The other day I dolled myself up and headed over to a local winery to celebrate a dear friend’s 30th birthday. I only had a few precious hours to spare because I had to get back to my own children, not to mention it was a Sunday and I had approximately 788 things to do to get ready for the week.
The winery was PACKED. My friends and I posted up on a grassy spot and were on the look out for the next table to become available. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw this man, standing alone, drinking a glass of wine. My woman spidey sense was piqued. This guy had creeper vibes alllll over him.
If you have a vagina, you totally know what I’m saying. Women are always on the look out for predators and I knew this man was here, at the winery alone, looking for something or someone. Yuck.
And my spidey sense was spot on, because surprise, surprise, this man turned out to be a creepy ass weirdo.
A table opened up and I grabbed the birthday girl to head over and check it out with me, leaving my other friend alone. (If the table was reserved or if another party got to it before us, I wanted us to have our grassy area still, hence why one friend stayed behind) Predators are clever. As soon as my friend and I were on our way to grab the table, creep bag McGee approached my lone friend.
I swear to you, it was like he was this nasty hyena waiting for an opportunity to attack the lone gazelle. (and I would NEVER give this individual the satisfaction of being something majestic like a lion.)
And can I just take this time to point out that men love to joke and point fun at women who go to the bathroom in groups, or head to the bar together. It is EXACTLY for this reason.
What happened next, was creepy dude pressured my friend into allowing him to join our group. He showed up at the table and proceeded to try to impress us with pointless banter and questions.
As I sat there with my friends, the minutes dripping down until I would have to leave to return home, I felt oddly powerless. I wanted this man to leave. I wanted to spend time with my FRIENDS. But for some reason (actually there’s like a billion reasons) I couldn’t bring myself to tell this guy to fuck off.
You see, this man wasn’t overtly hitting on us, getting too close for comfort, or saying sleazy things. Instead, he was just occupying this private space that was intended for me and my friends alone.
In the end, the poor birthday girl wound up getting up and asking for some support from the waitstaff of the winery. A huge bouncer dude approached our table, pulled creepy dude away and explained we didn’t want him there. But wait, it gets better.
Creepy dude COMES BACK to the table and calls us out for not wanting him there. “Look,” I said. “We are here with my friend for her birthday and we just want to enjoy our afternoon. We mean no harm to you, we just want to be left alone.” The guy huffed and puffed a little more and then finally left.
Unfortunately, the rest of the day was colored by this incident. My adrenaline was pumping over the fact that this man returned to the table to shame us over us not wanting him there. We all wondered where he had gone to and if he was still at the winery somewhere. Would he be in the parking lot as I left to go home?
From this incident, I realize that even though I tout myself as a strong woman, I have a lot of learning and growing to do. I realize that it is SO DIFFICULT to break out of the mold that society creates for women.
Girls and women are implicitly and explicitly taught to smooth over conflict, avoid confrontation, and come across as pleasant. Outward forms of anger are simply not as tolerated or accepted as they are when they come from men. This needs to change.
I have compiled a list of 5 things you can do get to creepy men to leave you tf alone. PUH-LEASE leave a comment adding to this list if you have more ideas, mamas! The more information and power we spread to one another- the better.
- Assert yourself using body language. Oftentimes creepy guys look for the women that look the most vulnerable. Fully turn your body towards the creep, look him in the eye, and tell him that you are not interested in a serious and stern voice. After that, turn your body away or if you can, walk away.
- Envision what your night/day/event would look like if this person WASN’T all up in your grill. I know you work DAMN hard to line up childcare, coordinate schedules, and ACTUALLY make it out of your house to meet up with friends and loved ones. How DARE another individual come and eff that up for you! Envision what your experience could be like if this person wasn’t disrespecting your boundaries and use that anger to tell him off.
- Envision what you would want your daughter, sister, friend, or loved one to do in the same situation. If someone was blowing past my kid’s boundaries I would want her to tell that guy to fuckkk offff in the clearest, most obvious way possible. WHY do we struggle so much when it comes to delivering that same advice to ourselves? Imagine if your daughter/niece/other young girl was there watching you in that situation. Respond in a way that would make her proud.
- Be honest but assertive. Something like, “No thank you. I’m here to spend time with my friends/family/co-workers. Have a good night!” (Here’s where I need to start taking my own advice!) Keep repeating “No thank you” until he realizes he cannot twist that into something else.
- Have a plan in place with your friends. A code word? A trip to the bathroom, stat? Have a plan in place so everyone is in on the operation and you can put it into action if needed.
- Remember it’s okay to ask for help. If someone still isn’t respecting your boundaries after you have been assertive, find another person you trust and let them know what is going on. Maybe they can tell the creep off in a way he actually will understand.
And finally I want to remind alllll of the moms out there again that we need to teach our daughters that being polite and kind isn’t always the answer. Teach your child to listen to her gut instincts and when someone makes her feel yucky, teach her to use her VOICE and get the hell out of there.
What are your thoughts? What is the craziest thing you have had to do to get out of a situation with a creep-bag? Do you have any other advice for women out there when faced with a similar situation? I would love to hear! Leave me a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!