Dear Fellow Men, Stop "Complimenting" Women - You're Goddamn Creepy

Just, stop.

Nobody wants your unwarranted advances. Not on the bus. Not at a cafe. And certainly not at work. Young, old - doesn’t friggin’ matter what you are. You don’t want to be a creep? Here’s some very simple rules:

  1. Don’t stare.
  2. Observe proper (read: extremely generous) distance/space bubbles
  3. Don’t compliment non-accessories (actually, don’t compliment at all)
  4. Listen: pay attention.
  5. Don’t dominate the conversation.

These five simple rules are easy to live by, and will make everybody that much happier.

If you’re wondering if something you’re doing is creepy: yes, yes it is. Stop doing it.

tinoesroho is a hypocrite and an occasional contributor Elsewhere.


I assume you mean “don’t compliment women for things you wouldn’t compliment a man for, especially if it’s just a thinly veiled attempt to strike up a conversation with someone you find attractive.” Which sounds like a good policy to me.


Sometimes, it bears spelling out.

Be thou discreet, diligent, and valiant if to win hearts is thy aim.
Otherwise, you’re being a goddamn creep.

Don’t be Chad1, and don’t be Zayne2.

1. Chad has been a subject of previous columns at a certain cafe.
2. Zayne (a pseudononym) is also a coworker, who asked a young lady if he could see her abs. Goddammit, Zayne.


Just as long as you don’t take it so far in the opposite direction that you end up saying stuff like “good work, everyone except for Sally and Jessica!”


It’s anyone’s guess who might be the men/women/others in any given situation. But I would guess that what comes off as creepy is not actual compliments, but rather comments which appear favorable only because that person is hoping for something in return. So I like to go a step further and suggest that people only ever do anything for/to each other for altruistic reasons, and don’t do anything only in hopes of being compensated for it.


Compliments are contextual. Saying to a coworker “You did an amazing job on that Anderson file” and leaving it at that, generally wouldn’t be considered creepy.

But if someone doesn’t seem to want to talk to you, or if you want to talk about something other than their work performance, tread carefully and keep it neutral.

If a woman outside of work seems to be ignoring you or is otherwise unaware of your existence, keep it that way. Unless you are in a situation where people are explicitly introducing themselves to others, don’t. Seriously, just because we’re on the same bus or in the same building, doesn’t mean we want to meet new people.


Yeah, I mean everyone likes to be complimented on a job well done, their funny jokes, or cool backpack.

All of that is fine in the appropriate settings.

It gets dodgy when approaching strangers, and especially when complimenting something related to appearance. Both require the right context or level of familiarity.

Hearing your SO say you have a great butt feels a lot different than hearing your boss say it.


I compliment strangers sometimes, men or women, in a “drive by” way not as a way of striking up conversation.

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But Bollywood taught me that it’s cool to harass a stranger as long as I make a huge song and dance out of it. Apparently that’s ‘romance’?


I see this all the fucking time in the (construction) field and it drives me crazy. I have no problem with the incidental, 0.2s ‘well, look at that’ but holy hell, I have seen coworkers stare at a woman’s backside for as long as it takes for her to walk out of view. Grow the fuck up.


This is your brain on porn.

Well, if you’ve got the sound system, 35 backing dancers, at least R1million’s worth of fireworks, a couple of elephants and a few hundred extras for the crowd scene, what else are you going to do with them?


I dunno… raise awareness for prostate cancer?


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