It seems like every time you turn on the news or browse social media, there’s a story about a woman being abused, kidnapped, or even murdered. Right now, many women walk through their days with a heightened sense of awareness, especially when it comes to the opposite sex. Whether it’s a stranger walking too closely after the gym or a boyfriend expressing his frustration, there are things men do unintentionally that women find incredibly scary or creepy.
Sometimes men may think asking out a woman or flirting with her as she tries to buy groceries is complimentary or smooth but it comes off differently to the receiving party. Also, the hashtag #NotAllMen—a way some men have tried to defend themselves or show that they’re different—misses the point about what women’s concern is about. Women are typically aware that not every man has ill-intentions but there’s often no way to determine that in the moment. And it’s better to be safe than sorry, right?
If you’ve ever wondered about the specific things men do that women find scary, then look no further.
In a recent Reddit thread, women shared their experiences in the wild, and it’s definitely eye-opening.
1. Being Too Loud
When my husband raises his voice even a little, my whole mood starts to change. Fear isn’t the right word but I get… Wary? I grew up in a very quiet family — I think I heard my dad raise his voice in anger twice, maybe three times, and never directed at me. So I’m very sensitive to changes in tone and volume. My husband grew up in a loud, “we yell in normal conversation” family, so it’s hard for me sometimes lol.SyruplessWaffle
[This] Makes me cry instantly. I’m from a quiet, “take deep breaths and use your words” family. My partner raises his voice a lot and I’m trying to find ways to communicate with him how much it negatively affects me without “policing him”… it’s a mess.winslowings
When older men think they can stare at you and you won’t notice but I guess all old people do that regardless of gender. Either way it’s a little more unnerving when an old guy is staring a hole into you.KimHeenimmm
3. Flirting In Odd Places
When they are super flirtatious/they come onto me without reading my signals or being socially aware. I’ve been asked out twice before whilst in a bathroom (in the foyer entrance – not the actual ladies). I have no idea why they think this is a good place to pick up women but there you go. On one of these occasions, the man deliberately followed me in there to get me alone.
Both times, however, they stood between me and the doorway. It was quite intimidating for me to have my exit blocked. They didn’t intend to intimidate me. They just lacked the awareness of where we were and what I was thinking.daydream128
4. Demanding A Smile
Telling me to smile. It’s not just creepy but I watch a lot of true crime so I kind of figure dudes a serial killer. Masks have helped a lot. 😵💫Infinitecurlieq
5. Ignoring Personal Space
I came to say : When they stand too close. In line, in group situations, at a store. I’m sure some is not intentional but no matter it just sparks that creepy feeling in me.MonkeyGumbootEsquire
Getting too close or into my personal space, especially if we’re alone or if it’s dark out. Men don’t realize how terrifying it is for women when they’re suddenly very close to us physically. They might not mean any harm by it but I become extremely uncomfortable and want to break out into a run.vetiverpamplemousse
6. Not Opening Up
Staying silent and not saying how they feel. Like, stop being the immovable rock of stoicism and ask for help. Emotions do NOT equal failure. The annoying thing is lacking communication and intimacy. The scary thing is not knowing about their mental health.yennifer0
7. Slamming Things
Slam things or respond to things violently/with anger, especially with no warning. Example: computer running too slow? Slam fists down on desk out of nowhere. Drop something? Kick it across the room and swear. Frustrated? Slam a cabinet door and shake the whole house. Really pissed? Punch a door/wall/appliance/etc. I have known so many men like this and it makes me freeze, go numb, and try to leave the room as quickly and quietly as possible so it doesn’t get directed toward me.momma_bear_3
When they go off on a rant and don’t let you get a word in edgewise.itszwee
9. Walking Too Closely
Walking to their car at night at the same time I’m walking to my car. I’m sure they just wanna go home like I do, but I become painfully aware that I’m not alone at night and I make sure they actually get in their own car before I feel relaxed.anonymous_anxiety
Towering over me unintentionally. It’s just random men at the supermarket trying to get something from above me, but I’m a bit short and a 6-foot tall figure reaching out above me and blocking the light really makes me feel anxious… I know they don’t do it out of malicious intent (for the most part), but really they should just say “excuse me” so that I move myself and give way for them to get their item.katencash
11. Questioning Whereabouts
Ask about the details of what time I will be in what location and how many minutes it takes me to come home, when are my days off..72Eping
This happens often enough that I don’t think guys are aware that its creepy. Asking the details of schedule and then following up when you notice the schedule is different. It’s a bit scary. Why are you watching me? And keeping tabs on when I come and go? Terrifying.
12. Being Too Forward
If I’m dancing with a guy i don’t know at a club, them saying right in my ear, “you’re coming home with me tonight” just really rubs me the wrong way. i feel like just asking “what are you doing later tonight?” is a better option. it’s more open-ended and puts less pressure on an answer from me.CartoonistOld7787
Sneezing. It sounds so stupid, but every man I know seems to sneeze with the force of a battle cry. My husband is particularly loud about it, and it always makes me jump. I grew up with an angry father and sudden screams of rage usually meant it was about to be a Bad Day, and that’s what my husband’s sneezes send me right back to. He says he can’t help it but I’ve never met a woman who sneezed like that. All men sneeze like they’re in a contest to see who can bellow “AAACHOO!!” The loudest.tastetheembow