- From as early as I can remember, my pediatrician fondled my genitals every year at my well-child checkup. At the time, I thought what the doctor was doing was just part of the exam.
- When I was 8, two male friends disrupted my third-grade class by arguing loudly over which one would get to be my “boyfriend.” My teacher responded by calling me to the front of the room, where she instructed each boy to kiss me on the cheek in front of the class. At the time, I was interested in Strawberry Shortcake and the Muppets, not boys.
- When I was 13, a group of girls at my high school started a rumor that I had “fingered myself” during an off-campus band concert weekend. At the time, I had no idea what “fingering” meant. The rumor was still circulating four years later, when I was a senior.
- When I was 18, I attended a party and was handed what I now believe was a spiked drink by my male next-door neighbor. I remember being semi-conscious on a bed and saying no when another guy, who I’d known since kindergarten, pulled down my pants and had sex with me. I drove myself home after the next-door neighbor refused to give me a lift. At the time, I assumed I deserved it for getting drunk at a party.
- When I was 21, my family physician inserted an ungloved finger into my rectum, without warning or explanation, during a physical exam. At the time, I thought all doctors did this.
- The appropriation of a woman’s body at any age affects her for the rest of her life. Staying silent helps no one.