Us humans are a funny bunch and that’s putting it mildly. Since the dawn of time, our lives have been governed by ever-changing societal norms – and more than a few of these deserve to be consigned to the history books. Take a woman’s virginity, for example. While men are encouraged to pop their cherries as soon as possible, a woman’s V-plates is supposed to be cherished because, y’know, men are allowed absolute bodily autonomy and women should be virginal until their wedding night.
It’s these outdated norms – many of which are influenced by the historical patriarchy – that have led to some “normal” creepy behaviors amongst us humans. But once we take the time to actually think about them a little more, we realize that what we are doing really isn’t okay, even if we know that no one is going to call us out on it (I’m looking at you pregnant belly touchers).
When it comes to identifying “creepy behavior”, most of us think that we’ve got a pretty good idea about what does and does not fall into this category, but, as you’re about to learn, once the masses accept a certain act as “normal”, people can get away with a lot. So, without further ado, here are 15 seriously creepy behaviors hiding in plain sight that really need to change…
1. Wedding garter ceremonies
“I went to a wedding a couple of years ago and it’s just so weird. They made an announcement to pay attention to the newlywed, we bring all our attention to them, she’s sitting in a chair and he just shoves his head up her dress to pull a garter off with his teeth to then throw it into the crowd. WTF.”
Let’s be real, this is the socially acceptable equivalent of performing oral in public and it really needs to stop. Can you imagine how bizarre and downright creepy this would be if a man stuck his head up a woman’s dress outside of a wedding?!
2. Touching pregnant women
“Rubbing pregnant women’s stomachs.”
Sure, pregnancy is an exciting time, but when it comes to touching other people, regardless of the context, consent is of the utmost importance, but for some reason, this rule goes completely out the window when it comes to pregnant bellies.
3. Pregnant women asking to be touched
“Alternatively, pregnant friend insists you rub their belly.
‘Oh, yeah, it’s full.’
‘No here -‘ presses your hand into their stomach ‘you can feel his feet and the overbearing nature of his mother here.'”
It’s not just people who aren’t pregnant who are guilty of this, either. Many pregnant women love having their bellies touched, forgetting the possibility not all of their friends are down for feeling an actual human wriggling around in their uterus.
4. The drinking habits of traveling businessmen
“This isn’t as commonly accepted in the United States but in Japan, and Korea (perhaps other areas as far as I know) it’s perfectly normal for businessmen to pass out completely and entirely drunk.
When they’re laying in the streets, or on the subway, or anywhere for that matter, they are left alone.”
While most of us are a fan of having a drink or two, just because you’re in a suit, that doesn’t make getting blind drunk at every available opportunity acceptable. You’d judge a homeless person for doing the same thing, so just stop it.
5. Publicizing a child’s vulnerable moments
“Posting every second of your child’s life on social media. Maybe they don’t want their potty training experience documented and viewable for all time.”
This is why I’m glad I grew up before social media. The thought of having pictures of me being potty trained on social media is mortifying. That’s why I can’t help but cringe whenever I see other people doing it. A high school friend of mine even posted a picture of her naked kid on Facebook, not even considering the possibility that he could discover it when he’s older.
6. Filming strangers without consent
Jesus, I don’t care if it’s perceived social justice, a prank, someone dancing during a concert, something funny, our government, something sexy, a celebrity in a market, a social experiment: give people some privacy.”
This is definitely a creepy behavior that most of us are guilty of and it’s only the rise now that almost every device we own contains a camera of some sort. But at the end of the day, none of us would like it if we unknowingly became a viral sensation – so always get consent before taking out your camera. You don’t know who you’re filming and they deserve to have their privacy respected.
7. The way we treat corpses
“Embalming bodies. Taking out the blood and sealing up the body cavities to make the skin keep long enough for everyone to gawk at.”
These days, most people refuse to face up to the reality of death. So much so that the majority of families will fork out thousands of dollars to have their loved one’s corpse chemically preserved to fuel the illusion that they’re not dead, they’re just sleeping. It’s also worth noting that embalming is incredibly bad for the environment. Natural burials all the way (trust me, Google it).
