Stalking is not now, and has never been, a compliment.
In response to the last Crux of Creep post a friend responded to the link in Livejournal that continuing to contact someone after they have made it abundantly clear that they want nothing to do with you, including going to HR and your boss asking them to make you leave them alone, is creepy.
This is beyond creepy. This is stalking and it is against the law in many states.
Can I just get it all out of my system with a giant “FUCK YOU!” to Stephanie Meyers, John Hughes, and every other author, film-maker or script writer who seems to think that perpetuating the idea “Stalking=Twoo Wuv” to the public at large and teenagers in particular is a good idea.
As anyone who’s actually been stalked can tell you, it sucks. It’s terrifying, particularly when you don’t actually know who the stalker is.
Stalking is not about love. Stalking is about power, and exercising your power over another human being by terrorizing them by, well, stalking them. And the fact that frequently stalkers will do this anonymously further drives home how much it is about scaring and controlling the victim rather than declaring undying love with a chance at a healthy relationship. People who want an actual, mutual relationship with someone, don’t try to break into their house in the middle of the night when they know they’re there alone.
People who like and respect other people don’t force their company on that other person, regardless of their wishes.
As I’ve said before, refusal to take no for an answer is bullshit behavior. A lot of times stalking ramps that refusal up to 11. It doesn’t matter what the object of the stalking behavior wants, because ultimately to the stalker, that person’s needs and wants don’t actually matter. If they did, they wouldn’t be stalking them. They’d actually talk to them and find out if they have a chance, or they’d take no for an answer and deal with it.*
Gavin de Becker has an excellent book called The Gift of Fear, which talks about how to deal with stalkers, how to recognize the symptoms, how to work with the system to document the stalking in order to get it prosecuted. He deals with anonymous stalkers, and how to recognize that often they are people in your life, who feed off both the fear they generate and the power they get by being there to “comfort you.”
Stalking is not romantic. It is not a sign that he/she can’t live without you. It is not “Twoo Wuv.” It is a dangerous pathology that frequently escalates to violence. And telling our children that this behavior is an acceptable form of “courtship” and proof that someone really loves you, is dangerous and toxic in the extreme.
*There is another pathology that leads to stalking as well, which is not so simply dealt with, as the person with this pathology will see consent and acquiescence in everything their victim does, even if that victim has no idea they exist. This is comes from a different root cause.