Friday, May 1, 2009

Who Is This Creep?

A friend of mine and I used to joke about certain things that guys do and how women perceive it. For intance, a guy stares at a woman from across the room, making eye contact at times with this woman. My friend and I would say "Guy makes eye contact with a girl, and also stares at her shoes... stalker? Or just wants to find out what the newest pair of Nike's look like?" The scenarios we joked about always made me laugh. But there is a deeper question I find myself asking about those make-believe situations (most of which were stalking, you know that Dean!). Let's take these 2 people as our subjects, the starer guy and the staree girl. They are in a public place, perhaps at a party or something. She constantly notices him staring at her throughout the night. Here is where it gets interesting. When is this considered flattering and when is it creepy? I suppose most women will say, "If the guy stares too long, it's creepy." But I don't accept that answer because I don't believe it's true. I mean, girls, raise your hand if you would approach Matthew McConaughey and tell him to stop staring because he's creeping you out.

I don't know if what I'm suggesting is a double standard. Possibly. However, if Matthew McConaughey is staring at you, then there are probably many, many other guys that stare at you, too, or else you just have a booger on your face. So you may have learned what a flattering stare is and what a creepy stare is. But I'll present my point in a scientific fashion. Let's say the staring is X, and there are 2 test subjects: Y and Z. Y is Matthew McConaughey. Z is the Mr. Collins (from 2005 "Pride & Prejudice"). Test 1: Your at the store buying groceries and notice Y Xing at you. You are flattered. Test 2, same exact scenario: You go to the grocery store and notice Z Xing at you. So here are the equations...

X + Y = makes you blush.

X + Z = reach in your purse to locate pepper spray.

What makes Y so different from Z? I suggest, though most girls may deny this, that it matters a whole lot who is doing the staring whether staring is creepy or not. And that makes little sense to me. In my circle of friends I hear female friends of mine talk about how creeped out they get when a guy acts creepy. But it's so not about the staring! Right?? It's about how cute the guy is. And that's the double standard. If Z is creepy for staring, then Y has got to be creepy, too. How can the same exact action be creepy if Z does it, but not if Y does it? To turn the tables, if Megan Fox were staring at me in Test 1, and Average Jane were staring at me in Test 2, and after I begged for their phone numbers to go out with me, ....ok, so I'm not a good test subject.

To use another example, let's say Mr. Collins took the exact same course of action that Mr. Darcy did in "Pride & Prejudice". I think most girls would say, "Wow, he's creepy." But because Matthew Macfadyen (or Colin Firth) are considered attractive, Mr. Darcy's actions are not seen as creepy at all, they are cherished and longed for by any girl that reads the book or sees the movie. And Mr. Collins, had he done the same things, would have been seen as cute and fun, but not unforgettable like Mr. Darcy. So there seems to be this standard of what is creepy and what is not... unless the guy is cute.

I would love to hear feedback on this subject. Steer me in the right direction. Tell me I'm wrong. Tell me I'm right. Ask me what I think about Mr. Bingley. Or Elizabeth Bennet.

Thanks for reading!


  1. You've got to factor in a woman's intuition as a variable and whether or not she feels threatened. Unfortunately, the downside to being a woman is having to constantly be aware. There is something to say about biases and prejudices, but also for discernment. Some woman may be ultra-sensitive, but you have to recognize there may be a reason for that. I also think sometimes it comes down to just politeness. Just my thoughts!

  2. haha! Well, i'd have to say that I was lost on some of it because I've never seen or read Pride & Prejudice (but I have seen Bride & Prejudice...) :) BUT, I get what you're saying...

    For me, if a guy is just staring, I'm usually creeped out no matter what. BUT if he is staring and then smiles and looks away, then it's not so creepy...

    Staring has a whole new meaning for me though... here in South Asia people stare ALL THE TIME... I'm always being stared at... so I've come to really dislike staring :) haha!

    I don't know what to write... :) but the post was very interesting :)

  3. well, looks probably do factor in quite a bit, because there is something to be said for initial attraction and chemistry.
    i personally feel Y=Z, because MM seems to be a man-ho and is therefore staring for the same reason MC is staring, and it's because they both only want one thing. therefore, Y and Z are both creepy!
    in regard to elizabeth and darcy, i think she does find him creepy at first, because she misinterprets his actions, which is why she initially turns him down. that is until she gets his letter explaining his creepy behavior and then he sets out to right his wrongs. you obviously have not read the book yet. haha!
    unfortunately, try as you might, you will not be able to understand women. we might not even understand ourselves. also, even if you think you might have one of us figured out, you cannot judge us all by the same philosophies and morals, because we all think and act differently. elizabeth does not equal jane, and elizabeth definitely does not equal lydia!