've never had this happen, but I can imagine how disconcerting it would be! It's a shame when people have to sexualize everything and make something as innocent as wearing your hair loose an uncomfortable event!

Robbi Dehlinger
March 29th, 2010, 01:10 AM
sometimes it IS better not to wear long hair down with nut cases around??

lilravendark
March 29th, 2010, 04:46 AM
You shouldn't let a few creepos get in the way of what you want to do especially something as mundane as wearing hair down, When I had longer hair there were a few of those ick moments but once you recognise those creeps the sooner you can spot them and just stay away from them. I know it sucks and feels a bit violating but don't let these seedy characters get the better of you if you feel uncomfortable with someone burning holes in the back of your head move your hair to the front and give them a very disgruntled look show them they are being rude.

Belisarius
March 29th, 2010, 05:48 AM
Only you yourself can make you feel not comfortable. Don't mind it and just go along with your business. Also the feeling that he is a creep is in your mind, some people just behave different than what you are used to.

Chromis
March 29th, 2010, 05:49 AM
Not to make light of you feeling creeped out, but people can find things to stare at in this manner regardless of your hair. Since they were thankfully not making leering comments, you don't know what it was exactly they were fixating on. They may have just thought you were pretty (say this in appropriate creepy-sounding voice).

People fixate on lots of things I have found since joining the clothing groups on Flickr. None of them surprise me, but some I just hadn't even considered before! Along with the normal legs, shoes, hair, and feet people, there are people who leave comments or have communities just for women wearing overalls, women wearing Wellies (the rainboot one seems quite popular in fact!), feet in Birkenstocks, visible slips, modest dress (yes, yes, the very people who are dressing to look less sexy have loads of "admirers"), and loads of other innocuous sounding things. Rule 34 is very much in play!

GlassEyes
March 29th, 2010, 06:07 AM
Only you yourself can make you feel not comfortable. Don't mind it and just go along with your business. Also the feeling that he is a creep is in your mind, some people just behave different than what you are used to.
Uhm, no.

There is something to be said for being paranoid, but some people are just plain creepy, and there are MANY guys who stare at women with less than wholesome thoughts, and they should probably be avoided if they make them feel uncomfortable. The same goes for men, actually.

adiapalic
March 29th, 2010, 06:43 AM
I don't like it when grown people stare. :(

sophistiCat *
March 29th, 2010, 06:55 AM
Uh that's not a nice experience, it really does make you feel uncomfortable when people stare. If anyone makes you feel unsafe then get to somewhere where there are others, or phone a friend to pick you up. If this happened to me I'd be upset too. Hope you are feeling a bit better now

Angela_Rose
March 29th, 2010, 07:16 AM
I've had this happen, incidentally, and I decided to take matters into my own hands. This creepy guy was just *ogling* my hair (this was back at hip-length) and I could feel his eyes boring into me. You know that feeling... anyway! I got angry enough about it that I confronted the guy. I turned and stared back, meeting his eyes, almost challenging him. "Can I help you with something?" I snapped. He stammered for a moment and then kind of sidled off. I watched him until he went into another store (this was at the mall). I was *mad* at that guy.

beez1717
March 29th, 2010, 07:20 AM
Lol. I think I'd be disturbed for the rest of the day if this happened to me UNLESS it was a cute girl doing it or a fellow long hair!

Pumpkin
March 29th, 2010, 08:36 AM
Yes, there are some creeps in this world. Even though my hair is very close now to APL, if I wear it down I get more 'attention' from the creeps than when I wear it up. When I had a pixie, I received no 'eyes glazed over' looks from the creeps.

I will just keep growing and wear it up in public. Use your gut in public. When someone makes you feel 'weird', there is usually something wrong with the situation.

restourceful
March 29th, 2010, 08:47 AM
Yes, there are some creeps in this world. Even though my hair is very close now to APL, if I wear it down I get more 'attention' from the creeps than when I wear it up. When I had a pixie, I received no 'eyes glazed over' looks from the creeps.

I will just keep growing and wear it up in public. Use your gut in public. When someone makes you feel 'weird', there is usually something wrong with the situation.

Bold mine.

I agree a thousand percent with this. :agree: If my intuition is sending a little niggling feeling in my gut then I know something is wrong. I may not know what is wrong, but I always listen to my gut. This is really good advice, Pumpkin! Five stars and a chocolate bar from me. :Star::Star::Star::Star::Star::chocolate:

Syaoransbear
March 29th, 2010, 09:45 AM
They are probably staring because it's unusual or they like it. People don't always have to stare for sexual reasons. If I see someone with gorgeous hair, I usually do my best to look at it for as long as I can without coming off as creepy or getting caught. Why is looking such a bad thing?

SummerWarmth
March 29th, 2010, 09:57 AM
Hi there! This is my very first post. :-)
I'm the guilty one here: I find myself doing a double take at someone who has very long and gorgeous hair!
At hindsight, do you wish you were not creeped out enough to ask him what his boggle was?

Purdy Bear
March 29th, 2010, 11:27 AM
Im totally busted! I do stare.

