Creeps Never Go Away

There are good men.

There are a lot of good men. I am not anti-man. I don’t hate men. I think men are awesome. I have sons who have grown into incredible, albeit really messy, men. I am married to a man who is kind, compassionate, and giving.

It would be super cool, though, if the men who are assholes would try not being assholes.

I wanted this to be funny, and it kind of is, but it’s also not.

There is nothing wrong with humans trying to connect with each other. I think we’re better with a tribe and having a partner is amazing. How are we supposed to find someone to share our lives with if someone doesn’t take the first step and cast a net out?

That being said, there is a big difference between trying to make a new friend and being a disgusting asshole creeper.

For instance, there is a difference between respectfully asking for someone’s phone number and telling a stranger she has a sweet ass and then making kissy noises.

Women learn at a young age they will be disrespected by men over the course of their lives. It becomes nothing more than an inevitable annoyance.

It makes me sad that my niece and my granddaughters still have this to go through. I’m hoping that we’ve changed enough as people that they won’t have to deal with disrespect as much as their mothers and grandmothers did. I mean, it’s not like sexually predatory behavior has been legitimized by the president of United States or anything.

One of the things I appreciate about getting older is not having to ignore or quietly reject lewd advances. It just doesn’t happen any more. I know a lot of women bemoan the fact that they feel invisible as they get older. Not me. I love it.

As it turns out, being older is meaningless when people hit on you sight unseen.

I got hit on through Words With Friends. Seriously. A phone Scrabble game. It’s like creeper dudes are made of rancid cooking oil and can just ooze anywhere.

I stopped playing Words With Friends a few years ago, but started again recently when I started playing against Mountain Girl and the Bass Player. I have gotten random requests from people and have been digging playing.

I got a game request from “Kyle” and accepted.

I guess if Kyle wanted to be crude, he could have sent me an instant message. But no, Kyle was more creative than that.

The first thing I noticed, is that I was kicking his ass. I mean, sometimes, the letters are just not there, but I was winning by a large margin.

Then, I really paid attention to the words he played.

Nooky

Orgy

Music

Porn

Yes

Hey. Wait a minute. HEY! No way this is a coincidence. No way. What the fucking fuck, dude?

The next word I played was “No”.

His next word was “Lay”.

I wanted so bad to play “Loser” next, but I lacked the “r”.

I am finding it harder and harder to find this shit funny. I don’t want to be told to not make a big deal out of it because I’ve been told that my whole fucking life. When do women get to make a big deal out of being treated disrespectfully?

In the big scheme of things, this is hardly a blip. I have been treated much worse than this by strangers.

Kyle reminds me of frustration I haven’t felt in a while. There is no good way out of this shit. I can end the game, and do what I did dozens of times in my life where I was crudely propositioned. Walk away and pretend it didn’t happen.

I have always found that option maddening and unsatisfying. Why should we have to ignore that shit?

You know what is worse than ignoring it? Speaking up. What happens when we defend ourselves against this behavior? Sometimes, the hostility is breathtaking. Or they try to shame you for being over sensitive. Or laugh and high five their buddies, which isn’t humiliating at all.

What never ever ever happens? You call a motherfucker out for being a predatory dick and they examine their behavior and apologize. That never happens.

Again, I am not suggesting that some basement dwelling loser playing suggestive Scrabble words has damaged me in any way. Fuck that guy. It just brought some old memories.

I hope we’re getting better.

I hope my niece and my granddaughters have a louder voice than I did if they choose to fight back. I hope my niece and my granddaughters don’t feel cowardly and weak when they choose to walk away.

I guess I can’t make predatory men be different. I can circle the wagons around our girls, though. I can tell them that they don’t have to be good sports and that there is no such thing as being “over” sensitive. We are all sensitive to the degree we are sensitive. There is no scale. “Over” does not apply.

As far as Kyle goes? I was on the fence, I mean, maybe he wasn’t being creepy. But then someone on Facebook told me that this is behavior is actually a thing. And the last word he played was “anal”.

I resigned the game. Not worth it. Really not worth it.

I also hope that Kyle spends the rest of his life feeling unsatisfied. The way one would feel playing Scrabble and their 7 tiles are 3 “A’s” and 4 “O’s”.

