We shouldn't conflate "creepy" and "harassment" at all, to be honest. Sure, plenty of things that are creepy are also harassment, but plenty of things that are considered creepy are just poor social skills (laughing inappropriately) and may even be due to health conditions (greasy skin).
Harassment is a very serious allegation implying plenty of abuse, and using the term in conjunction with "creepy" degrades it to a level not befitting of what it truly is.
Also, saying "defining harassment" and then implying that the definition of it is the "nature of creepiness" feels pretty discriminatory to those who are less privileged in the area of social skills. Sometimes I don't know when I'm talking about a subject for too long, and labelling that "creepy" and implying it might be harassment seems to be crossing the line for me.
A study published in the journal New Ideas in Psychology, unfortunately behind a paywall, reviewed by Dr. NerdLove. Some highlights:*"So we’re not allowed to give women compliments? – No, telling a woman how sexy she is isn’t a compliment, especially when you don’t have that level of intimacy with her."
*"One of the keys to what made someone creepy was the potential for ambiguity. The study’s authors suggest that because one’s creep-radar is keyed towards finding potential threats, the ambiguousness of somebody’s behavior could make people uncomfortable. After all, if you’re continually wondering if this person actually poses a threat to you, you’re left in a state of anxious paralysis; you’re continually on edge trying to determine just what the appropriate reaction to the situation is. Guessing wrong can have consequences, after all; misjudge a potential threat and now you’ve made yourself vulnerable to someone who means you harm."
*"One of the most common ways guys are creepy is by ignoring issues of boundaries and demonstrating that they have more information about somebody than they should." Example from Instagram: He: "So I take it you're staying at the Excalibur?" She: "Excuse me, do you not seriously realize how f*cking creepy it is for a stranger to message a woman out of the blue insinuating he knows where she is?"*From the comments: "Someone who comes close to that line and manages not to cross it obviously knows where it is."
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