Thank you for articulating eloquently what it is like for a young adolescent girl to be hypersexualized by men in public. I have been trying for a long time to find the words to describe this “rite of passage” that ushers girls into a world of body shame. When you are fourteen years old, you should not have to be concerned with how a strange man ten years older may or may not view your body, speak to you about your body, or attempt to touch your body when you get dressed in the morning. But I believe all girls in western culture have. We are made conscious of our sexuality long before we should need to be, long before we have the right tools psychologically to cope with it, and often without instruction or guidance from our parents. Add to this what you write about your uncle’s attempts to protect you. I often think I could have been oblivious to leering men at that age if my mother had not made me hyperaware that I had something to fear in the first place.
Great article, and I appreciate you writing it!