I was so excited, at 13, when the film was released and my work and my art would have a human response. I excitedly opened my first fan mail, to read a rape fantasy a man had written to me. A countdown was started on my local radio show to my 18th birthday, euphemistically the date I would be legal to sleep with. Movie reviewers talked about my “budding breasts” in reviews. I understood very quickly, even as a 13-year-old, that if I were to express myself sexually, I would feel unsafe, and that men would feel entitled to discuss and objectify my body, to my great discomfort.
This really strikes at a nerve, as a father of a 6 year old daughter this was terrible to read, but how truthful it is for so many young girls. This nearly brought me to tears, imagining the let down and terror you must have felt. What a violation, but it is all too common and it’s so deep in the culture. I hope thousands of men hear this story and feel the same disgust for objectification that I did when I read it.