One lady did get a bit peeved, I went and apologised and explained I didnt have hair cause of the Alopecia and I was just wishing I had my hair back. She was lovely about it and really smiled afterwards. So I guess it was a backwards compliment.

Ksenia
March 29th, 2010, 11:42 AM
There's a difference between staring to admire something of beauty and ogling for "other purposes". When I worked at a school and would occasionally wear my hair down I would always get stares from the little kids who were just amazed by my hair and would go home to tell their mothers they wanted to grow their hair long like mine so then they would drag their mothers over to see me and get me to show them my hair. But I've also had really creepy stares from guys that just make me feel weird. And then there was the lady on the tube once who wrinkled her nose and started almost yelling at me because I had my hair down and she apparently felt it was inappropriate. I told her that her attitude was inappropriate.

You'll run into weirdos everywhere, and they can be fixated on almost anything. A couple weeks ago, some dirty old man growled at me in the grocery store to "sssssssmiiiiiileeeeee!" because apparently a young woman is not allowed to buy groceries without a banal smile glued to her face. But dirty old men are.

My advice is, if someone is making you uncomfortable, don't run, but stand your ground and don't let them intimidate you. If they are staring at you in a way that makes you uncomfortable, stare back. If they confront you, be polite but firm. Let them know that it makes you feel uncomfortable and you don't appreciate it. I have nothing against someone who wants to appreciate someone else's long hair, but as soon as they start to unnerve you, you have the right to not be subject to that. Every woman should be able to feel comfortable to go outside as she pleases, no matter the length of her hair.

harpgal
March 29th, 2010, 02:46 PM
LOL! It is for this very reason that I always wear my hair up when in public, unless I am with other longhaired folks. Being stared at makes me feel uneasy (unless it is by other longhaired folks :D).

punkgirl89
March 29th, 2010, 03:29 PM
I am totally guilty of this. As a wanna-be longhair (I'm growing my hair from a shaved head and am now just above shoulder) I often find myself staring enviously at some of the longhairs on campus and mentally calculating how long it will take me to grow to their length. Probably really creepy, but I try to be discrete.

Speckla
March 29th, 2010, 06:51 PM
Only you yourself can make you feel not comfortable. Don't mind it and just go along with your business. Also the feeling that he is a creep is in your mind, some people just behave different than what you are used to.

It was a case of feeling like someone is staring a hole in the back of your head and getting the chills before turning around to see that there really is someone there. The guy was giving off mega-creepy vibes. I knew before I even saw him. I took my son and left that section of the store as quickly as I could.

ETA: I know it wasn't my figure he was looking at because I was wearing baggy jeans and a very loose tshirt. No shape showing.

Hairtada
March 29th, 2010, 07:23 PM
Being stared at for my hair does not bother me at all unless I get that creepy gut feeling,but I get that for other things as well, not just hair.I always listen to that gut thing.

I grew my hair long full knowing that some people were going to look at my hair.They can't help it. Lucky for me in this area a lot of women have long hair and even though mine is about waist now I always see at least two women out and about with hair longer than mine..and oddly generally about my age [fifties]. I admit to staring at theirs! So far no one seems to mind.

The other day my husband and I took a walk and while waiting for a light I noticed a man in a truck stopped for it staring at my hair. Since he was not out on the street and my husband was there and I did not get the gut feeling I was flattered.:)

ericthegreat
March 29th, 2010, 07:34 PM
Only you yourself can make you feel not comfortable. Don't mind it and just go along with your business. Also the feeling that he is a creep is in your mind, some people just behave different than what you are used to.

Perhaps you yourself have never experienced being stared at or you didn't notice anyone staring at you in a creepy manner.

But this does happen to many women and also to men on a daily basis. Women especially have to be on guard at all times, because they tend to be less physically as strong as a man and if that man had less than honorable intentions in his mind toward that woman, she best better protect herself by getting out of there/moving to a safer place with more people fast!

Speckla, I'm sorry you had this happen to you. Maybe perhaps next time you can try to bring a friend or your husband(I think I remember you saying you were married? Forgive me if I remembered wrong) with you when you go out. Or definitely if you for whatever reason have to be alone and out, stay in a public area where there are plenty of other people and of course do not in any way let any person who gives you the creeps to move closer to you. Also, keep your cellphone on your body in case you really feel the need to call someone to pick you up.

MandyBeth
March 29th, 2010, 08:20 PM
There is a very clear difference between the fellow longhairs or want to be longhairs staring at hair and the "creeps". My sister who has the long white-blond curly hair and I go out, she attracts a lot of attention with her hair. But we both know if someone is just looking at her hair going "I wonder how long that took to grow that far" or "I wonder how she gets it so pale" vs whatever the heck the creeps are thinking.

If ANYONE gives you the creeps in public - stay in a brightly lit area and go immediately to the manager of the store. If you can't do that, go to a large group of people. In a bar, go to the bartender or the bouncers - they are sober and they are used to weird people and will believe you. If you are driving, DO NOT PULL OVER. Take your phone, call 911 and say there is a car with flashing lights following you, you are driving to the nearest police station and would like someone to come out when you get there.

