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As a woman, you sometimes notice how some people don’t get it. You just don’t approach a woman pumping gas at a station minding her business, especially when its dark. Similarly, you never try to pick up a woman at a gym who’s clearly busy exercising.

And in any occasion, you do not expect an explanation why a woman doesn’t want to talk to you. There’s no ‘why’ and ‘how,’ because every individual has a right to ‘just be’ and to keep to themselves ‘just because.’

Frustratingly, not everyone realizes that. Recently, Redditor Metallicmuffin asked women “What things do men do that frighten you without them even realizing it?” and the thread hit close to home for many people. The stories started rolling in, each one more eyebrow-raising than the one before it, making the thread go viral with 35.6k upvotes and 16.3k comments.

#1

Women Share 30 Times Men Came Across As Creeps Without Realizing It Standing too close. How do you know if it's too close? I'll back up half a step, DON'T match it.

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Something
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

In general, different people have different comfortable distances (often based on the culture they come from), and if someone subtly moves away from you, it's usually because you're in their space.

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One Redditor who goes by the nickname Several-Stable-9051 shared how “wanting to take me somewhere isolated to be just the two of us on the first date” makes her feel very uncomfortable. In a post shared in response to this bread, the woman wrote: “It’s okay if we’ve been hanging out for a while, but not if it’s the first time I see you in person. Whenever this happens I come up with an excuse not to go. I just don’t feel safe since I barely know the other person, but the worst part is when they try so hard to convince me to go with them.”

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    #2

    Demanding justification for every no, and when it's given, arguing about how my reasons aren't valid.

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    #3

    Women Share 30 Times Men Came Across As Creeps Without Realizing It Not taking no for an answer. Especially when they pretend to be jokey about it but you can clearly tell they’re kind of pissed…if that makes sense.

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    odietamo012291 avatar
    Jan Eivroc
    Community Member
    2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    I hope they understand that the word 'no' in itself is a complete sentence.

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    We reached out to Several-Stable-9051 who shared some insights into what men’s behavior makes her and fellow women feel vulnerable, threatened, and uncomfortable. “Being in an isolated place with someone you see for the first time is very risky for your own safety. You can chat with that person and think, from the way that they text you, that they’re the sweetest and kindest soul you’ve ever met. However, in real life, they might unexpectedly turn out to be a dangerous and frightening person.”

    #4

    Joking about r*pe. Just makes me think you have r*pe on the brain.

    I met a couple dudes at a bar who invited me and my friend to a party they were headed to. We were trying to find a polite way to turn them down when one said, "Don't worry, we're not going to r*pe you. Ha, ha!" We turned him down flat, and not kindly (thankfully we were next to the bouncer) and his friend said, "dude! What the f**k is wrong with you?!" My question too.

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    #5

    Women Share 30 Times Men Came Across As Creeps Without Realizing It Pushing my wheelchair to "help" me and be a "gentleman". You're literally abducting me - it's no different from my perspective that you picking up an able-bodied woman and running off with her.

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    #6

    Women Share 30 Times Men Came Across As Creeps Without Realizing It Going to the bar to get you a drink without you there to watch the bartender pour it. If I don't know you well, I won't accept a drink from your hands... Ever. Straight from the bartender to me.

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    Jason Melvil
    Community Member
    2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    It's absolutely disgusting that women have to think like that. 100% understandable considering the creeps out there. Just horrible that the situation even exists.

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    This is because social media doesn’t represent reality, Several-Stable-9051 argues. “Very often we hear on the news hundreds of stories about people getting beaten, robbed, kidnapped, raped or even killed by someone they knew online and thought to be trustworthy,” she explained and added that “sadly, the majority of these victims are women.”

    #7

    Women Share 30 Times Men Came Across As Creeps Without Realizing It Oh god I had one of these guys, he “opened” the train door for me to get off (it opens automatically) and so I said “thanks”. Apparently he took that as an invitation, because he then followed me through the station trying to talk to me. I was polite but dismissive. He was creeping me out so I stopped to top up my metro card even though I didn’t need to. He stopped and waited for me. I pretended I didn’t see him.

    He then followed me out of the station asking me where I lived (I lied) and then asked me if I had a boyfriend (I said yes). He then asked if I had Facebook (I didn’t answer) and then asked me if my boyfriend had my Facebook password?? He then told me “you don’t need to be scared of me, I just want to be friends.”

