That's the only possible conclusion we can draw from a recent reddit thread that asked: "Women, what are common ways unfamiliar men make you uncomfortable or creeped out?" The questioned garnered thousands of responses with tales of intolerable behavior from men, and we've collected some of them here so you can make sure you never, ever follow in their footsteps.
Just stop catcalling. It never, ever works.
From socampo32214: "A stranger cat calling me from his truck the other day when I was driving home. He would speed up or slow down to keep pace with me. Yelling at me through his window and honking his horn. I was finally able to slam on my brakes and he stopped, but how annoying. I'm in Texas and I wouldn't dream of doing anything like that to someone because we like our self defense weapons here."
Don't make jokes about a woman’s ethnicity.
From Anomalous_Amygdalae: "Make creepy comments/assumptions because of my ethnicity. When I tell some men about my nationality they go: Ooooooh Latina... And make weird comments involving the word 'Caliente'... Asking me if I like to dance reggueaton (while being in a work environment), as if by being reminded of my heritage, I'll suddenly snap and go Shakira on their dick."
Never touch a woman unless you’re explicitly invited to.
From Corrievrechan: “Overly familiar touching. For instance, I was doing First Aid training in a pretty small class. Just me, one male and one female teacher, and two guys who were also in training. One of the guys would do stuff like put his arm around my waist or shoulder while one of the teachers was talking. I was 15, he was 17 or 18, and it made me extremely uncomfortable. I didn't know him at all, and we had barely spoken to each other. I never said anything about it, just waited for the class to end so I would never have to see him again. These days I would yell at a guy who tried that.”
Don't be a social media stalker.
From timmehjimmeh7: "I'm not sure how common this is, but when I took my car in to my dealership for my service, I gave my keys to the mechanic and went inside to wait without saying anything to him. Late that day, I got a friend request on social media. He had apparently taken my professional car file to figure out who I was and find me. This file also has my address and phone, so I was pretty worried and creeped out."
Don't hug when a handshake is more appropriate.
From griffalow: "I work in the television industry and often find myself working with all male crews when filming on location. Most of the men greet each other by hand-shaking, but when it comes to greeting me, nine times out of ten they go in for a hug or kiss on the cheek. It makes me feel as though they're seeing me differently to other members of the crew and that's the part that makes me feel uncomfortable. I obviously want to be viewed as equal, and even though it's a small thing it makes me realize that I'm being seen as different because of my gender. Anyone else experienced this too?"
Don't stare at women's chest. It's rude and creepy—and they know you're doing it.
From Tiredofstandingstill: "When they talk to you and try to look you in the eye but keep glancing at your boobs. I'm not blind and I never have my cleavage out, probably due to people just staring, so now I wear t-shirts with a jumper or coat on and you still catch them trying to look. Pisses me off, I'm covered up and they still perv."
If she's wearing headphones, she doesn't want to talk to you about anything—and certainly not about marriage.
From sociablebot: "One of the worst transit experiences I've had was with someone like this. I was wearing headphones, had my backpack in my seat next to me, and was playing Animal Crossing on my [Nintendo] 3DS. When he asked to sit next to me, I moved my bag because that's what you do on a bus that always gets super crowded even though there were other available seats at the time.
He waited until the bus went express and then starts talking to me. I kept one earbud in and kept playing my game and just giving the same non-answer to everything he asked me. He went from just telling me things about his life to asking about my opinion on arranged marriages and how he should talk to my dad to arrange a marriage with me. Right before he got off, he asked for my Facebook. I told him I didn't believe in social media. I was planning my exit strategy and was going to get off before my stop and go into a building I knew I could get help at. Thankfully he got off a stop before that."