Journalism student Danielle Stephens is livin' the dream in the US for the summer. This week, she gets seriously creeped on.

Various different people warned me not to do a piece on this topic until I was at home and safely away from the American men that I’m about to tear apart.

However, I’ve reached my breaking point and after all the crap that I’ve seen/heard/experienced with these idiots, I think it’s an apt moment to explain myself.

Just so as not to cause unfair outrage, when I’m talking about American men I’m not referring to ALL American men – just a lot of them.

"Hey baby"

They’re perverts, simple as that. We got used to the frequent stares and we even became immune to the elongated “Heeeey baaaaby’s” pretty fast. At first we used to respond with a shy little “Hi”, just so that we could walk past in peace – but we got sick of that pretty quickly.

As it turns out, pigs don’t like to be ignored. About four weeks ago, I was walking to the subway when a young guy made the usual “Hey baby”. I kept walking without acknowledging the creep, which didn’t go down well.

He proceeded to sarcastically ask me if I was a mute and when I ignored him once more he screamed after me: “You white girls ain’t got no manners!” The absolute irony of that statement still makes my roommate and I chuckle.

Picture

This next incident was less amusing and just plain disturbing. My J1 companion was coming home from work one night on the subway and she decided to rest her eyes.

She opened them at one point and was aware of a man waving his phone at her. She didn’t really understand until she noticed that he was showing her a picture of herself, which he had taken of her when she was asleep.

Obviously horrified, my roommate told him how creepy that was and said to leave her alone. Just like the rest of the idiots he didn’t take the hint and got up to sit beside her. He wanted another picture of the two of them together, to which my friend screamed “No!” in his face and got off the train.

Oh… but it gets creepier. I was at one of my favourite places in New York, Coney Island. I was having a whale of a time sunning myself when I noticed that an older man had parked himself close to me.

Beach creep

I didn’t pay too much attention to him until I started noticing that he was staring at me. I doubted myself due to my sun-filled eyes so I checked a couple more times to see if he was indeed staring.

Not only was he staring, he was now rubbing his stomach and licking his lips at me. I got up promptly to move to another part of the beach. When I got home that evening, my roommate informed me that before she had left the beach he had flashed a nice shot of the “goods” before she ran away.

The two of us have subsequently heard different stories of guys going up to our friends and asking them outright if they want to f**k because they have, let’s just say, adequate equipment.

At the start, we thought we just weren’t used to men being forward because it takes an Irish lad a fair few pints to approach a girl. I won’t be giving out about a lad in Coppers anytime soon, that’s for sure.

Maybe it’s a case of double standards: maybe if the perverts were Ryan Gosling lookalikes I wouldn’t be so offended. I doubt it, but it’s a possibility.

Alas, the world isn’t that kind, so I’m going to continue to ignore and judge the creeps of America.