    By this stage I was fully freaked and was texting my boyfriend about it. I didn’t want to go to my bus stop in case he followed me home, so I walked to the most populated street I could find, still ignoring him while he followed me. Eventually I went into a supermarket and thankfully lost him.

    I have never spoken to a man on a train or at a station ever again. I don’t even make eye contact.

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    #8

    Women Share 30 Times Men Came Across As Creeps Without Realizing It Blocking the doorway - especially during an argument. Ex did that and would make himself bigger (spreading his arms etc) so I couldn’t leave the room.

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    #9

    I was late getting my driver’s license and hired a professional driving instructor to help me learn to drive. He was a guy about my age and he was openly hitting on me. It was so uncomfortable. It was just us in the car and I was in such a vulnerable position as a novice driver depending on him for support. I didn’t want him to think I was interested but I also was terrified to be rude to him because he was in control. It was a terrible experience and actually set me back several more years from driver training.

    Just need to add as well, since there are presumably men here reading to learn what not to do: learn how to notice hesitation. You’ll never understand the intense pressure to be nice, polite, and even feign some form of interest as a method of self-preservation. It is a survival tactic and it works, just about all of us have gotten out of a volatile situation this way. If a woman is avoiding eye contact, seems to hesitate to answer (especially personal questions), or is agreeing with you a lot without attempting to carry the conversation, she is hoping you’ll leave her alone. Interested women make eye contact, share willingly, and try to joke around or otherwise show their personality. If you’re not sure, tell her you’re going to another location in whatever establishment you’re in (“I’m going to grab a drink/go outside for a smoke/go back to my table”) and invite her to join you. If she comes along, green light. If she takes the out and makes an excuse to leave, you have your answer.

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    According to Several-Stable-9051, if she goes somewhere isolated with someone she doesn’t know personally, the chances of getting rescued if something happens are very low. Therefore, as a woman, she feels comfortable in public areas, like bars, “where everyone can hear me and come rescue me in case I need help.”

    She also shared a couple of other men’s behavior that makes her very uncomfortable and violated, especially when dating. “Speaking from my own experience, something that makes me really uncomfortable is when the other person tries to touch me without my consent, like rubbing their hands on my thighs or putting their hands on my waist and not removing them even though they notice I’m getting really uncomfortable.”

    #10

    The way a guy talks about a woman he doesn't find attractive is so unbelievably revealing about who they are as a person. I've been able to witness some of these conversations as I lived with a guy who was like this and it both frightened me and saddened me.

    Just because someone is not desirable to you, it does not make them less of a human being. They are as deserving of respect as everyone else.

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    2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Someone who doesn't respect anyone they're not attracted to doesn't respect the people they're attracted to either.

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    #11

    Women Share 30 Times Men Came Across As Creeps Without Realizing It Not going away when I have made it abundantly clear that I am not interested.

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    Jan Eivroc
    Community Member
    2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    My experience was the person didn't just not go way. He literally chased me wherever I go that it gave me a panic attack.

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    #12

    Women Share 30 Times Men Came Across As Creeps Without Realizing It Wanting to take me somewhere isolated to be just the two of us on the first date. It’s okay if we’ve been hanging out for a while, but not if it’s the first time I see you in person. Whenever this happens I come up with an excuse not to go. I just don’t feel safe since I barely know the other person, but the worst part is when they try so hard to convince me to go with them. This makes me feel more and more uncomfortable.

    Edit: ooookay I’ve read some of your comments and I think I have to clarify some things. What I intended was that I make up an excuse not to go to THAT specific isolated place, which means that I actually go to dates and propose to go to public places instead. I’ve never ghosted anyone and I’ve tried to tell truth and make the other person understand that I didn’t feel comfortable. Something I’ve been told many times is: “What do you mean by "I don't feel comfortable"? Do you think I'm a crazy psychopath who rapes or kills people? Come on don't say nonsense, let's go, get in the car.” I mean, is this supposed to make me feel safe? By the way they react it seems like I’m offending them, which is clearly not my intention. That’s why I started making up excuses, because they stop insisting only when they know that something bigger is preventing me from going. I’m fully aware of the fact that not everyone has bad intentions, but it’s not something I can understand immediately the first time I hang out with someone. Besides I don’t blame those who are simply clueless. My comment was just sharing a personal experience, not a general attack on men, and you can tell by the fact that I used “they” and “the other person” instead of “he”. Both men and women can experience this kind of things, and I welcome everyone’s story.
    For those who commented using not very kind words, please stop trying to make me look like I’m just a paranoid woman who can’t tell the truth. And thanks to those who shared their experiences and opinions under what is one of my first comments here, I really appreciated all these interactions! Stay safe y’all!

