You Might Not Think You’re Creepy, but I Do.
- To the man who without a thought said to me, “Thanks, sweetheart!”
You might think that’s ok, but it’s not. I have a name, and I’m not your sweetheart.
- To the man who excluded me from business meetings so I could ‘watch the floor’.
You might think that’s ok, but it’s not. I’m more than smart and qualified to achieve great things, but you won’t grant me any permission to do so.
- To the man who gave me a uniform too small, then replaced it with one even smaller, so it fits ‘nice and snug’.
You might think that’s ok, but it’s not. My job is to serve customers, unrestrained. I don’t want to struggle to move. I don’t want to struggle to breathe. I’d prefer to display excellent customer service, than to be a thing for them to look at.
- To the man who tried to ‘teach’ me how to use an espresso machine, then screamed at me when he broke it.
You might think that’s ok, but it’s not. I might look young, but I know what I’m doing. By the way – you broke it because you were doing it wrong, but I never said a thing, because it was pointless. You’d only scream at me again. What would I know? I’m merely a woman.
- To the wedding guests who told me that I’m a great waitress.
You might not see anything wrong with that, but I do. I organised that whole wedding.
- To the customer who wants to speak to the manager. I am the manager. You can ask for a more ‘senior’ one all you like, but I can assure you, you’re speaking with the boss.
When you assume only a man could do it, you’re wrong. You might not see anything wrong with thinking like that, but I do.
- When I mentioned I was pregnant, you suddenly deemed me unfit to work. You might not see anything wrong with that, but I do.
- When I applied for a new job but quietly requested hours that suited the childcare facility, I suddenly went from being highly sought after, to unappealing. You, as a society, might not see anything wrong with that, but I do.
Just because I have children, it does not make me less dedicated, less qualified or less deserving.
- When I’m out walking my dog, and you drive past and shout terms of endearment, it’s not endearing, it’s creepy. You might think you’re being funny, but I don’t.
- When you call out things to me as I walk past you in the street, you’re not being charming, I will never sleep with you, and you’re a douche.
- When you visit me at my bar job, and because I serve you, it means we’re friends. So you hug me, and stroke my arm. You kiss me on the cheek, pull me into photos, pat me on the bottom and find a reason to brush past me every time. I’m not your friend. Please don’t do that. You may not see anything wrong with what you’re doing, but I do.
I see you again, at the shop where I didn’t know you work. As I hand you my card to pay, you concentrate on my name which is printed on it, because remembering my name is important to you. If it’s so important – why not ask?
When I avoid you to avoid confrontation, you ask where I’ve been, and if I’ve been avoiding you. I can’t answer, because I’m not supposed to avoid you – you’ve done nothing wrong – have you?
Yes you have, and I can’t quite explain why, but I feel guilty as a woman because of it.
- When we met once a few years ago, it therefore meant that we’re friends. You remembered where I lived and invite yourself in. I feel uneasy, but I have no reason to – do I? You make yourself comfortable, and keep chatting even though I said it wasn’t a good time. You took a photo of my kid – I’ll agree – he’s a cutie, but that’s just not appropriate – is it? You keep calling to see if you can pop over, and I keep mumbling trying to make excuses because I’m not brave enough to tell you you’re creepy. I shouldn’t have to make excuses, and I shouldn’t have to feel this way – should I?
No it’s not ok. You might not see that you’re doing anything wrong, but you are.
When it’s dark and I’m walking alone, I shouldn’t have to be reassured that I’m wearing sneakers and could therefore make a quick get away if I needed to.
I shouldn’t have to block people online, who have found out my surname, and because I’ve met them, that makes us friends. I shouldn’t have to feel obliged to be social with you.
I shouldn’t have to change my running route so I don’t walk past your house.
I shouldn’t be called a bitch when I speak my mind.
I shouldn’t be made to feel this way – inferior, threatened or questioning my worth – simply because I was born a girl and you made me feel this way.
It’s happened too many times, and it will keep happening, because no one told you: You’re creepy and you’re wrong. You might not believe that, but I do.
Emma is a writer, bartender and generally happy person from Gold Coast, Australia. Her career has been predominantly in the hospitality industry as a restauranteur, and she holds a special interest in mixology. Some of her many talents include removing lipstick off wine glasses and replacing coasters which have been shredded into small squares. Emma began writing about her antics and experiences and this has evolved into an online author platform. She began writing her first novel in 2016.