 

 

 

 

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  1. I feel your frustration and anger. If there’s one thing that’s at all positive about the orange asshole modeling his predatory behavior for the nation, it’s that so many of us women are speaking out, calling it out when we see/experience it, and pushing back, and doing what we can to help younger women feel empowered to do the same. I’m positive that Kyle will remain hugely unsatisfied forever. He’s a pathetic little dick who has no clue how to relate to a woman. And you were wise to just walk away–and expose him here in your usual insightful and wittily honest way.

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      You are right! There is one positive to the current administration. So many people are activists now. I am beyond proud of my middle sister who has become an amazing activist. Me and my younger sister are doing what we can, but middle sister is kicking ass all over the place.

      Reply
  2. Leslie says:

    Preach! I occasionally work as an art model. Most people understand it is a JOB (and not an easy one!) Sitting, standing or lying in one position for 20-40 minutes at a time (sometimes freezing cold) is less than glamorous. However there is that small percentage of men (on FB) who think I’m some sort of floozy who struts around naked for their entertainment. Oh, and let me add, I AM 63 FUCKING YEARS OLD! Like you I generally ignore the overtures, some of them are hesitant and simply want to say they “like my work” But then there are the guys who want to tell me how good they are at oral sex (I’m married and make no secret of it) and after one warning of “not to go there” if they persist they are blocked

    I’ll never understand why they feel like they have a pass to be ass holes. Apparently their momma’s didn’t raise them very well.

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  3. Donna says:

    “One of the things I appreciate about getting older is not having to ignore or quietly reject lewd advances. It just doesn’t happen any more. I know a lot of women bemoan the fact that they feel invisible as they get older. Not me. I love it.”

    Yes!!!!!! THIS!!!!!

    One of the reasons I’ve come to have a, we’ll call it, creative obscenity mouth is from calling shitheels out. In my teens I’d, more often than not, just slug a dude (if he got physical). What to do if it was words and gestures though? In college I learned the fine art of humiliation – the more public the better.

    I found out, when I was on the road with the carnival, that the guys had a betting pool going – who’d score with me first. Yeah, that was a major turn on – NOT! In spades NOT! Before opening one evening, they were all gathered around the front of my joint being skeevy obnoxious-guy like. One of them said just the wrong, entitled asswipian thing and I went off. With a smile on my face and a mega jocular, calm tone, I ripped him to shreds using epithets like midget dicked homonculus and suggeting that even a ‘tute wouldn’t pity fuck him.

    I got a lot of laughs AND left alone.

    Not all situations turned out so satisfyingly well BUT this is my blueprint – my defense of coice.

    As for Kyle – WHAT a pathetic piece of rancide toe jam! The Scrabble equivelent of an obscene phone call?
    Donna recently posted…The Wounded Warrior Part 1,000My Profile

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  4. Terri Lee says:

    I was reluctantly drawn into the world of “Words With Friends” about a year ago by a couple of actual friends who worried about me and wanted to stay connected (I had abandoned Facebook). I still play with them on a regular basis and in all that time, I’ve only had one game request from a stranger. I could not tell whether they were male or female and it was just a straight on, legitimate game. But, even so, I was very uncomfortable not knowing who the hell I was playing with. I won, so there is that. Haha!!

    I am with you regarding the demoralizing and disrespectful treatment of women. It starts so young, too. I get the impression that it won’t change completely, as there will always be the major assholes and douchebags in this world and the loser women (and men) who think that’s okay and make excuses for said douchebags and assholes (that’s just the way men are and they can’t help it! To which I say—-BULLSHIT!!!). I did stop one jerk in his tracks once. He used to constantly talk shit about women and how they were “sluts” or “whores” and the only way they could get into a high position at work is by “blowing” a male boss. I finally turned around one day and said, “You know, they say men get their opinions of women from their mothers, since they’re the first main female role model in their lives.” He got this weird look on his face and shut the fuck up! I think I may have hit a nerve!! HAHA!!

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  5. Not having to deal with that kind of s*#t makes me glad to be a man, knowing that there are men out there that tarnish the rest of us by being such arseholes doesn’t. Good for you in calling it out.

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      I appreciate men like my sons and my husband who are not assholes and who treat the other humans with respect. I hope their numbers continue to grow. Thank you for being one of them!

