Speak Your Mind

Speak Your Mind: Collecting Family

It seems that many of the women and females I know have at one point or another been inappropriately hit on. At work, on the street, in the grocery store. This happens to me occasionally, but apparently not as much and not to the same intensity as a lot of other feminists I know and read about.

Instead, I get a whole different kind of creepy male attention.

Have you ever had a friend you had so much in common with and loved so much that you started referring to each other as siblings? It happens pretty often–friends of the family who end up sort of adopted.

It seems that older men find it very easy to see me as a daughter-figure. Several times, I’ve had old gents tell me I’m the daughter they never had or something to that effect. Due to my age, I think I’ve gotten this kind of attention (rather than the sexual type) mostly because I’m only recently of age and woman-ish.

Honestly, it weirds me out a bit. Sure, it can be endearing and is meant to be a meaningful connection, but I’m usually not very emotionally attached to these men. Sometimes, this behaviour (seemingly) comes out of nowhere and catches me completely off guard.

Do you have a collection of friends-turned-family?  Any ‘aunts’ or ‘brothers’? Have you ever had unwanted attempts at adopting you as family? Am I crazy for thinking that it’s more creepy than it is awesome?

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Lux is a female genderqueer weirdo, writing from Kansas. They happily identify as a militant atheist(+), feminist and liberal. Their time is consumed with Doctor Who, reading, and playing WoW with a cat on their lap. If you're lucky, you might catch them smithing jewellery or cleaning something.

1 Comment

  1. December 9, 2012 at 10:00 pm —

    That sounds creepy to me.

    But context matters a lot. Sort of a casual statement right after you just did or said something remarkable, like ‘you’re like the daughter I never had’ where it is not repeated, and not made much of, is probably fine. Particularly if this person makes lots of quick offhand statements of all kinds to lots of people.

    Where I think it starts setting off red-flag warnings for me is when the same person repeats and builds upon that theme over multiple encounters, possibly with touching or hugging being added. Also, if this person is assuming a level of emotional closeness that seems a bit off (starts actually referring to you as an adopted daughter when you just met him last week), that is creepy.

    So the next issue is how do you respond? I try to never let a really inappropriate comment get a free pass. If you do think that it is inappropriate, you should find a comfortable way to communicate that. Something like ‘That’s very flattering, but honestly I haven’t known you very long so its also just a little creepy’, …or ‘really? I see us as more like co-workers’,… or ‘Thanks, but I hope you won’t be offended if I keep the dad I already have.’ (tone and expression can make any of these funny or fairly harsh – whatever you think makes sense for your situation) If this person is your friend, they will respect the boundary you’ve just communicated. If they are a true creep, you’ve made a subtle statement that you are paying attention and you are willing to stick up for yourself – you aren’t an easy target.

    Don’t you hate having to worry about stuff like this? 🙁

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