The number one rule if you break any other rule - if you are the least bit creeped out and NOT feeling safe - call 911 or emergency number in your area. Trust me, the fine for calling needlessly is far less than the cost of your own safety. I've lived in an area where people have not bothered to call the cops because it's so close to home, or they trust all flashing lights or whatever, and they have not made it home safely.

ravensinger13
March 29th, 2010, 09:47 PM
Just one more thing to add, if possible take self defense courses! Even just asking a friend to help you practice is a lot better than nothing, and could save your life. Many attacks will be prevented or stopped if the target turns out not to be an easy one. Plus it's great fun :)

Keildra
March 30th, 2010, 02:55 PM
I admit I've done some ogling in admiration but it's typically followed by "you have such beautiful hair."

I do agree there is a difference between staring in admiration, looking in shock, and ogling with less than pure intentions.

I know that people will stare at things that are shocking, like extremely long hair worn down. I don't know about anyone else but that doesn't bother me. Neither does the stares of admiration, but ogling with less than pure intentions has that face to go along with it that just bothers anyone, even non-long haired people.

Belisarius
March 31st, 2010, 05:43 PM
Uhm, no.

There is something to be said for being paranoid, but some people are just plain creepy, and there are MANY guys who stare at women with less than wholesome thoughts, and they should probably be avoided if they make them feel uncomfortable. The same goes for men, actually.
Way, way more people stare than actually do something with those thoughts.
Also what are "less than wholesome thoughts" ? Just thoughts of having sex with a pretty girl or boy you see or more?


It was a case of feeling like someone is staring a hole in the back of your head and getting the chills before turning around to see that there really is someone there. The guy was giving off mega-creepy vibes. I knew before I even saw him. I took my son and left that section of the store as quickly as I could.

ETA: I know it wasn't my figure he was looking at because I was wearing baggy jeans and a very loose tshirt. No shape showing.
I can't speak to the specifics of the situation, but looks don't kill do they? If there were other people around you were also quite safe i think.



Perhaps you yourself have never experienced being stared at or you didn't notice anyone staring at you in a creepy manner.

But this does happen to many women and also to men on a daily basis. Women especially have to be on guard at all times, because they tend to be less physically as strong as a man and if that man had less than honorable intentions in his mind toward that woman, she best better protect herself by getting out of there/moving to a safer place with more people fast!

Speckla, I'm sorry you had this happen to you. Maybe perhaps next time you can try to bring a friend or your husband(I think I remember you saying you were married? Forgive me if I remembered wrong) with you when you go out. Or definitely if you for whatever reason have to be alone and out, stay in a public area where there are plenty of other people and of course do not in any way let any person who gives you the creeps to move closer to you. Also, keep your cellphone on your body in case you really feel the need to call someone to pick you up.
Well, i am 198cm so i rarely feel threatened. But speckla already was in a crowded place, as far as i understood her story.



There is a very clear difference between the fellow longhairs or want to be longhairs staring at hair and the "creeps". My sister who has the long white-blond curly hair and I go out, she attracts a lot of attention with her hair. But we both know if someone is just looking at her hair going "I wonder how long that took to grow that far" or "I wonder how she gets it so pale" vs whatever the heck the creeps are thinking.

If ANYONE gives you the creeps in public - stay in a brightly lit area and go immediately to the manager of the store. If you can't do that, go to a large group of people. In a bar, go to the bartender or the bouncers - they are sober and they are used to weird people and will believe you. If you are driving, DO NOT PULL OVER. Take your phone, call 911 and say there is a car with flashing lights following you, you are driving to the nearest police station and would like someone to come out when you get there.

The number one rule if you break any other rule - if you are the least bit creeped out and NOT feeling safe - call 911 or emergency number in your area. Trust me, the fine for calling needlessly is far less than the cost of your own safety. I've lived in an area where people have not bothered to call the cops because it's so close to home, or they trust all flashing lights or whatever, and they have not made it home safely.
I am not an american and don't know about the 911 thing, but yes, if you do feel threatened go to seek other people, preferebly ones you trust.

I am not an american, but i have this feeling that americans are very quick to see people as an "outsider" and be scared away from public places.

Fiferstone
March 31st, 2010, 06:21 PM
Actually Belisarius, I am going to respectfully disagree with you a bit here. Americans (as a culture) are no more quick to see people as outsiders and be spooked by them than any other culture. What is endemic in our culture in my humble opinion is sensationalizing dangers that for most people are remotely possible (i.e., the classic violent attack by a random stranger; the plane crash), but downplaying or dismissing some very real dangers as "irrational." One of the things we often do is to dismiss "creeped-out" feelings as irrational. Actually, feeling "creeped out" is an early warning, it's the entire brain telling the logical, rational faculty that something about our present situation is out of joint and may pose a threat to us. In Speckla's case, she identified the individual who stared openly at her in a public place, while she was not in any way attired to attract admiration and attention, a person who stared unabashedly and unashamedly although our culture strongly discourages such behavior as rude, as someone who might pose a threat.

