A lot of self-defense instruction tends to take one of two approaches towards creeps: either it ignores them altogether, because they are not a “real” threat, or it suggests solutions that may work in theory, but that theory often requires one to be a male, in a position of power, with a supportive community at one’s back, and occasionally with a healthy bail fund. This is disheartening, to say the least, and not just because it deprives people of useful information regarding an issue that pervades all corners of our society. This levels of disconnect between this problem and the proposed solutions reveals that the voices of past and current victims are still being ignored, even by people who purport to care about the issue. Ironically, or tragically, it is often this inability to be heard or to be taken seriously that stops people from speaking up against creeps. What is the point? Won’t it just all blow back in our faces?
I started out writing about creeps because I met the epitome of creephood at a self-defense seminar. I realized that most self-defense courses I’d attended either failed to mentioned the issue, or suggested solutions such as kicking up a huge public fuss or whacking a dude in the crotch. As these solutions seemed suboptimal to me, I got to writing about other options, and I immediately started to get a ton of feedback. Alas, it wasn’t from fans. Some men demanded that I stop unfairly persecuting them – because, apparently, suggesting that women have a right to have and enforce boundaries is male oppression. Some pointed out that I was talking about a non-issue – creeps don’t really hurt anyone, after all! Women just have to grow a thicker skin! A particularly kind gentleman warned me that I ought to write about “literally anything else,” because I “sounded obsessed.”
I am really, really good at doing what I’m told, particularly when it’s put so politely, so I immediately dropped the subject of creeps and never revisited it again. I absolutely did not write so many blogs about it that I’ve lost count, and those blogs are not available for free in the archives, starting from here. I also absolutely did not write a booklet about Creepology, available on the Kindle or as a paperback. I also didn’t recently write a blog about Creepology and ADHD, and I’m not considering writing a booklet about that topic. And I will absolutely not do talks on the subject if anyone invites me.
“It’s easy to teach what to do—legally and physically—when a stranger raises his hand against you. Much harder to teach what you can do—legally, physically and socially—about the guy who just happens to rub up against you whenever no one is watching.
Anna has taken on this complex subject in this little book. For the people dealing with creeps, it’s invaluable advice. For people teaching self-defense, it’s a wake-up call.
Read this one.”
– Rory Miller, author of “Meditations on Violence”, “Conflict Communications”, “Facing Violence”, and many other works.