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Posted by on Nov 11, 2012 in blogosphere, responding to arguments | 56 comments

“Creepy men are a problem in the atheist community”

Persons who have frequented some areas of the atheist blogosphere in recent months have likely read discussion pertaining to alleged problems which women in the atheist community face — particularly pertaining to conferences which many men attend — that have allegedly lead women (or so they say) to either not attend conferences, local meetings, or otherwise feel unwelcome or threatened. Generally, the problems that have been voiced are ‘certain male speakers at events are dangerous,’ ‘misogyny is rampant in the atheist community,’ and ‘sexual harassment is a problem at atheist conferences.’

Many men, including myself, and the fellow women ‘gender traitors,’ after hearing these claims (in addition to failing to see reason to believe these claims), have expressed skepticism and have argued that there is no good reason to suggest these problems exist nor should they lead women to believe conferences are unsafe environments. Recently, in the midst of a Twitter exchange with Martin Robbins, I attempted to gauge what the problem is before further discussion. I have learned that “creepy men” are at least on part of the problem.

What, you may wonder, as I do, is a ‘creepy man?’ Might this be a man who is unattractive? Might this be someone who lacks ‘proper’ social skills? Might this be someone who fails to gain a ‘seal of approval’ from the women who express discomfort? Might this be someone who fails to conform to social norms and may seem a bit eccentric? Might this be someone who is a ‘risk-taker’ and asks women for dinner (or something else) only to be rejected? Shame on the creepy men.

To perhaps be more charitable, ‘creepy men’ are men who lead women to believe that they are being harassed or are actually harassing women. Instances of harassment at atheist conferences, I would imagine, should be easily identifiable and actionable. Such instances may involve repeated propositions for sexual behavior, inappropriate sexual conduct such as unwarranted sexual attention or touching, instances in which consent is obviously lacking or audibly withheld (no thanks, please stop, please leave, I’m not interested!).

Why, though, should gender and a descriptive word ‘creepy’ — perhaps based on appearance and perhaps based on something else — be brought into the discussion? Is this necessary? I think not. If behaviors are the problem and, more specifically, harassment is a problem, discussion of specific behaviors and specific incidents which would warrant dismissal from a conference (not just leading women to feel uncomfortable) should be the focus. Someone — a ‘creepy man’ — whom you consider unattractive or do not want to spend time with is not a sufficient reason for claiming that there is a ‘problem’ in the atheist community.

Might there be instances of actionable harassment at conferences or local atheist meetings? Sure. Of course. I’ll grant that they happen. Do these incidents, though, constitute enough reason for people to even consider a ‘problem’ that is widespread in the community and large enough to talk about (as opposed to isolated incidents which would be expected in any population)? Are these ‘creepy men’ not only ‘creepy,’ but engaging in harassment of women at atheist conferences?

Most people who attend atheist conferences and events, and not only men, are generally, I would uncontroversially state, decent human beings who do not engage in harassment. Throughout my experience, and considering the events I have attended, I have not heard of more than three incidents which would lead someone to be dismissed from a conference. If there were a real problem, I would think, instances of harassment would be [more] commonplace…but they just simply are not.

I would also expect proponents of the idea there is a ‘problem of harassment’ in the atheist community to be blogging about these incidents and sounding the claxons just as they do when trolls make comments they don’t like on Youtube, Twitter, and various parts of the internet. I suppose, though, that I am just ‘blinded by male privilege’ while, coincidentally, the data attesting to the ‘problem’ is mysteriously missing. Perhaps it is just a conspiracy of the patriarchy?

If you — someone who does not want to be in the presence of men whom you consider ‘creepy’ — want conferences free of ‘creepy men,’ feel free to have your own conferences. Make your registration processes extremely thorough. Require prospective men who wish to attend to send photographs, proof of income, videos of them in social situations, and whatever else you would require so that you can bar ‘creepy men’ from conferences. After all, we know that you detest objectification of women, but objectification of men is permissible.

On behalf of creepy men, if I can somehow speak on behalf of them, I am truly sorry that some women attending atheist conferences happen to encounter men who do not acquire their seal of approval. Clearly, from this day on, we need a new paradigm in registration for conferences because, after all, we want to be accepting and welcoming of more people…and never mind what men happen to think, especially old white men, because we need a ‘new wave of atheism.’ Bring it on.