There was a reason for her whole brain to respond that way, and dull, linear, plodding rationality takes AGES to puzzle it out, when one's nerve endings seemingly scream "get out of this NOW" in an instant.

I strongly recommend that people get and read "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin DeBecker. Look it up on Amazon and read the reviews. He does a wonderful job of demolishing the usual bogeys, and waking the reader up to the true importance of the fear impulse. It's one of the things that kept us alive and reproducing for millennia. When we resolutely put rationalist blinders on and view everything only through the lens of logic, we blind ourselves. Sometimes with fatal results. Just count how many domestic violence assaults/fatalities you see in a newspaper published in any large American city. Most (if not all) of the victims probably believed (rationally) that the person harming them would not ever kill them, because that person 'loved' them, despite how often, or how badly that person had injured them in the past. It's not logical for those who say they 'love' us to fatally injure us, so we disbelieve the evidence of our own experience, disregard the fear radar, hope for the best, and sometimes end up with the worst.

Reason and logic can go very, very wrong, and instinct is often quite right.

So, when my fear radar pings, I listen, very closely, and heed the warning.

That's my :twocents:.

nmarie33
March 31st, 2010, 06:42 PM
Belisarius, you are a guy right? I don't know where you live or what the culture there is like, but here in the good old USA you would be hard pressed to find any woman who has not been grossly ogled, sexually harassed, or worse. I'll bet women in your country have very similar problems, if you asked them. As women we have to be constantly vigilant when we sense pervy men around. You literally never know if someone will be content to just stare, or if they will reach out and grab for themselves, or what.

Heck, on any given day that I take public transportation I'm guaranteed to be hollered at, stared at, and sometimes guys will slow down and try to get you into their cars while you are at the bus stop. I have been grabbed by strange men on the street. I made the mistake of wearing pigtails on my bus commute one day, and it was a thousand times worse than normal. It is better to be safe than sorry, and get away from a creep if you feel weird.

By the way OP, almost the same exact thing happened to me last time I had my hair down at the grocery store. Some old perv was getting way too close to me and following me around from aisle to aisle. GROSS.

MandyBeth
March 31st, 2010, 07:21 PM
I am not an american, but i have this feeling that americans are very quick to see people as an "outsider" and be scared away from public places.

No. I fully trust what my brain and gut are telling me. If that means I think the yahoo in the grocery store is a problem - I walk up to customer service and request assistance. If I'm in a bar, I keep an eye out for my back and my hand over the top of my drink. The fact that I can likely cause severe harm to anyone who grabs me does not play in. Because I'm not positive I always can or could, and I'm not going to test it. I've seen the bad that people can do, I don't want to try it any further. But I'm not scared of day to day living or of going out and meeting new people. I might keep an eye out for myself, or I don't go out alone to the new bar in town or whatever.

But dismissing my simple safeguarding of my own well being? I'm not stupid and NEVER imply that I or anyone else who does the same to their well being is.

Alun
March 31st, 2010, 10:51 PM
there are MANY guys who stare at women with less than wholesome thoughts

I thought we all did, LOL! Of course, staring isn't polite, so most of us are discrete. I think that's the only real difference between a 'creep' and an average guy, i.e. the latter at least doesn't want women to feel uncomfortable.

IcarusBride
March 31st, 2010, 11:08 PM
I don't get stared at at all. I have BSL which is very ordinary around here. Even if I wear elaborate hairstyles, I never get any attention from my hair. If I had longer than TB, I'd probably start getting second looks, though. As long as they don't proceed to follow me, I don't mind being looked at. I do the same! I'm 'checking out' all the other ladies' hair trying to spot longhairs.

blondecat
April 1st, 2010, 03:08 AM
Belisarius, you are a guy right? I don't know where you live or what the culture there is like, but here in the good old USA you would be hard pressed to find any woman who has not been grossly ogled, sexually harassed, or worse. I'll bet women in your country have very similar problems, if you asked them. As women we have to be constantly vigilant when we sense pervy men around. You literally never know if someone will be content to just stare, or if they will reach out and grab for themselves, or what.

Heck, on any given day that I take public transportation I'm guaranteed to be hollered at, stared at, and sometimes guys will slow down and try to get you into their cars while you are at the bus stop. I have been grabbed by strange men on the street. I made the mistake of wearing pigtails on my bus commute one day, and it was a thousand times worse than normal. It is better to be safe than sorry, and get away from a creep if you feel weird.

By the way OP, almost the same exact thing happened to me last time I had my hair down at the grocery store. Some old perv was getting way too close to me and following me around from aisle to aisle. GROSS.

I'm not in the USA either, and women and some men where I am, suffer too

I don't care if me being vigilant in my safety is ill mannered, I'd rather be thought of as rude, than deal with something far worse.