      Reply
  6. I was on the playground, pushing my son on a swing when two 10/11 yr. old boys started jagging around on the swings beside me. One asked the other if he got wet dreams yet (bragging of course that HE already did). Then they noticed two women doing yoga in the park. They started catcalling them (“ooooh – you’re KILLING me here.”). They looked very surprised when I turned to them and said – “Do you EVER want a girlfriend? That is NOT how you talk to women.” I glanced in the direction of their parents, across the park with an “I DARE you to tell your mom about me and I’ll give her the rest of the story” look.

    I really wanted to say a few choice things to them, to show them how it felt, but at their age, I might have gotten arrested. For the record, it would have been, “Dude, no woman wants to know that she’s making some little boy’s dick hard, which by the way, if you do have a raging boner, it’s so small, I can’t even see it, so you’d do better not to try to advertise that.”

    Yea, so, probably best I didn’t go there.

    I doubt my “never get a girlfriend speech” had much impact, but it was better than listening to douches-in-training for a second longer.
    Deborah Sale-Butler recently posted…The One Even Less Traveled ByMy Profile

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  7. I vividly remember trying to have this conversation with a friend, explaining to him the difference between him (a person I know, who is safe) telling me in passing that I look nice and then moving on, without expecting me to respond in any way, and the creepy guy on the bus who told me I had a nice smile, (I hadn’t smiled in hours. I know because Resting Bitch Face) or the creeper who pulled up in his truck behind me as I was walking, shouted that I had a great ass, and then proceeded to pace me while insisting that it wasn’t safe for me to be out walking in that neighborhood (clearly!) and offering me a ride “wherever I needed to go.”

    “Okay, but maybe he really was worried about your safety and didn’t realize he was scaring you!” (seriously?) And this was from a good guy with daughters, so… I don’t know. I want to believe there’s hope, but like you, I look at certain very public figures and worry.
    ActualConversationsWithMyHusband recently posted…That’s How You Get PinkeyeMy Profile

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  8. Kat says:

    What a waste of time.

    I hear you about the confrontations not working, because I have confronted creeps and find either they get even smirkier, or go straight into sputtering denial.

    All we can do is keep raising awareness.

    Reply
  9. Mary-Anne says:

    Too bad you didn’t have an A, two S’s, an H, an O, an L and an E.

    I am on words with friends too and I just play with my son. Or against the computer. I kick the computer’s ass!
    Mary-Anne recently posted…Yopping Update 37- more socksMy Profile

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  10. Dee says:

    The reason us older women don’t get hit on has very little to do with our age and appearance, and you can argue, nothing to do with sexuality at all. It’s about abuse and power. Older women don’t put up with it and can easily cut down the person who is verbally assaulting them. That’s why the cowards target our young daughters and nieces instead. I always pray that our young girls will learn bravery and unshakable belief in themselves and their feelings, because unfortunately it’s the only way they’ll get any respect as they mature. I hope our daughters and granddaughters will someday feel able to speak out when this happens. The key to solving this rests, as always, on the bravery of women.

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      We don’t put up with as much, do we? I think women who are menopausal or beyond are dismissed due to age, though. But I think you are right, men who treat women so disrespectfully are mostly cowardly and they won’t risk a battle they can’t win. I wish that the key to solving this didn’t rest on the shoulders of the people being abused, but I fear that is the reality of the situation.

      Reply
  11. Doug in Oakland says:

    Your post reminded me of a thing I found on Yahoo news yesterday and have been crowing about ever since. It’s an organization called Bikers Against Child Abuse, and it’s exactly what it sounds like: a bunch of bikers who protect kids who have been abused from their abusers and the shit society puts them through because of their abuse. They are a world-wide, legitimate, not-for-profit organization that helps kids and their families deal with the aftermath of abuse, doing things like showing up in court ten or fifteen strong when a kid has to testify against their abuser. “We’re badder than their abusers or their demons, so they know they can finally feel safe around us.” And “We’ll come to their house and stake out the four corners of the property all night so they can sleep, knowing that whoever they’re scared of won’t get to them because they’d have to go through us first.”
    They’re not all men, and that’s good, because the women in their ranks give the little girls they help examples of strong, functional women to learn things from.
    I think it’s fucking perfect. Bikers make a big deal out of being badasses, and they need an opponent to face down to apply that as something useful, and they are always tangling with the cops, while BACA gets abused children referred to them by law enforcement.
    Maybe a little off=topic, but worth the attention I think, as the “good guys” might not be looking like we’re used to them looking for a while.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbguM02jhs8