  • Guest

    Can ask that the “creepy women” also be excluded? Rebecca Watson scares me in that I’m afraid she’ll throw false accusations at me. That creeps me out. I cannot feel safe and welcome until she is excluded from conferences.

  • http://www.facebook.com/roccim Marlo Rocci

    Can I ask that “creepy women” also be excluded from conferences? I am scared of Rebecca Watson in that I’m afraid she’ll throw false accusations around. I cannot feel safe and welcome at conferences if she is allowed to attend.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Deanna-Jackson/617808744 Deanna Jackson

      I second that notion.

  • http://twitter.com/reneehendricks Renee Hendricks

    I happen to think Greg Laden looks *exceedingly* creepy. But that’s my own opinion and I will easily say it has to do with looks.

    However, that being said, I would never presume to say conferences are less safe for having him there (though, I do have to take into consideration this man has been accused of stalking). I’ve been to a few different conferences dealing with different topics/hobbies/etc. There are people who attend who do not seem physically appealing *TO ME*. This does not make the conference unsafe. It is simply my physical appearance bias coming through.

    Would I freak out if some man from one of these conferences asked me out for a meal or coffee? Not at all. Would I make it a huge issue on the ‘net or call for stricter rules based solely on the fact that I found someone less than physically appealing? Never.

    You’ve hit the nail squarely on the head with this – “After all, we know that you detest objectification of women, but objectification of men is permissible”. It’s negative objectification but still unacceptable.

    • CommanderTuvok

      Greg Laden is not just creepy, but has a record of sending threats of violence to people. Funny how those who complain about “creepiness” don’t find that “creepy”.

      • http://twitter.com/reneehendricks Renee Hendricks

        I’ve heard that he’s been a bit of a stalker. However, I have to take into consideration that I don’t know anything about that particular event. I saw his pic before I read about the stalking stuff so I’m basing my initial reaction on his picture. My guy even said something not so great about how Laden looks. But! We both acknowledge that looks *do not* point out the person one is.

  • http://www.skepticink.com/notung Notung

    The trouble with an accusation of ‘creepiness’ is that it’s not very specific, and wholly subjective. How are you supposed to know what behavioural changes to make?

    Are we seriously talking about excluding people from conferences because some people feel ‘uneasy’ around them?

    • http://www.skepticink.com/justinvacula/ Justin Vacula

      We might be headed there soon…after all, there has already been talk of certain speakers informing organizers of potential ‘risks’ involved with allowing certain attendees to be at conferences.

      • bluharmony

        It’s crazy. But the solution is to ignore them, especially on their own turf. On the other hand, if they want to send us blog hits, that’s fine by me.

        • zenspace

          Yup. Attention is their oxygen. Deprive them of that and they magically disappear!

      • CommanderTuvok

        Indeed. PZ and Rebecca seem to think they are the arbiters of who the “creepy” people are. Sadly, some organisers consider caving in to them because they just don’t want the bullying and harassment (inc. petitions set up by Stefunny Svan) that would come there way.

        Remember, we are dealing with a very nasty set of bullies here, and some in the community would rather turn a blind eye rather than standing up to them.

        • bluharmony

          I am hoping there will come a time when reasonable people will be willing to stand up to them, finally exposing those Zvan petitions and Watson diatribes for the ill-informed, personally-directed, hurtful nastiness that they are.

  • http://karlaporter.com/ Karla Porter

    @zacharysloss:disqus’s comment hit home with me. It’s a ‘vibe’ word whose meaning is hard to pin down. However, I consulted Urban Dictionary for the contemporary meaning and it confirmed my suspicions on its common usage today – “An overused slang term for sexually inappropriate or perverted or for attempting to derive sexual gratification through dishonorable means. Unfortunately, the word has become an abused favorite of melodramatic people who try hard to use the word wherever possible, to the point of rendering the word almost meaningless.” http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=creepy

  • Cephus

    The problem, as has been pointed out, is that “creepiness” is very subjective and five different women may have five different definitions of what constitutes “creepy” and may identify five different men as acting “creepy”. That doesn’t get us anywhere close to solving the problem, if indeed there is a problem to begin with. For all we know, a small number of women may simply identify all men, by definition, as “creepy”, what do we do then? Eject all men from conferences? Or just those women? Of course, that would lead to calls of misogyny, whereas ejecting all men would likely not lead to calls of misandry from most women.

