But in almost every case, my wishes, my voice, my space - subordinate to what a man wanted. There are men like this.
I am five
I am at the park across the street from our apartment with my friend. We are playing on the swings.
This is back in the days when parents would let their children go to the park alone. I still think it's OK to let children go to a park alone. Just teach them.
My friend and I are playing. A man sits on the swing next to us. I notice he has some weird pink thing on his lap.
I realize that the pink thing is his penis. I have a brother. I have seen a penis before. And even though I am only five, I know that a penis is not something you show to other people.
Then he asks us if we want to go into the men's room with him.
We run back to my apartment and tell my mother, who calls the police immediately.
My friend says he had long hair and was wearing jeans. I remember that he had short hair and was wearing khakis. (I doubt I knew the word "khakis" at that age, but whatever.) We disagree on every aspect of the story except
- He had a pink thing in his lap, a pink thing that was his penis
- He asked us to go into the men's room with him
I am eight
We live on a military base in Spain. A military base has controlled access. This one has a barbed-wire fence around the perimeter; that perimeter is patrolled. You do not get though the gate without proper identification. If you wanted to walk or drive onto the air force base near where you live, you probably would not be allowed to.
My sister and I are walking home from school.
We are walking home from school in an area with controlled access.
A man - not in uniform - approaches us. His penis is hanging out of his pants.
I am twelve
My friend and I are walking home from school. It's the middle of the afternoon.
You know where this is going. A man walks toward us with his penis hanging out of his pants.
Honestly. What do these guys think will happen? That we will be so entranced that we will forget that we are just little girls and decide that we want to play with that thing? Even as an adult, I don't understand the purpose of penis photos. Are they supposed to make me interested? Titillate me? What is the point?