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    Deborah B
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    2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Why would *any* woman meet a man for the first time anywhere *except* a public place with lots of people? It's a basic safety precaution.

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    According to Redditor, boundaries are essential, and every single person must respect them. “Also, if they don’t take no for an answer, that makes me feel not only uncomfortable but absolutely terrified,” she added. “What I want everyone who does that to know is this: if you’re aware of the fact that you’re making the other person uncomfortable with your actions and you keep on behaving like that and do absolutely nothing to improve the situation, then you are a bad person to be absolutely avoided,” the woman said. 

    #13

    Women Share 30 Times Men Came Across As Creeps Without Realizing It Years ago I went out with this dude and during snacks and a drink, it was pretty clear we weren't a good match. I politely turned down another round and thanked him. I put my bag over my shoulder and began walking to the bar to pay. Not more than two steps from the table the dude YANKS my purse strap and says

    "what no hug?"

    Really taken aback, I hugged him and shuffled quickly to pay and get out of there. As I was paying I explained to the waitress whom I knew from another job that the dude was super creepy and asked if I could sneak down the back stairs. She let me go through and I rushed down the backstairs and then outside to my car. Breathing a deep sigh I got out of the parking lot and at the first red light at the corner where the restaurant was....was the creepy dude crossing the street. Without any hint of emotion, he whipped out a pen and wrote my licence plate down on his hand. Never saw him again, that I know of.

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    #14

    Women Share 30 Times Men Came Across As Creeps Without Realizing It Sitting right next to me when I don’t know you and there are plenty of other seats available.

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    Groundcontroltomajortom
    Community Member
    2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    It's like you become aware of every movement, every breath, every sound until they move. My whole body tenses up.

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    #15

    When I was at my thinnest (UK 6) a lot of men I might chat / flirt / go on dates with would talk about how they liked how small I was and they’d love to get their hands on me cos they could imagine how light and limber I would be, that they could lift me up, make shapes with my body, throw me around, have lots of fun essentially use my tiny body for their own gratification etc

    They would often laugh and joke around in this manner like I should be so flattered cos, y’know, all every woman wants us a big stwong mayn to take a hold of them and just do whatever the f they want, show us how it’s done, right?!

    Disgusting, disturbing and often quite scary. Many men just want to (ab)use a woman like a sex doll and expect to be thanked for it

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    Sarah Kathrin Matsoukis
    Community Member
    2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    I'm fat and guys always assume it's okay to be rough because I'm basically a cushion I guess. I hate it, I'm a sensitive person.

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    She continued: “However, if you really want to change, then learn to respect boundaries, to ask the other person what makes them feel safe and comfortable, to take no for an answer, and to be understanding. Something that you think is trivial might make the other person feel scared for their own life to the extent that they won’t be able to let you know that.” The woman asks men to “pay attention to the other person’s body and act accordingly. It means a lot, especially for women.”

    #16

    Women Share 30 Times Men Came Across As Creeps Without Realizing It "I don't know why you're acting so cautious. If I wanted to kill you, I would have already done it."

    Said to me by a friend of a friend I was meeting because it was his first time in a foreign country.

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    Lousha
    Community Member
    2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Or creeping up behind a girl and scare them, then laugh at how they screamed. Yes I'm sure it's funny to you, but it's a REAL possibility for us to get killed like this.

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    #17

    My stepfather is constantly commenting on how much my daughter (10 yrs old) is growing into a young woman. Once mentioned how pretty she was in her tank top, and it skeeved me out so bad I had her go change. He noticed and said something along the lines of “oh I hope she didn’t do that because of me” Like, yes, dude, she did 😐

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    #18

    I'm a bisexual woman. Doesn't matter who I'm talking to, whether it's just a guy I'm getting to know or a guy I've been on a couple of dates with, EVERY ONE makes the "hehe we should have a threesome" joke. It's not funny. It's not cute. It's a violation of my boundaries and an immediate red flag. Automatically I'm on edge.

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    Sonja
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    2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Ask him "Sure, we can take another man, if you can handle him."

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    Several-Stable-9051 also wanted to clarify that even though the question in the thread was addressed to women men can have the same experiences. “That’s why I always used ‘they’ and ‘the other person.’ Under my post, I found comments from men sharing their own experiences, and I want them to know that their stories are as valid as those of women,” she concluded.

