It makes my blood boil when I see it happening: on film, in ads, from brands and corporates—turning children into sexual objects.

It’s not just big business, it’s some parents too—have they really thought this through? Why would you give a child a padded bra? “Hey look at my girl, she’s got boobs!” What does that mean, she’s hot, she’s ripe, she has currency?

I don’t know when it happened; I wish I could pinpoint the moment, blame someone—rage at the person who did it to me. Way too young, long before any girl should be aware, I knew men wanted to fuck me.

Was it my Dad who always chatted up the waitresses or commented on how a woman looked?! Was it my headmaster at primary school, taking me for long walks outside of the classroom!? Or the house guests, who stayed too long, their hands often landing in the wrong places.

Add to this the constant images and words, from songs and tele, of women in subservient roles or positions where their sex seemed to matter most.

Living in a time where outside every dairy or corner-store, Playboy, Penthouse and the Page Three Girls, created an honour guard for us to walk through, to the lollies inside. I’d stare at those images day after day, trying to understand, feeling ashamed for them; confused that making them pose for these photos was ok.

Without the maturity to articulate my feelings, nor there being any dialogue to help me understand, my young brain interpreted the display of bosoms as what it meant to be a woman.

Over the years as I faced my demons and I ripped off the cloak of shame thrust upon me by violent acts I did not ask for; one thought haunted me longer than the rest.

Why did I not fight? Why, when he barged through the door, wrestled me to the ground—why did I give up? Why did I lie there, I should have been gouging out his eyes, scratching and bitting? Instead I left my body—all fight gone, disconnected, unseen tears on a frozen face.

It’s obvious to me now, it was the preconditioning instilled in me from the moment I could take in the world, the conditioning that said, this is how it is.

So until I built a plate of armour to hide inside, and found a feminist discourse to stand upon, I was ripe for the picking and those young years will forever be defined by the men who took a piece of me.