Not Even Trying To Figure Out If Someone Wants Your Attention Is What Makes You Creepy

most people can tell by looking at a cat that it doesn’t want their attention; the only thing that makes it hard to figure out whether a woman want[s] to be talking to a man is literally not even trying to.

That’s just one tiny snippet from a wonderful link-dump on why calling some men “creepy” is necessary.

An important point made is that there are many problems with a common assumption by those aggrieved by hearing the word “creep” assigned to someone they like/respect/admire: the assumption that the only legitimately creepy men are the archetypical trenchcoat flashers and obvious rapists who are liable for immediate arrest, and that any behaviour less blatant than these actual assaults simply should not be described as creepy. Just about everybody I ever know who has called somebody else a creep would disagree strongly with that definition they want to restrict us to.

So, should you care to, please provide examples in the comments below of creepy as hell fictional characters whom are generally deemed to be handsome, suave, charming etc by the people they aren’t (at least so far) attempting to manipulate/exploit/con, with a short explication of their particular creeper-style.

e.g. I find Tony DiNozzo on NCIS to be verrrry creepy. He’s constantly boundary-testing and making sexual allusions in a way that would get him canned under any halfway rigorous federal sexual harassment policy, yet he’s constantly given the boys will be boys pass by everybody on the team even though they grumble about his gauchery. The writers obviously intend for him to be a likeable harmless buffoon interspersed with his hot sexy heroics, the audience is meant to be on his side and in every episode he says/does something creepy which leads to no consequences harsher than rolling of eyes, a witty putdown and maybe a single cuff on the head from his boss. Then DiNozzo’s back to being everybody’s favourite rascal, and this dynamic plays out in almost every episode of this long-running primetime hit show.  The actor obviously understands this about the DiNozzo character very well, as exemplified by his body language in this PR shot.

A woman and a man are sharing an elevator.  The woman is standing in the centre of the space, the man is leaning against the corner walls, holding a cup of coffee and streatching out one leg to rest on the elevator hand-rail. He is smiling smugly.

If Tony DiNozzo held his coffee like that while riding the lift with me, I know where I’d leave that coffee when I left.

Ugh. Over to you.

Categories: arts & entertainment, gender & feminism, language, Life

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9 replies

  1. So, so with you on the DiNozzo thing. My mum and sister watch NCIS so I’ve seen a few episodes here and there, and yeah, he’s a genuine creep.

  2. And all without ever actually touching or flashing anybody, so according to the aggrieved that couldn’t possibly count.

  3. Sorry, can’t call anyone to mind – I’d stop watching if a regular character was like that. Closest I can think of is Inspector Morse’s sexism; he did tend to put women on pedestals (which is a sign for them to run like hell, ‘cos they might get murdered, or him to run like hell, ‘cos they’re the murderer … hmm.)

  4. Tony Stark, the way he spoke to that reporter in the first Iron Man. No, she wouldn’t fall into bed with you after that, she’d be posting descriptions of you on “Everyday Sexism”.

  5. Most of Georgette Heyer’s Regency heroes are largely as creepy as all get-out when read from a modern perspective. Particularly in their behaviour in soliciting relationships from women who are generally not their age peers – Justin Alastair (the most outstanding example that springs to mind at the moment) in These Old Shades quite literally marries a woman half his age; a ten year difference in ages is considered to be practically mandatory, and the more common difference is between fifteen and twenty years. All of which normalises the idea that older men should be able to expect to find younger, prettier wives as their due.
    But then, Romance as a genre is problematic – it normalises the sorts of behaviours which are creepy to be on the receiving end of (particularly the notion of persistent pursuit as being not only desirable but expected – that if a man is persistent enough in his “wooing”, he will succeed with the female he chooses).

  6. I haven’t read the books, but I hear that Edward Cullen is a stalker.
    Ditto re Iron Man, very creepy, and rude, even to Pepper (who is his love interest).

  7. The guy that Lady Mary was going to marry in Downton Abbey (before she married Matthew). He was a creep.

    I read the Twilight series (as much as I hate to admit that) and I thought the father in the Cullen family was a creep.

    And I have read more than a couple of memoirs that feature men that I strongly believe are very creepy. Whether that creepiness is an accurate portrayal or not is another thing.

  8. Mal from Firefly, at least to Inara.

  9. Bill and Eric in Trueblood (sorry Bluemilk). Just their expectation that Sookie will do as they say because they know best is really really irritating.

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