    #19

    This one may be intentional, but it gives me the absolute creeps when men try to squeeze past me and lightly put their hands on me, especially my waist. I hate it. Just say “excuse me.”

    Edit: quite a few people have asked clarifying questions, so I’ll give my thoughts on when it’s okay to touch a woman in a crowded area. (1) Try to just go around her another way. (2) If you can’t, say excuse me. (3) If it’s loud or something and that doesn’t work, sometimes touching just can’t be helped. Either just squeeze past if it’s a packed area, or if you have to lay your hands on her, a firm (but not rough) hand on the shoulder or upper back is likely fine. Lightly tickling the lower back or small of the waist is creepy. Usually if you touch a strange man that way, you might be up for an a*s beating. If you wouldn’t willingly touch some big, strange guy that way (mostly looking at you, straight guys), don’t do it to a woman.

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    Debbie
    Community Member
    2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    TBH if I have to squeeze through crowded areas I mostly do touch the backs of people if they don't notice me and gently move past them - and usually it is not the shoulder but halfway the back as that is the natural position of my arm when moving through a crowd.

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    #20

    Guy here. Never realized that working alone with no-one else in the store - night or day - can potentially be terrifying. I've opened and closed where I was the only employee in the building and not once have I ever felt in any immediate danger. Some folks I suspected being a bit shady but they never gave me any trouble. Not once did I ever think I could be at significant risk. As a guy, it's just not a thought that ever comes to mind.

    I worked for a local business whose owner, 25 years ago, had a man run into his store at around 10am frantically telling him to call the police. Turns out the poor guy went into the adult video store next door and discovered the young female clerk stabbed to death and laying lifeless in a pool of blood on the floor. Details emerged that she was stalked by someone who went to school with her and one day he got fed up with being told "no" and not long after that returned with a knife and killed her. She was lying dead on the floor for at least a half hour before she was discovered... and since adult stores have their windows blocked and doors blocked so no one can see inside, the only way someone could see what happened is they were actually customer who intentionally went inside. Since it was a weekday morning, the store wasn't busy at all.

    The case was solved a couple of years ago (after being a nearly 25yo cold case and easily the most high-profile unsolved homicide in our city's history) and I was on shift the day the local news - and cameras - came into my workplace and wanted to speak with my boss. I later learned my boss was the very first person who made the call to 911. He was in the cooler putting an order away and didn't hear the murder take place. My former boss came to Canada from the Middle East about 50 years ago so he's doubt see some s**t over there... and he still ranks this murder as the saddest and most traumatic thing he's personally dealt with.

    From day on, he *never* let any staff member work by themselves to close the store again.

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    Kathryn Baylis
    Community Member
    2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    I see so many stores with only one, sometimes two, people on duty for the entire store. Doing everything from stocking to cashiering, to cleaning up. All by themselves. WTF would happen if someone decides to rob the store at opening or closing? God damn. That is NO way to run a business.

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    #21

    Women Share 30 Times Men Came Across As Creeps Without Realizing It When men try to show off their “dominance” over you or anyone really. Like when you mention something to a guy about another guy and he goes “I’ll kill anyone who talks to you” it’s quite frightening really.

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    #22

    Not understanding that a polite decline isn't an invitation just to try harder, and is just that, declining to spend more time with the guy.

    I know men complain all the time about how women must be communicating in some bizarre code they can't be expected to understand, but a lot of women have been conditioned by experience to decline a man's invitations or attentions in the most polite, face-saving way possible.

    I don't think there is a woman out there who hasn't had a man get really angry and threatening when they, the woman, was just trying to say "thanks but no thanks" and move on.

    I am not just talking about getting picked up in a bar or on the street. I am talking about any man anywhere who decides he wants a woman's full attention, or wants to give his opinion (on her appearance, attitude, lack of smiling, whatever), at that moment.

    It happens so often that you just want to get away from this guy, but they aren't really noticing your (to you) obvious expressions of wanting to leave, and if you get more explicit, you really don't know what will happen. If you stay, you also don't know what will happen, because they might think you are "leading him on."

    It feels like a no-win situation, and one a man could use as an excuse (either way) to verbally or physically attack you.

