There were the older boys who took me and my friend Becky aside into the library at school, and talked to us about our body parts. They showed theirs. Age 9.
There was the neighbour we all instinctively knew not to go near at community barbeques. And we knew not to leave anyone behind. Age 11.
There were the guys in Spain on Spanish exchange who would drive past repeatedly and shout at me out the window about my chest and blonde hair. I was 14.
There was the bloke on the bus to that club, who squeezed us into a seat, refused to move at our stop, and helped himself to a handful of our vulvas as we climbed past. We were 16.
There was the driving instructor, who took me for walks, put his shoulder on my head to ‘see the speed dial’, and took me home to meet his guinea pigs. I thought I could handle him. I was 17.
There was the friend who comforted me when I was upset and made a grab for my tits when he got the chance. 18.
There was the scary Big Issue guy, who approached me alone, and then followed me yelling about my privilege, when I wouldn’t stop to talk in a dark corner. 21.
There was the friend’s boyfriend who got drunk and told me how much he liked me, and wanted to check if my breasts were real. I couldn’t prove it unless he felt. 22.
There was the bloke on the busy train who sat next to me, and kept ‘accidentally’ brushing my breast with his arm, and pressing his leg against mine. It wasn’t that busy. 24.
There was all the blokes at the parties and clubs who came up behind me to rub themselves against me, or cop a feel. Who worked in teams to separate the target girl for their mate. 15-25.
There was the guy at work who just got a bit too friendly at the Christmas do, with hands where they shouldn’t be. I laughed it off. 26.
There was the airport security guy in Egypt who pulled me out of line and complimented my partner on my boobs and hair. Holding an AK47. Fun times. 27.
There are all the builders who have ever told me to smile, and all the blokes in cars who have beeped when I’ve been jogging, alone, at twilight. Ongoing. And I still smile back, even though I still don’t want to.
The Harvey Weinstein scandal has inspired a #MeToo revolution.
I wasn’t going to write #MeToo, because I have never actually been assaulted. I am not a survivor. And I thought this was about them.
But then my nearly 6 year old came home from school to tell me this week that the Year 2 boys are trying to smack her bum. And I was taken straight back to the empty school library with my friend Becky.
Part of me wanted to dismiss it – to tell her they’re just playing. To ignore them.
But then like the rest of my generation and the generation before, I realised I have been taught to minimise the ongoing, everyday sexism and breaches of personal space and consent that just happen to you if you just so happen to be female.
I have been taught that you suck it up, get on with it, keep your head down, deflect, don’t cause trouble, do what you have to do to stay safe.
And that is not what I want my daughters to have to learn.
#MeToo isn’t just about assault. It’s about every woman’s everyday experience. And the really terrifying thing is that every woman I know has a list just like mine. Every. Single. One.
That’s not okay.
And we really need to start talking to our girls and our boys about it if we’re going to stop it in its tracks. We need to talk about consent, and respect, and bodies, and relationships, and feelings.
And as my own #MeToo list – and my own daughter – prove, we need to start talking a lot earlier than we think we do.
Harvey Weinstein might be a disgusting predator, but he’s also a great place for us to start.