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  12. AmberLynn says:

    The phrase that comes to mind when I read this is “Boys will be boys”. That phrase is the most vile thing I’ve ever heard because it’s basically saying that they’re too stupid and primitive to be responsible for their actions. I have 2 young boys and it will NEVER be acceptable in my eyes for them to lewdly harass another human being.
    AmberLynn recently posted…TOLT – What is your Tendency?My Profile

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  13. Grace says:

    I work in a male oriented profession and over a 40 year career I have had many occasions to let men know when they are out of line. I do it with humor and relish, because those types of guys are usually cowards and will back down as soon as you push back.

    Your WWF’s story is so interesting! I play with literally 2 dozen strangers (most suggested by WWF as a match of the day based on average scores). About 8 of them are men and I have never had a weird encounter. I would have asked Kyle up front via message if he was really trying to be an ass or is it just an accident? I think these jerks need to know we are on to them.
    Grace recently posted…Happy March!My Profile

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  14. Liv says:

    What a jerk. I hate people like that.
    Liv recently posted…Back to School, An Early Education: A Short FictionMy Profile

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  15. A friend told me that a guy tried to pick her up by saying she had a nice rack. I said, “That is so wrong. You don’t say something like that until the third date at least.”
    She laughed but I still felt guilty about making a joke about it. I felt guilty because no woman should have to put up with that kind of shit.
    I wish there were more of an answer here.

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      I went to a bar with friends one night..and another friend told me to say hi to the owner of the bar because he was a friend of hers. So, I tracked him down and said “Hi! My name is Michelle, Kim asked me to say hi.”

      He crossed his arms, smirked, and asked if I played tennis. I said no, he said “Well, you got a nice set”.

      I just turned around and walked out of the bar and never went back.

      It’s bad when a stranger behaves that way, but he was willing to be disrespectful to a friend of a friend. What the fuck? My friend Kim was none to happy with him and she said something to him about it. He didn’t even remember saying it.

      Reply
  16. Billie says:

    What a knob-end, and I think you were right to just end the game. Using the letters W, A, N K,E,R in that order would have been funny but he would have thought, “Great, she’s taken the bait” and been laughing into his jog-bottoms, which he no doubt wears to gain easy access to his under-sized penis.

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      I’m just surprised this is actually a thing that other people have heard of. I mean, I guess. I don’t know why I’m surprised. People are weird.

      Reply
  17. Onlyme says:

    Mamas don’t let your sons grow up to be perverts. I think if a boy grows up respecting his mother he knows how to treat women, and how not to treat them. Respect doesn’t just come naturally though. It’s all about the mother respecting herself, teaching her son human decency and manners, and the parents, if both are present, respecting each other. I could be wrong, but that’s my instinct.

    Reply
  18. Shani says:

    I’ve found age doesn’t really matter. Sure, there are peak ages maybe, but creepy seems to remain always there somehow.
    What this post and some of the comments brought out in me is the thought there are degrees of creepy-from lewd comments to stalking. They all suck. Some of them suck and are dangerous. Some men can make it where you don’t feel safe and you’re always on your guard, when all you want to do is, for instance, is walk home. I’m glad that people are using their voices more, and telling their stories more, and people are standing up more. I hope this continues. I watch the girls and I know they go through things because they are living in a digital world where creeps more easily cross boundaries, some of the creeps never face the consequences of their actions, and the girls are at that age I remember where grown ass gross creepy men thought it was somehow okay to hit on you even when you were obviously not grown yourself. And I hate it. My experiences have taught me a range of ways to deal with the range of gross. Just like each woman has her sensitivity point, each woman has her way of dealing. I tell the girls to be aware of their surroundings, to do what they think is best and to know they can always talk to me. They are strong girls, with strong parents, and I hope they can use those strong voices I know that they have. But I want them to be safe while they do it. And I don’t want them to feel judged by the way they learn to deal.

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  19. Catharine says:

    Oh how I wish you had the letters for predator and dick. Big deal about the sexual references. Beyond being offensive, but the presumed power infuriates me. Feel like twisting his nipples while kneeing him in the groin. With gloves, and knee pads, of course!

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