    There just isn’t as big a problem, or any problem, in the atheist community. If someone does something demonstrably wrong and outside of the social norms (that means not just the desires of a particularly extremist feminist group), then they ought to be ejected from the group. Otherwise, people need to deal with the reality of the group in which they choose to engage. If they’re really unhappy with the social norms of the atheist community, certainly no one is holding a gun to their head requiring them to stay here.

    • bluharmony

      Dead right.

    • MrShadowfax42

      I disagree, though not with the sentiment.

      The problem is actually. that “creepiness” is considered something worthy of ejecting somebody from a conference FOR.

  • Skep tickle

    Excellent post, excellent points.

    Even if basic questions could be settled (what creepiness is, how it’s assessed, and who decides) , there’s a more important issue: Does “creepiness” actually correlate with behaviors that pose a threat to other people?

  • http://www.atheistrev.com/ vjack

    To play devil’s advocate, if I may still use the term as an atheist, I’d argue that atheist conferences are magnets for “creepy” men and women because of the unconventional/non-conformist nature of most atheists. Atheists, at least in the U.S., are outliers. Many of us have grown accustomed to doing our own thing and not being overly concerned what others think of us. Perhaps this is part of our “creepy” vibe.

    • bluharmony

      I’m not sure; it’s such a common word for women to use outside of atheist circles, and it generally means “unattractive.” This is completely subjective, and it’s not a crime for a man to be himself. Sexual harassment, assault, and rape, however, are criminal acts. At most, we’ve had one vague example of sexual harassment, reported a year after it happened, and many accusations of “creepiness.” Also we’ve had lots of online trolling going *both* ways. I really wish that people would find something more productive to do with their time.

      • Cephus

        The reality is, when someone says something online, someone else is going to respond to it and it will go back and forth for a long time. Regardless of conventional wisdom that you don’t feed trolls, the Atheism+ people set out a 12-course feast for them on a regular basis because they feed off the trolls. The trolls insult them and that feeds their little persecution complex. So long as the trolls keep gorging on their bait, they will always have someone to point to and scream “see? we’re being threatened!”

        I wish they’d find something better to do with their time too but these people have set up a whole worldview that revolves around embracing online trolls.

        • bluharmony

          It’s how they make $$$. That’s what it always comes down to.

    • Cephus

      Let’s be honest, and not to insult anyone, but the people who are complaining the loudest about “creepy men” are the ones that least fit into what I’d call “typical Americans”. They are women with blue hair, covered in tattoos and piercings, who are certainly outside of the norm when it comes to religion and social acceptability. Yet they’re the ones pointing to men and calling them “creepy”.

      Pot. Kettle. Black.

      • zenspace

        Perfect. Nice to see some else noticed that little detail as well.

  • bluharmony

    In high school, that was a label we assigned to friendly guys that we weren’t interested in, as in “Do you like that guy?” “No, he’s creepy!” I thought we’d grown up since then, but apparently not.

    • ThePrussian

      It’s the truth.

      I’ve just started my series on this wretched A+ phenomenon..

    • WetCoastAtheist

      Agreed. Then word gets back to conference organizers who have an anti harassment policy in place, that you look creepy, and suddenly a couple of guys are questioning your integrity, and you’ve done nothing except attend. Just like that (snaps fingers), your family name changes to Schrodinger. ‘Have a nice time at the conference, but we’ll be watching you’.

    • Neil Terry

      That is my basic interpretation of what’s really going on here. Some have decided that if skeptics are going to have social events, that someone needs to make sure only the “right” people show up, or are allowed to speak and interact. Of course, they will try to say that it’s based on fears or harassment or sexual assault…the only problem is that these behaviors are next to non-existent at these events already. Of the three or four non-events I’ve seen hyped, only one (being touched and hit on repeatedly by a drunk) even qualifies as ANY kind of harassment. The others were women feeling mildly uncomfortable for a few seconds for very, very little reason…any normal person deals with that just fine by themselves, all the time. And don’t dare ask a “skeptic” for evidence, it’s oppressive! Just believe!

