I think every teenage girl has experienced the feeling of being uncomfortable around a man or a boy. Being stared at or groped or full on sexually assaulted is pretty common and tends to get overlooked, by being told to carry pepper spray and take a self-defense class. A girl's honorary first fake phone call to a friend to prove to a man that she won't be alone for long, is a right of passage that makes men roll their eyes and say… “ not all guys are like that you know.” Well, try telling that to the 400,000 women who are raped or sexually assaulted each year in the U.S. Tell that to the 235,000 girls under 21 who are kidnapped every year and the 50,000 women and girls who are sold into sex trafficking. This world of horror that we cover up is one that reeks of patriarchal privilege and a government that cares more about a boy's future football career than the girl who he raped.
Everything a girl is expected to do, is to please men. The day we start watching Disney we are asked if we want to be as pretty as Cinderella. Halfway through kindergarten our aunts and uncles are asking how many boyfriends we have because “you’re so pretty” and “boys must love you”. At six years old I have already been taught that my worth is in my looks.