Something I’ve noticed lately is an influx of creepers in fandom. Many more female costumers right now are dealing with creepers, guys that, whether meaning to or not, make women feel uncomfortable and unsafe.
I’ve heard accusations from men in the past that the reasons girls think they are creepers is because they aren’t attractive. So many times I’ve had guys tell me that if they were good looking girls would find it flattering and love the attention.
Stop right there.
There are attractive creepers. THERE ARE SO MANY ATTRACTIVE CREEPERS. But saying that women are that shallow shows exactly how little you actually respect them. Women are more than just breasts on a stick that sleep with any attractive guy that looks their way. And, if you’re telling me that every unattractive guy out there is just assumed a creeper because he’s unattractive, then you are basically saying that no one that isn’t a model is going to ever get laid.
There is a fine line between fanboy and creeper, and it’s very easy to accidentally cross that line with just a word or the tone or body language. It’s okay to be a fan of someone’s costumes. It’s okay to find someone attractive. You like that female costumer’s costume? It’s okay to tell her that! You think she looks pretty? That’s okay to tell her that too. She’s not going to freak out and mace you or call security on you. Saying “I really love your outfit, you did an amazing job” is a really great compliment! Saying “wow you look so pretty!” is, in most cases, going to be taken as a compliment (but that is going to come down to tone, which I’ll go into later). If you mean it innocently, we are going to take it as an innocent compliment. Most women like compliments. It makes us feel good, especially if it’s about a costume we worked super hard on.
Guess what, women aren’t stupid. We can tell if you mean something genuinely because you are a fan or nice or really mean it. But I can tell you right now, we can also tell if you have lewd thoughts or a less than genuine motive.
Take this for example:
Comment that’s okay- “Oh wow, I love your costume! You look fantastic!”. This comment is enthusiastic! It shows that yes, they really do like your costume. There’s no creepy undertone that makes you question if they have an ulterior motive.
But if you change the tone even a little? That comment can be turned into something super creepy. If it’s over text/comments, adding a winky face to someone you don’t know can make it creepy. If it’s in person, saying “wow you look… so hot” to someone you don’t know is hard to do without a creepy tone. And maybe you don’t mean to be creepy. I get that. You’re not actively trying to come across that way. But what you mean and what you’re actually doing are two totally different things.
Because it’s more than just what you say… it’s how you say it. Don’t stand too close, don’t assume that if they are talking to you and being nice that they want to sleep with you, don’t assume that because you paid them any attention they want to sleep with you. Don’t touch them in pictures unless they invite you to. Don’t stare at their chest or anything, even if they are wearing nothing but electrical tape and a lamp shade. Don’t stare at them at all. Don’t follow them around if they want to leave. Read their body language, understand that they don’t have an obligation to talk to you just because you complimented them.
Same rules go for online. Don’t ask them personal questions about where they live/work/etc. Don’t constantly message them. Don’t make sexual comments. Don’t request them on fb and send them messages there (sometimes people will accept the request if you have mutual friends or cons and stuff, it doesn’t mean they automatically want to be your girlfriend or even your friend at all. They are just being polite.) If they delete you at any time don’t keep messaging them asking why they deleted you. Don’t track down their personal email and send them graphic emails about things you’d like to do to them sexually or request sexual favors (and if you think that doesn’t happen, I’m telling you right now that I had someone do that to me for a month). Saying “oh I wish you lived closer, I would love a girlfriend like you” is creepy because that’s assuming that they are automatically going to date you. NO ONE HAS ANY OBLIGATION TO TALK TO YOU OR SLEEP WITH YOU OR DATE YOU JUST BECAUSE YOU PAID ATTENTION TO THEM.
And I’m not saying that you can’t be attracted to the costumer you’re a fan of. Fanboy crushes happen! They are totally okay. And maybe they can turn into something, I’m not saying they won’t! I just found out this weekend that my boyfriend had a fanboy crush on me before we ever met. Guess what- I had absolutely no idea. At all. He’d told me the first time we met that he loved my costumes, but it came across as a genuine costumer to costumer comment BECAUSE HE MEANT IT. There was no creepy undertone, there was no creepy winky faces or calling me sweetie or coming across in any way that would make me concerned. If he hadn’t told me he had a crush I would never have known.
So if girls are telling you you’re a creeper or if you realize that maybe female costumers are actively trying to get away from you, maybe you need to stop and think about what you’re doing and saying because you’re probably creeping them out.
tl;dr-Girls have no obligation to sleep with you. Girls have no obligation to talk to you. Stop blaming it on them and actually realize that if you stopped being a creepy dickbag that stares at their boobs or ass or touches them inappropriately or follows them around or makes creepy comments then maybe they would actually consider dating you. Or not, because they have no obligation to, but maybe they will actually be your friend. Girls are people too.