8. Asking married couples about their sex life
“Everyone asking young couples when they are gonna start having unprotected sex so they can have a baby.”
Unless someone chooses to tell you about their sex life, it’s none of your business, especially when it comes to newly-married couples. Just because they’ve now put a ring on it, that doesn’t give anyone the right to pressure them into having children straight away (or at all). This is something which really affected my mom, too, when she struggled to fall pregnant.
9. Virginity Pledges
“Girls pledging virginity to their fathers.”
A person’s virginity belongs to no one but themselves – least of all their fathers. While some people abstain for religious reasons, it should be their choice and their choice alone, and it certainly shouldn’t be made into an elaborate ceremony. These are the girls who’re more likely to fall pregnant outside of wedlock anyway since their sex education is almost non-existent as a result.
10. Purity rings
“cringe my dad gave me a ‘promise ring’ when I was 16. we had a nice, long, awkward conversation about how sacred my virginity was at some restaurant then he pulled out a ring box and to all the other diners it probably looked like a 40-year-old man was proposing marriage to a 16-year-old girl. gross.
edit – worth mentioning that the lecture to my brother was 2 minutes of ‘being careful’.”
Speaking as someone who was raised in a very religious household, I cannot express enough just how damaging the concept of purity rings are. While my mom never had a son, I’m pretty sure that he’d have had the same talk as the guy above gave to his ‘little man’, but to this day I’ve had to cover up every relationship I’ve ever had to convince my mom I’ve not “let her down”.
11. Passing around mugshots
“Shows like Nancy Grace where they talk about the accused as if they are automatically guilty. By the same note, the facebook groups which post mugshots of people immediately after their arrests.”
In the age of social media, people seem to forget that a person is innocent until proven guilty. So can you imagine how difficult it is for those who have the charges against them dropped, or who are proven not guilty, to know that there are still facets of the internet where their name is still in mud – and unfortunately, mud sticks, regardless of whether you did it or not.
12. The set up of public bathrooms
“The gap between the stall and the door in most American public restroom stalls.”
Yeah, I’m not going to lie, I’ve definitely felt awkward in public restrooms because of this. I don’t want anyone seeing me pee!
13. Hospital pictures
“Just saw someone’s kid in the hospital on Facebook. He was in a sling and a hospital gown. He looked miserable, exhausted and embarrassed.
Your kid’s privacy is more important than your shitty need for pity.”
When you’re in the hospital, you’re highly unlikely to take a selfie unless you’ve had good news – in which case, go right ahead. But if someone you know is in the throes of an illness, don’t snap a picture of them at their weakest for social media sympathy. It makes you look ridiculous, as does checking in at the hospital on Facebook for attention. Stop. It. Now.
14. Data collection on apps
“Location Services on apps. Why does Angry Birds need to know where I live?”
George Orwell wrote 1984 as a warning, not an instruction manual. I couldn’t believe it when I delved into my iPhone’s data about where I’d been over the past six months. It literally knew everything – even the public restrooms I’d visited. Yikes.
15. Medicating babies
“The over medication of kids. Not every kid has ADD or ADHD. If kids are sat down to do 8 hours of tedious clerical type of work, it shouldn’t come as surprise if they start to fidget and day dream. The vast majority of kids aren’t suffering from disorders. They are suffering from childhood.”
Medication definitely as a place in children’s lives, but it’s people are a bit too overzealous when it comes to diagnosing conditions like ADHD. I was diagnosed with ADHD at school simply because I didn’t listen for six hours a day – but my teacher needed a brain transplant. My mom had put me to school early at four years old. Kids that young can’t pay attention for long.
So there you have it: 15 totally “normal” creepy behaviors. How many of them are you guilty of? One thing’s for sure, the next time I see a celeb when I’m out and about, I’m going to refrain from filming them without consent. A few likes on Instagram aren’t worth violating someone’s privacy for. But if there’s one thing to be learned from this list it’s this: society needs to change.