Editor’s Note: This article contains mentions of sexual violence. Please take care while reading, and note the helpful resources at the end of this story.
Sadly, most women become all too familiar with the harrowing concept of being sexualized at a very young age. And as a way to commiserate about this, female Reddit users recently took to a thread in the r/AskReddit forum to share the first time someone made a sexually inappropriate comment toward them, and how it has affected them.
A few weeks ago, user @I_LIKE_LIMA_BEANS kicked off the thread by asking, “Girls and women of Reddit: How old were you the first time someone made a sexually inappropriate comment to you? How did you react, and did it affect how you saw yourself or acted?”
The post, which has more than 13,000 upvotes, has received more than 6,000 comments from women who were more than willing to share their distressing stories of sexualization and objectification.
1. “A friend of a friend of my dad’s said he’d like to leave his wife there and take me home instead.”
One user who goes by @sassylittlespoon shared that she had her first experience with being sexualized when she was just 12 years old.
“I was 12 at a BBQ my parents were having. I was in a bathing suit because we had a pool. A friend of a friend of my dad’s said he’d like to leave his wife there and take me home instead,” she said. “I didn’t say anything because I was so ashamed. I put clothes on and stayed in my room the rest of the party — even though an adult overheard him and he was forced to leave.”
2. “I remember just feeling so gross and afraid.”
Another user who goes by @seeseecinnamon said that she had her first encounter with being objectified when she was only 7.
“I had this beautiful dress that had a full circle skirt and I spun around in it because how can you not when you’re 7 and you love your dress?” she said. “My uncle’s friend [a man in his 50s] was there and he told me to spin again because he could see my underwear. I remember just feeling so gross and afraid. I told my mom and she was livid. We left and I was never allowed near that man.”
“I also couldn’t wear that dress afterwards without thinking about how that incident made me feel,” she added. “It definitely took a little bit of my innocence away.”
3. “I was so disgusted that I said, ‘I think I’m going to throw up.'”
A user with a now-deleted account shared that she was 13 years old when an adult man turned a harmless snack time into a sexual moment.
“I was at a bus stop [and] I ate a banana. An a**hole (40-50 years old) came up to me and said I looked good with this in my mouth,” she said. “I was so disgusted that I said, ‘I think I’m going to throw up.’ This offended him and he went away.”
Get the best skin of your life with the Foreo Luna:
If you or someone you know needs support after experiencing sexual violence, contact the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) at 1-800-656-4673 or chat online with a trained counselor. You can also connect with a Crisis Text Line counselor at no charge by texting the word “HOME” to 741741.
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