Opinion: Creeper, no creeping

Courtney Kerrigan

Courtney Kerrigan

Courtney Kerrigan is a senior magazine journalism major and senior enterprise reporter for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].

When I was about 16 I was shopping for Mother’s Day in my local mall. While browsing the towel section (because I’m a terrible gift-giver), a strange, middle-aged man approached me and started saying crude things.

I believe he asked, “Do you want to come home with me?” in this creepy whisper as he scanned the section for intruders, or for me, saviors.

He continued to spurt out inappropriate comments all while holding a plastic bag full of God knows what and sporting a hobo-like, grunge look.

Being 16, I was terrified and got out of there like a bat out of hell, descending the escalator and scurrying into a crowd.

Since then I’ve labeled every strange man I’ve encountered as a “creeper,” or rather, guilty until proven innocent. It’s judgmental and nonsensical but it’s just instinct and I’m not proud of it.

While not every woman has been sexually harassed, a lot of women have. It’s scary and embarrassing, and you feel a little dirty after.

So while many men may say that women get creeped out easily if approached abruptly, there might be reasoning to it. Women don’t just get creeped out.

And approaching one at a 45-degree angle won’t help your situation, whatever that means.

Yes, coming at her from behind will probably freak a girl out. It may even lead to a junk punch, but who the hell does that?

And approaching a girl straight on is not intimidating, contrary to popular (or according to ratings, unpopular) belief. It shows confidence, if anything.

But if a guy comes to talk to me the second I step up to the bar after just arriving, chances are, you’ll be shot down. I don’t even have a buzz yet, let alone have a drink in my hand.

How about this, guys? How about you just approach a fine-looking lady the way you normally would? And if you want to try the 45-degree angle tactic, go ahead, but I doubt it will make any difference. If a girl wants to talk to you, she will.

Hell, if you want to stand across the room and stare at a girl for an hour with no progress, no skin off your (or her) back. There’s always tomorrow.

Every girl is different, obviously, just as every guy is. So we shouldn’t place all women into one category and men into another. Not all women want to be approached at a 45-degree angle, because that’s stupid.

Some women don’t want to be approached at all, so telling her you have to get back to your friends soon (as my page neighbor suggests) isn’t the dumbest thing I’ve heard. It proves that it’s OK to talk to this guy because you won’t be attached to him for the rest of the night.

But my question is, what would happen if men and women exchanged roles at a bar for one night? What mayhem would ensue then?