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Double Standards in America – Stalking

The issue of stalking in America is a huge problem. Stalking is an obsession one person has with another, therefore that person wants to be as close to the other person as possible. Stalkers use different methods such as following a person, taking pictures of a person, or so-called “creeping” on a person via social media by sending a person messages or trying to contact them all the time. The thing about stalking, however, is that in America it is typical for females to take it much more seriously than males, causing a huge double standard in America on the subject. For example, if a woman is being stalked, chances are she will notify the authorities and perhaps get a restraining order on the stalker. Stalking seems to invoke the element of fear in women more than any other emotion. Conversely, men take the subject of stalking much less seriously. If a man is being stalked by a woman, he will tend to just laugh it off with his buddies and often times might even feel flattered that he is macho or manly enough to warrant the large amount of attention from a stalker. This might seem odd to some of you and you might disagree, however, in my experiences with people who have dealt with “creepy” guys or girls, the women almost always take it more seriously. A good example of this appears in the show “Two and a Half Men” in which Charlie is stalked by his next door neighbor Rose. Rose talks to Charlie about how they are meant to be together and will get married someday, while Charlie tells his brother, Alan, that she is psychotic and is obsessed with and stalking him. However, even though Rose comes into Charlie’s house, without asking, at all random times of the night, even getting in his bed and sleeping with him, Charlie, Alan, and all of the viewers of the show laugh it off like it is a joke. In this case, and in most cases with men, it is just a joke, and a creepy woman that won’t leave a man alone is often laughed off or found as annoying. However, if the story was the same as Charlie and Rose, but the roles were reversed and Charlie was the stalking neighbor, this would sound more like the script of a horror movie to most, not a comical TV sitcom.


3 Comments

  1. rwhensle says:

    I especially agree with your last statement that if the roles were reversed on the show, the whole “feel” or “mood” of the show would be drastically changed. The show would most definitely receive an enormous amount of negative attention because they’re making light of a woman being stalked on TV. In the actual show however, Rose’s character is laughably considered a stalker or obsessive type. I think it’s fair to mention also that Rose usually enters Charlies condo by entering off of the deck which is at least on the second story. Even though the show is meant to be a comedy, I’m sure attitudes would be slightly different if it were a man entering a woman’s condo (uninvited) by climbing up a second story balcony.

  2. jtfick says:

    I agree with both you and the comment above me. In a lot of movies in which the male is doing the stalking, authorities are contacted immediately when discovered. If not, a restraining order is brought into play. A movie that pops into my head is There Is Something About Mary. In this movie, a bunch of guys are trying different tactics to try to win over Mary’s heart or find a way to get themselves involved with her through stalking her. One character in the movie even had a restraining order filed against him from stalking her so much. But like you said, when women are the ones doing the stalking, men take it as a joke and think that they are macho.

  3. tlhays says:

    I definitely agree with all of you. I personally feel like the men also tend to think “well what can she be capable of” and laugh it off. I don’t believe they know the severity of having a stalker. It’s like another woman wanting them but, with females who are stalked, they aren’t even comfortable in their own homes anymore. I think a woman would always be looking over her shoulders and start her day wondering if the stalker can see her at that moment.

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