Belisarius
April 1st, 2010, 01:00 PM
Actually Belisarius, I am going to respectfully disagree with you a bit here. Americans (as a culture) are no more quick to see people as outsiders and be spooked by them than any other culture. What is endemic in our culture in my humble opinion is sensationalizing dangers that for most people are remotely possible (i.e., the classic violent attack by a random stranger; the plane crash), but downplaying or dismissing some very real dangers as "irrational." One of the things we often do is to dismiss "creeped-out" feelings as irrational. Actually, feeling "creeped out" is an early warning, it's the entire brain telling the logical, rational faculty that something about our present situation is out of joint and may pose a threat to us. In Speckla's case, she identified the individual who stared openly at her in a public place, while she was not in any way attired to attract admiration and attention, a person who stared unabashedly and unashamedly although our culture strongly discourages such behavior as rude, as someone who might pose a threat.

There was a reason for her whole brain to respond that way, and dull, linear, plodding rationality takes AGES to puzzle it out, when one's nerve endings seemingly scream "get out of this NOW" in an instant.

I strongly recommend that people get and read "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin DeBecker. Look it up on Amazon and read the reviews. He does a wonderful job of demolishing the usual bogeys, and waking the reader up to the true importance of the fear impulse. It's one of the things that kept us alive and reproducing for millennia. When we resolutely put rationalist blinders on and view everything only through the lens of logic, we blind ourselves. Sometimes with fatal results. Just count how many domestic violence assaults/fatalities you see in a newspaper published in any large American city. Most (if not all) of the victims probably believed (rationally) that the person harming them would not ever kill them, because that person 'loved' them, despite how often, or how badly that person had injured them in the past. It's not logical for those who say they 'love' us to fatally injure us, so we disbelieve the evidence of our own experience, disregard the fear radar, hope for the best, and sometimes end up with the worst.

Reason and logic can go very, very wrong, and instinct is often quite right.

So, when my fear radar pings, I listen, very closely, and heed the warning.

That's my :twocents:.
Most of those milennia we haven't lived in crowded cities. Furthermore what works on the african savannah may not work so well in those crowded cities. I.o.w. I don't buy your argument.



I thought we all did, LOL! Of course, staring isn't polite, so most of us are discrete. I think that's the only real difference between a 'creep' and an average guy, i.e. the latter at least doesn't want women to feel uncomfortable.
Yes. Men look. Women look too.

Eboshi
April 1st, 2010, 01:25 PM
Most of those milennia we haven't lived in crowded cities. Furthermore what works on the african savannah may not work so well in those crowded cities. I.o.w. I don't buy your argument.
Belisaurius, I suggest reading this blog post, titled "Schroedinger's rapist" to help you understand a female's point of view regarding what we consider "creepy."
http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-starling-schrodinger%E2%80%99s-rapist-or-a-guy%E2%80%99s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-without-being-maced/

elina333
April 1st, 2010, 03:55 PM
Belisaurius, I suggest reading this blog post, titled "Schroedinger's rapist" to help you understand a female's point of view regarding what we consider "creepy."
http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-starling-schrodinger%E2%80%99s-rapist-or-a-guy%E2%80%99s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-without-being-maced/


Thank you for this article! Amazing, and something for men to think about!

Belisarius
April 2nd, 2010, 06:16 AM
Belisaurius, I suggest reading this blog post, titled "Schroedinger's rapist" to help you understand a female's point of view regarding what we consider "creepy."
http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-starling-schrodinger%E2%80%99s-rapist-or-a-guy%E2%80%99s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-without-being-maced/
Interesting read. I am not really sure about her numbers or her paranoia, but still.

restourceful
April 2nd, 2010, 06:43 AM
Interesting read. I am not really sure about her numbers or her paranoia, but still.

Her paranoia may come from having experienced one or more of these situations. You never really know someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. These thing DO happen, and if they've happened to you, it's hard to trust even the most innocent appearing situation/man, etc.

Belisarius
April 2nd, 2010, 07:05 AM
Her paranoia may come from having experienced one or more of these situations. You never really know someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. These thing DO happen, and if they've happened to you, it's hard to trust even the most innocent appearing situation/man, etc.
Yes, I know they happen. That doesn't make paranoia a good instinct. As far as my personal information goes, there are more nice men out looking for nice women than men looking to rape women.
But back to the subject, it may have been a not so nice experience for speckla but i think she is overreacting. Some weird guy looked at her and that was it.

Stevy
April 2nd, 2010, 07:07 AM
Most of us don't like it much when people who haven't tried to grow their own hair long give us advice that doesn't fit with our own experience. 'Oh, using the flat iron a couple of times a week won't KILL you!' they say, and we think 'I didn't say it would kill me. I said I didn't want to subject my hair to that, and it's my hair, not yours'. (Apologies to all our lovely flat-iron-using members!)