      This will probably sound a bit “MRA-ish” to those who are committed to viewing everything through the gender lens, but Oh Well. What I’m seeing in a lot of the “creepy guy” talk and way-over-hyping of non-problems, is just a basic facet of what passes for feminism these days….it’s traditionalism in lipstick, a return to a hyper-victorian sensibility where men are simply not to be trusted, and women are to be spared ANY unwelcome interaction on pain of ejection from the event and a good social tarring. A man must be pre-approved for any contact with a woman, because some don’t want to assume responsibility for their own social interactions and (possibly irrational) emotions. A scenario: if I am at an event and ask a woman I don’t know a question…not even a pass, but something like “is so-and-so speaking here now?”, and that woman informs me that she is uncomfortable talking to strangers and could I leave her alone, that would be seen as fine and normal by these social justice warriors, and I would be expected to comply immediately. Now, some will claim that it’s for everyone’s comfort and it’s for men too, but I think we all know that if I did the same thing to a woman, I would be seen by others as stand-offish, a weird loner….maybe even dangerous and to be avoided. I don’t think this is about feeling “safe”…it’s about self-obsessed narcissists demanding complete control of the social scene for their own social benefit.
      Why are people with obvious social and personality problems demanding a voice in deciding how to run social events, and why is anyone still listening?

  • Clare45

    I thought the word creepy meant scary,as in the Halloween character, Jason. A stalker or serial rapist type. An Aspberger’s sufferer or socially inadequate type would not be scary, just a nerd. I am obviously old-fashioned and out of date. I am not sure if I would even label a man who was repeatedly verbally harassing me creepy, unless it involved some physical threat.

    • CommanderTuvok

      I’ve seen shy people dismissed, bullied, etc. by the jocks and the Queen Bees who consider them “creepy”. Actually, they happen to be a bit quiet, bookish, or more intelligent than them.

      That’s why I consider the Baboons a very nasty clique who are willing to bully and harass people who don’t conform to their standards.

      Further, it is folk like Rebecca Watson (the life of the party, drunk, loud, etc.) who are the types to look down on the wallflowers and the “nerds”.

  • ThePrussian

    Well done; very good stuff.

  • http://twitter.com/Mykeru Mykeru

    I would be happy to submit a list of creepy women who should be barred from any conferences I attend, based on their controlling narcissistic and histrionic, irrational attention-seeking misandrist behavior. The short list would include Rebecca Watson, Amy Roth, Melody Hensley, Amanda Marcotte, Ophelia Benson, Greta Christa and others. I find it essential that the atheist and skeptical community cater to my whims. Thank you.

    • CommanderTuvok

      Don’t for get ‘CreepyBitterGirl’, although she doesn’t turn up to these events. I think she’d fit right in with the Baboons, though.

    • WetCoastAtheist

      Can we please add PZ Myers to that list of… women?

  • Kevin Solway

    I’d like to see a video of these men “creeping” around conferences, just for a laugh. Are they hiding behind flowerpots, or what?

  • Dan Morris

    As long as we deal with any complaints seriously and immediately while making clear guidelines on what behavior is appropriate and what is not this shouldn’t be an issue. We need to be active in making sure all people feel welcome and safe.

    • Cephus

      As long as we deal with any *CREDIBLE* complaints seriously, things should be fine. The Atheism+ idiots throw out absurdly minor or made up events and expect everyone to fall all over themselves correcting “problems” that really don’t exist.

      People should feel safe if, and only if, they have reasonable expectations to begin with. The problem is, we’re dealing with a group of people whose expectations are entirely out in left field and they expect to be catered to.

  • IRoll

    How I wish atheist bloggers would go back to discussing atheism instead of deconstructing each other’s arguments about sexism. Look, Justin: a woman’s concept of creepiness is not something you can rebut with a rational argument. It’s usually based on personal – usually terrifying – experience. At a recent gathering of secular women, the topic turned to sexual assault. It turned out that fully half of us were victims of rape, near rape, molestation, workplace harassment, or some similar experience. One of us had been victimized twice, once as a child. These frightening encounters leave lasting fears that cannot be argued away; why do you continue to try? Please – let it go and get back to secular advocacy.

    • CommanderTuvok

      Easier said than done when you don’t have a baying mob (FTB, Skephick, A+) bullying and harassing people who don’t agree with. “Sexism” is one of their favourite bellwether topics, to determine who is and who is not “approved”.

      Further, contary to what the Baboons would have you believe, critiquing or discussing the various approaches to sexism, how it effects the A/S community, and examing their appalling methods and tactics when raising the issue, DOES NOT mitigate the seriousness of sexism, the feelings of women, etc.

      Your concern really should be aimed squarely at FTB, Skepchick and A+. Thing is, if you don’t tow their narrow line of agenda, you will be silenced.

