“A person who does weird things, like stares at you while you sleep, or looks at you for hours through a window”
A friend shared an articled called “Creep Week: How To Reform A Creeper” (http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2013/04/how-to-reform-creeper/). The author defines a creeper as “a guy that does not recognize that what may seem like innocent behavior to them can cause women to feel profoundly uncomfortable”. The article is really quite good, but it set off some personal alarm bells.
Why? I think I've been a creeper in the past. Was it purposeful? No, but that's not the point. Innocent behavior can be quite and truly creepy. So, it happens, can the guy live and learn like the above article suggests? Yes, but there is a growing stigma to behavior perceived as creepy. Case in point: urban dictionary says that the following words are similar to creeper: stalker, weirdo, pervert. Ack! Was I doing these things when I was a socially awkward youngster? Could I be doing them even then? My point is that these labels can scar a guy who is already struggling with the social nuances of life.
This line of thought came to mind because a creeper, especially a (relatively) innocent one, has little hope of reform if the other labels get attached. The article points out that women do not have to teach the creeper how to uncreep. True! I think this puts the ball back in the guy's court. We have to look out for each other. Do you see a friend creeping? Steer them away from the behavior. Point out their transgressions so they can attempt reform. Do this before the creeper chuck social niceties to the wind as they wear the label of stalker pervert.