I feel the same way when people who haven't been in my shoes start telling me what I should or shouldn't do about my own safety. Except that being cavalier about my safety actually could kill me, and is indeed a lot more likely to than use of flat-irons. I don't care if anyone thinks that's paranoid. It's my call, not theirs.

restourceful
April 2nd, 2010, 07:31 AM
I respectfully beg to disagree with you, Belisarius. Would that we could all live in world where paranoia is unnecessary. But we don't. Women have these tendencies toward paranoia because we have been put in uncomfortable/compromising situations by men who don't have a thought about how they appear or come across to us in any given situation. You, Belisarius, are probably innocent enough, but many men just don't think about how they are perceived by women when their objective is to meet/talk to/hook up with a woman they don't know/have never met. Sure, it seems innocent enough to men; you've probably never been in an uncomfortable situation where you felt your safety might be in jeopardy. But so many of us have been that we naturally begin to look at any creepy looks and personal space intrusions as just that: danger. We find it better to prevent a potential attack at the risk of seeming rude, than to trust and find we have erred on the side of danger. Please understand, I am not saying this is every man and every woman. But odds are more women are going to have tendencies toward paranoia even though more men are perfectly innocent. It's just the nature of the game. I don't think Speckla was overreacting in the least. I think it was her defense mechanism alarming her that there was the potential for danger. It happens more than you might think.

Beldaran
April 2nd, 2010, 08:55 AM
Yes, I know they happen. That doesn't make paranoia a good instinct. As far as my personal information goes, there are more nice men out looking for nice women than men looking to rape women.
But back to the subject, it may have been a not so nice experience for speckla but i think she is overreacting. Some weird guy looked at her and that was it.

With out writing a whole novel, there is a MASSIVE difference between "paranoia" and being aware of one's surroundings. One isn't helpful, one is.

I don't see that the OP did anything to make me think she's paranoid, not at all and you calling it paranoia is very dismissive.


Only you yourself can make you feel not comfortable. Don't mind it and just go along with your business. Also the feeling that he is a creep is in your mind, some people just behave different than what you are used to.
I see the above quote as a cute way of victim blaming. He wasn't merely looking at her, he was staring at her. Again, there is a massive difference and it is not her fault if she's creeped out by a stranger staring or leering at her.

By your theory I can run up to someone, wave a knife in their face and then blame them for feeling uncomfortable? After all, maybe I just behave differently then they are used to.

Blaming the OP for her normal and rational feelings makes me feel like you're one step away from dismissing my whole gender as "hysterical".

tinkerbellisme
April 2nd, 2010, 09:47 AM
Only you yourself can make you feel not comfortable. Don't mind it and just go along with your business. Also the feeling that he is a creep is in your mind, some people just behave different than what you are used to.

I respectfully disagree. That may be the case, but it may not be. I'd rather see someone err on the side of caution than to tell themselves that it's all in their head and something end up happening to them. I also believe that God gave us (especially women) instincts and intuitions to help us keep ourselves and our children safe.

If someone creeps you out and you get away ASAP and you turn out to be wrong, no big deal. That person probably wouldn't even realize that they had made you uncomfortable...but if someone creeps you out and you stick around because you tell yourself it was all in your head and you end up getting assulted (or worse), then what?

Belisarius
April 2nd, 2010, 09:50 AM
With out writing a whole novel, there is a MASSIVE difference between "paranoia" and being aware of one's surroundings. One isn't helpful, one is.

I don't see that the OP did anything to make me think she's paranoid, not at all and you calling it paranoia is very dismissive.

Well, i am not speckla and perhaps i was, and perhaps i wasn't.


I see the above quote as a cute way of victim blaming. He wasn't merely looking at her, he was staring at her. Again, there is a massive difference and it is not her fault if she's creeped out by a stranger staring or leering at her.

By your theory I can run up to someone, wave a knife in their face and then blame them for feeling uncomfortable? After all, maybe I just behave differently then they are used to.

Blaming the OP for her normal and rational feelings makes me feel like you're one step away from dismissing my whole gender as "hysterical".
There is a difference between staring and waving a knife. Where i live, one is legal, the other is a criminal offence.

I have made my point, some people here disagree, and i'll leave it at that. But i actually wanted to help her, not by saying the situation was not as scary as it was, but by pointing out that perhaps by being less scared she wouldn't have had this to her bad experience.

Wind Dragon
April 2nd, 2010, 10:01 AM
Furthermore what works on the african savannah may not work so well in those crowded cities.

Of course it does. Maybe not for the person who is transplanted from the savannah to the city, but otherwise it's still a lifetime of knowledge and experience distilled into a reaction most people call instinct (eta, or intuition.) Seriously, whatever the situation, you ignore it at your peril.

That said, I know I have quite innocently made some people uncomfortable by staring at them. Usually it's on public transport, and they look really, really familiar. I have trouble recognizing people out of context, and it usually takes me quite a while -- maybe seeing them several times -- for me to decide not to say anything to them after all. :oops:

An then there was the time on campus that I was completely mesmerised by a woman's braided hairstyle, and she caught me staring. She stared right back at me, unsmiling, so I muttered an apology and an explanation. She kept staring, didn't say anything, didn't smile, and didn't look like she was in any mood to explain how she did her hair, so alas, the world will never know. :o

Beldaran
April 2nd, 2010, 10:14 AM
Well, i am not speckla and perhaps i was, and perhaps i wasn't. I know you're not her, that's a big part of the point many are making. You weren't there, so you can't know if she was over reacting or not. And you can disagree if you'd like, but there is no "perhaps" in what I'm seeing. She was concerned and felt someone's staring was creepy; you called it paranoia. That's being dismissive.