    • http://www.skepticink.com/justinvacula/ Justin Vacula

      So, apparently I can’t talk about a topic because I lack certain physical characteristics and did not experience a ‘similar experience’ such as ‘almost rape,’ rape, molestation, etc? How do you know, anyway, that I haven’t had a ‘similar experience?’ Why, anyway, would lack of this experience disqualify me?

      This is no better than someone telling me that I’m not qualified to speak about the military, the president of the United States, or American politics because I am not a soldier, a president, or a politician.

    • Copyleft

      Problem: Secular advocacy requires skepticism, which is fundamentally incompatible with radical-feminist misandry. The attempt by dogmatic feminists to dictate how the secular community should operate (i.e., irrationally) is an attack on reason itself, and must be responded to as such.

    • Clare45

      I am surprised that 100 percent of women did not say they were ” victims of rape, near rape, molestation, workplace harassment, or some similar experience.” It’s happened to me and everyone I know that lived through the 70s and 80s dating scene. As a kid in London, flashers were very common. These were not thought of as “frightening encounters”. SImply annoying, unless it was a violent rape at knife or gun point. You should not assume all women feel frightened or victimised by men. For the few that have irrational fears or post traumatic stress disorder, they need to get therapy and not expect men or conference organisers to cater to their neuroses. If you feel frightened then either face up to your fears, decondition yourself, or stay away from all conferences.

    • Vic

      I’d like to point out by stating that one can’t argue these fears away is practically labeling their feelings as “irrational fears”.

      I want to object to this.

      For once, there is rational fear of harrasement, sexual asault etc. and you are throwing irrational and rational fears into the same bin. That makes addressing these issues more difficult.

      Secondly, by pointing at women’s emotions you degrade them. Human emotion is a powerful influence on our behaviour, but in everyday life we get by via not succumbing to them. By saying the fears of these women cannot be addressed with rational thought (by others or by them) you paint them as victims of their emotions, as practically helpless. The image of women being “overly emotional” or relying too much on their feelings is rather oldfashioned nowadays, to say the least.

      As to the cause of these fears resulting from abuse or rape in the past, you are contradicting psychological therapy approach to traumas as we know it. Victims do need special protection and care, but in the context of medical and psychological support via treatment by professionals. These things cannot be provided for victims in everyday life, as laypersons cannot and must not be trusted with the treatment of traumata.

      • MrShadowfax42

        “For once, there is rational fear of harrasement, sexual asault etc.”

        Why is it “rational”?

    • http://twitter.com/brian_carnell brian_carnell

      ” Look, Justin: a woman’s concept of creepiness is not something you can
      rebut with a rational argument. It’s usually based on personal – usually
      terrifying – experience. At a recent gathering of secular women, the
      topic turned to sexual assault. It turned out that fully half of us were
      victims of rape, near rape, molestation, workplace harassment, or some
      similar experience. One of us had been victimized twice, once as a
      child. These frightening encounters leave lasting fears that cannot be
      argued away; why do you continue to try?”

      This is very bizarre.

      So when I was a child I was sexually assaulted by a relative. As an adult, people who remind me of this relative creep me the f— out.

      I’m not sure why, however, the fact that I or anyone might have lasting fears that cannot be argued away would make it okay for me or anyone to say “even though he hasn’t engaged in any inappropriate behaviors, *that guy* really creeps me out — someone should have a talk with him.”

      I asked someone I know who runs a very large annual conference (that is not geek or atheist-related) what she would do if a woman complained that a male attendee was not doing anything inappropriate but was nonetheless “creepy.” Her response was that she would do the exact same thing as when a man complained to her that a female attendee was not doing anything inappropriate but was nonetheless “bitchy.”

    • MrShadowfax42

      ” a woman’s concept of creepiness is not something you can rebut with a rationalargument. It’s usually based on personal – usually terrifying – experience.”

      CITATION? WTF?

      “At a recent gathering of secular women, the topic turned to sexual assault. It turned out that fully half of us were victims of rape, near rape, molestation, workplace harassment, or some similar experience.”

      NO!!! It turned out that fully half of SAID you had been exposed to behaviour that YOU considered to be… that list that you said. WTF is “near rape”? WTF is “molestation”? WTF is “workplace harassment?”, “similar experience”?

      I bet that MOST of it is stuff that, if it had happened to a guy and HE had complained about it, would be taken as nothing.

      ” One of us had been victimized twice, once as a child. These frightening encounters leave lasting fears that cannot be argued away; why do you continue to try”

      You think that this DOESN’t apply to guys too? Are you serious?

      Grow the fuck up. And I mean that sincerely.

