Women Stalking: Transgressive Fiction Topic

Shannon Waite
5 min readMay 31, 2024


PREFACE: If this is your first trip to my blog, I write a lot of transgressive fiction and my blog posts are resources for other transgressive writers. I offer book reviews, transgressive topics for inspiration, research on social change, and creative writing techniques. The article below is meant to support writers looking for information and/or ideas. Welcome!

Stalking: uncertainty over your privacy and safety, being watched at any given moment, continued harassment (sounds kind of like social media, eh?).

Stalking is considered abnormal, wrong, and bad by most people, unless they at first think of it as endearing or a form flattery, I guess. But most people think of it as bad. This alone makes it transgressive, but we’re going to up the transgression ante: female stalkers. (I will use genders described as male and female in this article just because that’s what’s referred to in the data I pulled).

The typical stalker is portrayed as a male. We might also imagine these male stalkers as being in their 30s or 40s, angry over a rejection, and maybe unhinged. This isn’t the only scenario though… women also stalk.

I was scrolling through my husband’s Netflix (which happens once a year — we don’t watch TV or movies more than that — he pays for it for his mom) and found the docuseries I Am a Stalker. I didn’t even end up watching it (ended up watching some other crime, murder, docuseries) but I was mulling over ideas for a new fiction piece at the time. I realized that a stalker story was perfect (because I was playing with a new fiction form based on a villanelle poem, where the structure is based on repetition; it would make complete sense that someone so focused on something, someone — stalking, would repeat things like I was going to have to do).

The story I ended up writing is called “I Used to Live on the Tenth Floor” and can be read here.

In order to write a story about a stalker, I did a little research that would support my character development. Below you can see some of the research I found (all sections are linked in the headers with where the information came from). Feel free to use it in your own transgressive writing.

The definitions of transgressive/transgression: involving a violation of moral or social boundaries. An act that goes against a law, rule, or code of conduct; an offense.

Stalking can be:
Always nonconsenting
Obviously it goes against social boundaries and the law.

This makes it a perfect topic to finagle and write into a transgressive story. I did the work so you don’t have to; here are the facts and statistics I gathered before I started writing my story so its plot would relatively reflect statistics accurately. I first give you stalking facts in general, and the source that I got them from, and then I provide statistics specific to female stalkers. Many of these links include more information that I’m not listing here, so I’d recommend checking them out if you’re interested.

Stalking: Define the Crime
Stalking is a repetitive pattern of unwanted, harassing or threatening behavior committed by one person against another. Acts include: telephone harassment, being followed, receiving unwanted gifts, and other similar forms of intrusive behavior. All states and the Federal Government have passed anti-stalking legislation. Definitions of stalking found in state anti-stalking statutes vary in their language, although most define stalking as “the willful, malicious, and repeated following and harassing of another person that threatens his or her safety” (1).

· Men commit stalking the most
· 4 out of 5 victims are women
· Stalking occurs most frequently between people who know one another
· Women are most likely to be stalked by someone they were/are intimate with
· Less than ¼ of women are stalked by strangers
· Less than 1/3 of men are stalked by strangers
· The majority of women stalked by intimate partners report having been physically assaulted by them (1/3 also report having been sexually assaulted by them)
· Most stalkers are not psychotic (but often suffer from other mental health conditions including depression, substance use, and personality disorder)

And from Safe Horizon:
· 7.5 million people are stalked every year
· About 1/6 women have experienced stalking at some point
· About 1/17 men have experienced stalking at some point

While female stalkers occur less, statistics do provide trends for them. Statistics show differences between who they stalk and how they do it compared to their male counterparts (although many characteristics are similar among both).

Female Stalkers are:
· Less likely to have criminal offenses or substance abuse diagnoses
· Less likely to stalk a stranger
· More likely to pursue a prior profession conflict
· Often motivated by a “desire to establish a close and loving intimacy with the victim”
· Females are less likely to threaten and then assault
· Slightly less likely than males to assault (just 1 out of 5 female stalkers attacked their victim)
· Ages vary from teens to above middle age
· Many female stalkers seem to be single women in their mid-30s (comparable to male stalkers)
· Education and IQ appear to be higher in female stalkers than female criminals in general
· Females are less likely to follow their victims
· Female stalkers threaten their victims at about the same rate as males (50–75%)
· Violent female stalkers target males 67% of the time
· On average, female’s victims were men at least a decade older than the female victims of male stalkers
· Women are more likely than men to engage in same-sex stalking

Because this research is one study and less than fifty people, I don’t plan to generalize here other details the researchers discuss, but I do suggest reading it. It includes data on 33 female stalkers, including their mental health, sexuality, who they stalked, motivations for stalking, criminal history, pursuit, threats, violence/deaths, escalation, and victims’ demographics. The researchers include data from their study, as well as data from other studies in their discussion.

While females do stalk females, they also stalk males. In addition to female stalkers being less common and therefore less heard of, men being stalked is equally cut from the social narrative. It does happen though. This article offers a great personal account of a man’s experience, which helps provide story to the female stalker statistics.

The short story (“I Used to Live on the Tenth Floor”) inspired by this research ended up being about a woman stalking her professor.

Other ideas for people a woman might stalk:
· Her counselor
· Her best friend
· A former coworker or boss she wants revenge on
· A former lover
· Previous maid/nanny
· Physical trainer/coach
· Lawyer
· Family doctor

For more information on female stalkers, check out The American Journal of Psychology’s “A Study of Women who Stalk”.

This behavior has a wide-reaching deep dive you could jump into if you’re interested. The information I collected here helped me develop my character for the story I wrote. Like I mentioned, I was using a form that required repetition, and so having a character focused on a man allowed me to explore that. Next post, I’ll be talking about the form I used for this story (and how I really enjoy playing with different narrative forms in my prose).



Shannon Waite

Shannon Waite is an author focused on transgression and social change and, largely, how to combine the two. www.shannonwaiteauthor.com