There is a difference between staring and waving a knife. Where i live, one is legal, the other is a criminal offence. What does the legality of it matter? Am I not allowed to be creeped out by things that are legal? I was just expanding on your point as by your definition, if someone else finds my actions creepy, it's just in their head, right?


I have made my point, some people here disagree, and i'll leave it at that. But i actually wanted to help her, not by saying the situation was not as scary as it was, but by pointing out that perhaps by being less scared she wouldn't have had this to her bad experience.So again, it's her fault that she had the bad experience and she should just find men staring at her less creepy/scary?

Wow, my life will be significantly changed from now on. Anytime I find someone creepy, I'll just remind myself that it's all in my head, and all my bad experiences are my fault for being too scared!

Back when I was 16 and that guy in the truck shouted out to me that he wanted to do something to me that isn't appropriate to say on this board, I should have just remembered that him yelling something obscene to me was completely legal! Therefore I shouldn't have been scared or paranoid, because he wasn't creepy, he was just acting differently than I'm used to. If only I had realized it was all in my head, I wouldn't have had that bad experience! This new information you've given us is amazing!

Canarygirl
April 2nd, 2010, 05:50 PM
I think it's important to trust ones' intuition in these matters, and to allow that others may do the same. I try to trust my intuition and not second-guess it too much. Because I do that, I have managed to 1) warn my mother of an impending purse snatch (I was just a kid at the time but picked up "vibes" from a couple of loitering teenaged boys) and 2) avoided being in a very serious car wreck...I got out of the car when my intuition told me that a wreck might be in the near future. The driver however totaled her car, broke her pelvis etc. and almost died. This happened 5 minutes after I got out.

So I would never want to dismiss another person's intuitive feelings that a situation isn't right. That is a gift that we are given and we should use it. My .02

Fiferstone
April 2nd, 2010, 06:29 PM
Most of those milennia we haven't lived in crowded cities. Furthermore what works on the african savannah may not work so well in those crowded cities. I.o.w. I don't buy your argument.

Yes. Men look. Women look too.

You don't have to "buy" my argument.

I have actually been the "victim" of an utterly "random" assault---the classic "stranger danger" scenario that is statistically much less likely to happen to you. I was working at the local library, I was all of 15 years old, and a man who struck me as mousy and timid at first approached me when I was up in the stacks putting books away. I thought he was trying to ask me where he could find books on a particular topic (he was muttering and gesturing in my general direction), I asked him if I could help him. He pointed to my t-shirt and muttered something unintelligible. I thought he wanted to know what the logo on my t-shirt said (said logo was strategically located in the general vicinity of my left breast), as I was telling him that it was the logo of the Lake Bluff Park District, he grabbed my breast. Firmly.

I meant to scream "DON"T DO THAT"

It came out as a barely audible whisper.

He ran away. I hid in the stacks until I knew he was gone.

I finished my shift at work. Told nobody. Pedaled home on my bicycle as fast as I could go, chanting over and over in my head "it didn't happen. it didn't happen. it didn't happen."

My mother could tell immediately that something had upset me and would not leave me alone until I told her what had happened. My father then told me I needed to report it to the police, because "the next girl might not be so lucky. They might find her in a dumpster somewhere."

I could give you the description I gave the cops chapter and verse, to this day. The incident happened 38 years ago, and I can re-live it any time I want.

There is all the difference in the world between looking (not making the object of your attention uncomfortable and/or apologizing immediately when you realize that your action has made them uncomfortable), and blatant, obvious, heedless staring. If you don't know the difference between the two, then there is no way on earth I could explain it.

But perhaps my own story is clarification of why I listen to my fear radar. Always.

So far, I'm still upright, ingesting food, and drawing air. If I'm needlessly "paranoid, " so be it.

You don't understand.

CaraLynn
April 2nd, 2010, 08:04 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Speckla say she had her child with her?
"Women's intuition" isn't just a saying. I've learned to trust my gut feeling; if something feels "off" about a person, the chances are good that I'm right. And if I'm not, well, it's better to be safe than sorry. And said women's intuition kicks into an even higher gear when you're with your child. I don't have any children, but I have a number of nieces, nephews, and kids I babysit for friends. And when I'm out with them and someone strikes me as being creepy, even if I would maybe just ignore them if I were alone, I get myself and the child out of there. Because protecting myself and someone I love is more important to me than worrying about whether or not I'm being paranoid.

MandyBeth
April 2nd, 2010, 08:45 PM
Also, let's point out some REALLY basic things to me...

The "creep" factor is radically different than the "weird" factor. People can look weird and send off no creep factor - let's just point out that my father willingly took me to many many Ozzfests and other such events, we saw plenty of the "weird" people and my DBF and I both probably fit into that group. The vast majority of those people do not set off the creep factor. Odd, yes. Weird, yes. Different, yes. Creepy or going to hurt you, no.

The creep factor? If you think someone is a creep - LISTEN TO YOUR GUT! Some of the cleanest cut, normal looking people are absolute demons.