  • E4Tango

    Sometimes labeling a guy as creepy is a polite way of saying he’s engaging in some pretty inappropriet behavior. Last time I tried to explain to an organizer (not at an Athiest event) why I was having a problem, it was because I was being touched inapproprietly, and pressured to engage in dancing that was fairly intimate, to the point where I was in a tug of war for my own hand. But when I spoke to the organizer, I downplayed it and generalized. I just said that the person was being creepy, and having trouble with boundaries. Why? Because I didn’t want to blow things out of proportion, or be labeled a poor sport, as so many women are when they have the audacity to request that they not be touched against their will. Just look at the comments, because the writer of this artical, male, did not include any specific complaints, the author and the commenters are denigrating all the people who complain about problematic behavior. When I hear women complain about creepers, half the time it’s about an individual, the other half it’s a complaint that no one takes their concerns seriously. Let me be clear, I will say no kindly once, but I shouldn’t have to repete myself multiple times, nor should I have to justify my refusal.

    • bluharmony

      No, you shouldn’t have to repeat yourself, and your concerns should be taken seriously as soon as they’re reported, but you also need to express the behavior that bothered you, like you did just now. While someone can be disciplined for inappropriate touching, they can’t be disciplined for being “creepy,” because that adjective is based on someone’s subjective impression and not actual behavior.

    • MrShadowfax42

      Would a guy who directly expressed that a woman “repeatedly” took his hand and tried to persuade him to dance, be taken seriously? Would it help if he called her “creepy” instead?

      Can you not see the total double standard here?

  • Chas Stewart

    I felt marginally creepy walking around Skepticon among the people that had blocked me on twitter/blogs so I kept from walking up to them and striking up conversation in the way that I did with other speakers. It was the least I could do.

  • Halogen

    Keep digging your own grave, Justin. It’s fun to watch.

    • http://twitter.com/reneehendricks Renee Hendricks

      He’s digging his own grave? Why? Because he’s trying to flesh out what constitutes “creepy”? Ooookay.

      • zenspace

        Further, Justin continues to address the real world aspects of this issue – particularly the fact that what seems at first glance a simple matter is, in reality, no such thing. Look at the inherent complexity in addressing the supposedly simple descriptor ‘creepy’ as noted in Justin’s post and the equally thoughtful comments.

        Of course, some people just want these thoughts silenced so they can continue happily on their misandrist way.

  • Poor Lurker

    Try to think of this as a naive question as I know only what I’ve just researched about Martin Robbins, but considering his employment and recent articles, could this be a part of the larger Christian conservative effort to discourage atheism by painting atheists as misogynistic? Such efforts can be found on Conservapedia under “Atheism and women.”

  • SkepTex

    If we traded the word men for Asians, would no one have a problem with it? The argument is self evidently sexist as well as subjective. I find it hard to understand how normally rational minded atheists are toppling like bowling pins for irrational, emotion fueled arguments. Can it be that the time for en masse evangelical conversion is at hand for atheists? Fear mongering, blanket accusations, and argumentum ad passiones seem to be having better results on many of them than it ever has in the past.

    I for one will retain my atheism and skepticism, examining claims for their logical merit and evidence before taking to a soap box in their defense. I’ll also keep an eye out for creepy Asians in the atheist community, as apparently discrimination is no longer an issue.

  • Will Bishop

    This is full of straw-men. What constitutes “creepy” behavior may be somewhat fuzzy and difficult to define precisely, but it does *not* mean superficial, non-behavior traits such as unattractiveness (or low income, etc.)

    There’s a real problem with people on both sides of this issue lashing out angrily instead of even attempting to engage in productive dialogue – and with all the straw-men here, with no apparent attempt to determine what people actually *do* mean by “creepy,” this article is just another example of that problem.

  • Chill Chick

    Gender traitor here. I often hear women using “creepy” when they simply mean “I’m not attracted to him”, and it strikes me as unfair, being decidedly on the nerdy side myself. But what really puzzles me is the women who get all creeped out just because a guy was interested in them sexually and it wasn’t mutual. If it happens to me, I just say “no” more or less politely (depending on how polite the guy was) and get on with my life. But the “empowered womyn” seem to think that just by talking to them, the “creepy” guy has inflicted his creepiness on them, and they are forever soiled and sullied by the encounter. Sort of like the Evil Eye superstition. Apart from being misandrist it’s an odd attitude for self-professed skeptics to have!