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    Kathryn Baylis
    Community Member
    2 years ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    It’s like what part of “NO” do you not understand? No means no means NO! We’re even nice about it, at first, and add “Thank you”, FFS. Learn to read the signals, guys. And get your head out of your fantasy world. Real life is not like porn. Women are not going to just fall in bed with you without thoroughly vetting you first. By “vetting”, I mean making sure you’re compatible, you’re not a creep or potential stalker, you’re not abusive, you’re mature, etc, and especially whether the two of you have a good vibe going. If it’s just not there, it’s just not there. Do as we do after we turn you down——GET OVER IT AND MOVE ON! There’s someone for everyone, so just work on bettering yourself and keep looking until you find them. Cripes, it’s not rocket science.

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    #23

    I'm a guy, but I've been told by women that me raising my voice has been very frightening/triggering.

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    dee dee
    Community Member
    2 years ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Oh man, this. If you're a guy, and start yelling, no matter the context, I will start crying. It triggers the scared 6 year old inside of me who was terrified of my father, and I can't handle it. Even talking loudly puts me in defensive mode. I hate yelling and screaming in general, but a man doing it is terrifying. EDIT: wow this has blown up. I didn't realise so many women felt like this and it makes me sad. However I am awed by everyone's reaching out and reacting. I wish you all strenght and good things, and kindness.

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    #24

    Someone saying "where's my hug?" or otherwise trying to imply that they are owed physical contact.

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    #25

    Women Share 30 Times Men Came Across As Creeps Without Realizing It Asking personal questions that have nothing to do with why you are communicating in the first place. Example: getting my muffler welded and being asked by the welder "where do you live? How long have you lived there? Do you have roommates or is it just you?" And about thirty more personal and invasive questions.

    So. F*****g. Uncomfortable.

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    #26

    Women Share 30 Times Men Came Across As Creeps Without Realizing It Hovering. Don’t hover behind me. That’s one of the very few things that makes me nervous.

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    BadCat
    Community Member
    2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    I was in IKEA trying to get a cart where they're kept. I had to go far into the barred area, when I backed up I immediately bumped into someone. It was this old, very tall guy just standing there with a grimace and staring down at me. I told him excuse me but he didn't even move for me. He expected me to somehow manuever around him. This s**t happens so often. One old, fat guy even nearly sat on me on the bus because he wanted the seat. I got up just in time but he sat on a corner of my skirt pulling it down. Creep.

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    #27

    Women Share 30 Times Men Came Across As Creeps Without Realizing It It's not frightening, per se, but it definitely makes me wary because it could lead to situations that *are* frightening...

    When talking to a guy, he's super pushy. Like, asking for pics of this and that (and *that*) and even saying no, they're stilly pushy... all that makes me do is not want to meet him. If he's THIS pushy via text/messaging, how pushy is he going to be in person? If he can't take no NOW, what are the odds he can take no in person?

    ​

    I once had a guy DEMAND that I rank my sexual partners. I told him no. I told him "I can't and I won't." Dude flew off the digital handle. I blocked him right then.

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    Giles McArdell
    Community Member
    2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    This does sound frightening to me, you must be tougher than I am.

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    #28

    Women Share 30 Times Men Came Across As Creeps Without Realizing It Pretending we’re deeper friends than we are, being overly familiar and then acting like they have a “right” to you. Had a guy do this in college. When I told him he didn’t get to dictate who I talk to, he spit his drink in my face. I barely knew him!

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    #29

    Women Share 30 Times Men Came Across As Creeps Without Realizing It Telling me things they would do to me if I didn't have a husband. Being out somewhere and them not letting me leave, not taking no for an answer, telling me that they drive by my home to see if I'm there.

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    #30

    "Idk why you're so nervous. It's not like I'm going to rape you... if I wanted to do that there's nothing you could do to stop me anyways"

    UH. the thought hadn't crossed my mind until YOU brought it up unprovoked. FOUR TIMES.

    Edit[copied from another comment I made further down to give context to the situation]

    Hung out with a guy I knew from back in high-school that I hadn't seen in years. He is physically about 4 times my size and was acting a little strange. [Trying to touch me/ invade my personal space even after i had made it clear i wasn't interested in anything more than friendship] I was nervous and shaking like a leaf trying to figure out how to gently extract myself from the situation. What scared me more than anything was him saying things like " idk why you're so nervous.. it's not like I'm going to rape you"

    I thought even though he was overly enthusiastic that I would be safe until he brought up how he - wasnt- going to rape me 4 times. Obviously it made me feel like he must have been considering it :/ thank God I got out of that one safely

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    Agent 8433599
    Community Member
    2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Even if it is meant to be comforting, it comes across as threatening and creepy

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