Some of the most ripped, biggest guys out there wouldn't dream of harming a fly. One of our best friends is 6'8", shredded, lean, tattooed black man. I trust him without any question, I've watched him bottle feed a newborn kitten into this big, healthy, sassy adult cat who is adored by his owner. Yet, if we are walking to our cars after working out - if a cop drives by, he will be stopped and questioned because it's a "threat" to my safety.

Some of the weakest looking or blahest looking people out there are the ones who set off the creep vibe. I think if you've been to a college bar, you've seen who I'm talking about.

Dismissing my, or ANYONE'S gut feeling on someone being "creepy" just sets up a world of victims who don't believe their self telling them to get the hell away from that monster. I've grown up with highly protective men around - and any of them will tell you that to say that what I as a 5' 1.5" tall girl sees as a danger is radically different than what they see and that to say that I'm not in danger if I think I am is near enough to abuse itself. Telling me I don't see a danger until I learn to ignore what my gut is telling me sets me up to be assaulted the one time I don't listen - and whoever taught me to ignore that feeling is just as guilty because NO ONE should EVER be dismissed because they didn't feel safe.

ravenreed
April 2nd, 2010, 09:36 PM
While I think that sometimes people do overreact at things (not directed at the OP, just in general), I also think better safe than sorry.

The most dangerous people, such as Ted Bundy, never set off people's "creepy" radar, which is why they are so dangerous. However, I was severely creeped out by an acquaintance, for no particular reason that I could figure out, and that person went on to murder his best friend.

Just being stared at might make me feel annoyed, but would probably not make me feel threatened, unless I was in a deserted or dangerous area late at night. However, I avoid such places.

aef231
April 2nd, 2010, 11:11 PM
I always go with my instincts when I feel alarm, fear, or discomfort, and tend to err on the side of caution even if I do not feel these. I was not born with a distrust of men. This was acquired over the course of my life, with numerous incidents and events contributing to it. I know not all guys are bad or out to get me, and that some of the ones who creep me out are probably harmless. But some of them are not harmless. I will do whatever I deem necessary to keep myself and the people I care about safe. If that means moving away from someone who intimidates or "creeps me out" on the metro, so be it. If it means being somewhat rude, then fine. The one time I ignored my instincts about a teacher in middle school, he wound up trying to take some very inappropriate liberties with me. Last time I went against my gut.
I also don't really believe most men can fully understand what women feel in these cases. It's not their fault; after all, they aren't women. But just because you don't understand something, that doesn't mean it's not valid. After all, I don't understand much about physics, but gravity is still holding me down :shrug:

windinherhair
April 3rd, 2010, 02:53 AM
I have felt uncomfortable wearing my hair down in unfamiliar places, but never had a problem doing that at the grocery stores where I usually go. I could understand that make you feel uncomfortable! I would have probably put my hair in front of me so I could keep an eye on it after that. Before you know it, he could be right beside you wanting to touch it. Eck... again, I have never had someone I don't know want to touch my hair either.

ChloeDharma
April 3rd, 2010, 04:24 AM
I'm actually quite amazed that a man feels entitled to tell a woman that if she feels threatened in a situation she should ignore it, that she is just paranoid and that she should stay there and take the risk.......even if that risk is small it's still there.
I repeat what some other posters have said when they say men often wont understand the dangers women can face, but when you have experienced the dangers quite specific to women, r@pe, men trying to grab you to get you into their van etc i think i'll take the "ignore your intuition and hang around anyway" advice and completely ignore it. oh, by the way.....many of the times i've had bad experiences weren't on some plain in Africa, they were in busy parts of central London. Cities ARE dangerous places and to suggest otherwise coupled with advice to hang around and risk getting attacked is irresponsable at best and down right out of order if i'm being blunt.
Try being 5ft4, under 8 stones in weight and a woman and i'm sure your perspective might change a bit!

Back more on topic, i rarely have my hair down in public, definately not if i'm by myself. I used to wear a ponytail, but from a personal safety point of view i decided not to do that anymore.

lapushka
April 3rd, 2010, 01:12 PM
I also don't really believe most men can fully understand what women feel in these cases. It's not their fault; after all, they aren't women. But just because you don't understand something, that doesn't mean it's not valid. After all, I don't understand much about physics, but gravity is still holding me down :shrug:

I just had to say: nicely put!

Speckla
April 3rd, 2010, 03:06 PM
Paranoid? No. People stare all the time - I stare without meaning to be rude and like to admire hair/people/pictures and so on. Leering is totally different. I don't ignore my instinct when it comes to people because I'm usually 100% correct about someone. People get assaulted all the time and it can happen in public as well as private and only takes about a second to happen. I don't care if someone stares at my hair - it's not really the staring but the intent behind it.

Sarahmoon
April 3rd, 2010, 03:36 PM
Hmm could it be he just liked it and might not even have realised he was staring?
I've felt like :thud: myself a few times looking at a person's pretty hair. I hope they don't consider me a creep as well. Might help to be female perhaps :roll:
If he would have tried to touch it, now that I would agree would be very creepy.