A woman has sparked a heated discussion on Mumsnet after asking other forum users if their partners could be “creepers.”
The UK-based poster told the forum that she is a lesbian with few male friends and that she never knew her father, but is “reasonably certain” that “none of the [her] male friends or friends of friends yelling at girls in the street, groping women etc’.
However, citing data from the UN 2021 that 97 percent of women aged 18-24 have been sexually harassed, she said “there must be millions of these gross men walking among us.”
“They must be someone’s father/brother/partner/friend,” she said. “So does anyone have a current partner or another guy they’re around that they know/suspect is a creep?”
Commentators unanimously insisted that no one admit that their partner was a “horror,” but some said exes and relatives are, while others accused the poster of blaming all men for the behavior of a minority.
A Mumsnet user has sparked a heated debate by asking women how to make sure the men in their lives aren’t ‘creepy’ (stock image)
A poster on Mumsnet has sparked a heated debate by asking women if their partners are ‘creepy’ – and says many must be like so many women deal with sexual assault
“I don’t really expect anyone to say yes, but doesn’t it seem strange that almost all women have experienced sexual harassment, but no one seems to know a man (apart from a distant relationship or boss/ex they don’t have anyone behaving with feel like that?” the poster explained.
“Are you sure your partner doesn’t stare/follow/comment/harass women when you’re not around?”
Some respondents believed that a significant number of men are likely to engage in creepy behavior, but their partners are simply not aware of it, or simply don’t want to admit it.
One wrote: ‘You’d be surprised, I work in construction and I’d say most of the guys are creeps…most of them married with families. I bet their wives think their husbands aren’t like that either.’
Another added: ‘No one will admit this. No one will give in to football crazy partners. It just won’t happen.’
And another Mumsnetter went on to write: ‘I think reading all these ‘my partner 100% not creepy’ posts shows how misguided many women are.
“The reality is that a lot of men are unspeakably rude in thinking and acting when they’re not with their partners.”
Another went even further, saying, “I think heterosexual women who have male partners are very considerate and turn a blind eye to how limited and horrible almost all men are.”
A number of women on the thread said they’d dated guys before that they’d classify as ‘creepy’
Some women agreed that previous partners had engaged in scary behavior, and one woman wrote, “I don’t think many would admit that my ex is a creep! Almost everyone wants to believe that the people they know are ‘good’.’
Another added: ‘My husband is not at all. I just know him too well. An ex I definitely had was that, and besides being a creep, he spoke to me in such a way that I felt uncomfortable, but I couldn’t always figure out why. When I read about ‘ignoring’ it all made sense – it was exactly that.’
One user agreed that there are “creeps everywhere” and said: “My old friend and his nasty friends were lurking at women and barely stopping when I was around.. hence he was an ex.
“There really aren’t any in my current family/circle as I’m an adult now, I care about that sort of thing and I wouldn’t hang out with a creep.”
Multiple posters suggested that while many women experience harassment, it may be perpetrated by a smaller proportion of men, who commit multiple forms of harassment
However, some found the question itself unfair to men and accused posters of making too many generalizations.
One poster wrote: ‘My husband is not a creep, nor is my brother or brothers-in-law or cousins.
“My father wasn’t a creep, neither was my father-in-law, I don’t make friends with creeps (strangely) and I’m not aware that my colleagues are creeps, they certainly don’t show that behavior in a professional environment.
‘Why are general, negative comments about women being labeled as sexist; while we seem to be able to make these generalizations with impunity?’
Another agreed, writing: ‘The report that 93% of women have experienced harassment doesn’t make 93% of men creepy.
“It’s terrible to lump them all together, I know that my husband and two sons cross the road at night to avoid intimidating a woman. They are respectful and support women’s rights (they work in education and health care).’
Many posters believed that women can be naive when it comes to men, and that many men can act in scary ways behind their partners’ backs