The amazing thing about growing up through all of that misogyny is coming out the other end and realising that it's all completely ridiculous. I started questioning every judgement I made. After making a comment about a half-naked female singer on TV, I would then ask myself, who taught you that that's wrong?
The term 'activist' should really be stripped of its obnoxious (and in many cases unfair) connotations and begin to be understood exactly as what it really means: acting resolutely in accordance with ones most dearly held principles. The crowds that have been marching in unity throughout the world show that this process is already under way and I urge every one of us to raise their banner alongside them in solidarity.
When I complained to the school, I was astonished that this position was defended under the guise of "we are just trying to protect the girls, as there are bad people out there". When I pointed out they were giving the message that their short skirts would make them somehow culpable if they did get attacked, they struggled to see the relationship.
They say the best way to get to know someone is to find out about their weaknesses. Declare your flaws, own them. Accept yourself in all your grandeur. We have given birth to the earth. Your strength is a tower compared to your weaknesses, so stand tall. You are indestructible and there is nothing that you cannot recover from.
The real problem is that we feel bad when we feel unhappy, we feel the need to hide our sadness because being positive is the in thing. As the adults perhaps we need to lead the way forward here, show young girls that feeling sad is not a bad thing, misery comes and goes and you don't have to smile at anyone if you don't want to.
This has been a year where misogyny has quite literally trumped empathy. In the United States, the presidential election was won by what Badger simply describes as an "Objectifier in Chief"; leaked audio of Donald Trump casually talking about assaulting women didn't end up hurting his presidential campaign one bit.
This is when I truly understood intersectionality. It was naively racist of me to be outraged that the election result was down to sexism; it was far more down to racism. So how can I truly be fighting for equality of the sexes, if I do not fight for equality in all other aspects? Bluntly, I cannot.