This morning I came across a somewhat amusing article in the Washington Post about an extremely common issue women everywhere have to put up with. She calls it "Creep or Normal Guy?"
‘Wild’ tells the story of every woman’s least favorite game: ‘Creep or Normal Guy?’
Gentlemen! Let’s play a little game. I call it “Creep or Normal Guy?”
The way you play is you have less than a second to decide whether a man you don’t know is a threat or not. If you identify a normal guy as a threat you could get called a bitch; if you identify a creep as a normal guy you could end up dead. This is fun, isn’t it? Now play it every day, with nearly every man you see, in nearly every situation you’re in, from the time puberty hits to … well, I turned 38 this week. Can someone tell me when I can stop playing?
Honestly, I think this goes too easy on men she calls "normal guys." If a woman is suspicious of a guy who at least isn't intending to try and rape and murder her and refuses a drink, and that guy calls her a bitch for trying to protect herself from a horrible death, that guy's a creep and an asshole. In fact, I think the entire practice of trying to ply women with intoxicating beverages and then dumping guilt on them when they won't immediately drop their panties is creepy as hell. It is, in fact, the epitome of rape culture.
And the guys who the author calls a "threat" are not creeps. They're straight up rapists and murderers.
Then again, being called a bitch for refusing a drink or otherwise being cautious is the norm. Men who respectfully accept your decline of a drink and leave you alone are a bit of a rare breed.
But she is right about the fact that women are constantly navigating this fucking minefield without a map. Most of the time, we can't win. Having a guy mutter "bitch" under his breath and storm off is often the best we can expect.
This is exactly why I've spent most of my life avoiding bars and clubs. This is why I was extremely reluctant to go to parties when in college. I was painfully aware of this game and not emotionally prepared to deal with it. I might have missed out on a lot of fun, but I don't regret it. I only regret that I live in a world where I had to fear that, and still do.