"As I said last time, part of male privilege is all of the things that guys take for granted, like personal safety. Women, on the whole, don’t pose a physical threat to men; while there will always be individual exceptions, the average male is larger, stronger and heavier than the average woman. In practical terms, this means that the average man is fully capable of overpowering the average woman with relative ease… and women are very aware of this fact. Women have to gauge every interaction with men, especially men they don’t know, on whether or not he presents a threat to her. This is the unspoken subtext for every time a guy talks to a girl, sends a Facebook friend request or asks her out.
Just about every woman out there knows somebody -a friend, a family member, someone – in their immediate circle who has been threatened, taken advantage of or assaulted… if they haven’t been themselves. Think about that for a second.
Because women live in a state of near-constant threat awareness, they are far more cued in to the slight clues that hint at potential danger than guys are. Because the stakes are much higher for women than they are for men, women are more sensitized to these little hints, which can lead to false-positives. That guy who stares too hard and lingers around her long after he’s worn out his welcome may not actually intend to make her uncomfortable, but she has no way of knowing this; it’s far safer to allow for the wrong impression than it is to ignore the signs when someone actually does mean her harm."
"78% of the victims of sexual assault or sexual violence are women. 1 in 12 women will be stalked in their lifetime. 1 out of every 6 women has been sexually assaulted or endured an attempted assault. This is the background noise of what it means to be a woman on a day to day basis.
Every woman out there – save those who have lived such sheltered lives that one wonders where the hell they’ve been hiding – lives under the potential threat of harm in ways that men simply don’t. Thus: women have to develop their Spidey-sense. Labeling someone as “creepy” isn’t about women being lazy and forcing men to jump through hoops to earn the right to get her phone number. It doesn’t mean “I’m not attracted to him” or that she’s throwing obstacles in his path. It means “This man’s behavior or attitude represents a heightened threat to my person.”
He may not mean to cause her discomfort, nor may he actually be a threat, but for whatever reason, his behavior indicates that he does not seem to be willing to acknowledge her boundaries, whether physical or psychological. Attempts to re-define creepy or to remove it from a woman’s lexicon is effectively telling her “you don’t have the right to trust your instincts when it comes to your own safety, because my desire to approach you is higher than your personal comfort.”