The first time I remember experiencing unwanted sexual contact was when I was 8 years old. I was standing at a crossing waiting for the light to turn green when I felt someone groping my upper leg and bum. By the time I had turned around and told my mum the man had ran across the road onto another street. Little did I know this was the start of my acknowledgement to how dangerous and threatened I felt to be a young girl. From then on up until now (I’m 17 years old) I experience catcalling and all sorts of unwanted and suggestive comments whether they’re on public transport or just walking down the road. I am also tired of people saying “what do you expect? you’re wearing a short skirt/low cut top” In what universe was the way someone dresses ever justification or an invitation to be objectified. The idea that a young girl is “asking for it” by the clothes she wears is a huge indication of the sexualisation of children that has sadly become the norm. Last year, I was on the tube when I noticed a man had come to sit opposite me despite the entire carriage being empty, and he began touching himself whilst looking at me. And to those who say it was to do with the clothes I was wearing or the way I was made up: I was wearing a huge coat, tracksuit bottoms and no makeup. (I hate that I feel the need to state this but unfortunately that is the way some people think) As the tube filled up I didn’t have anywhere to move to and I had to endure this predicament for a further 30 minutes whilst people were either oblivious to the situation or chose to ignore it. This brings me to my post. I had just today gotten on the bus and had my headphones plugged in when a man sat opposite me, again the bus was empty and there were free seats everywhere else apart from the seat behind me where another lady was sitting. The man had called me ‘sexy’ with an aggressive and impolite tone, he later got offended when I didn’t respond to which I told him that I found the way he approached me and tapped me to take my headphones out was disrespectful. He then responded to this by saying that I should take it as a compliment because “throughout history and the definition of ‘sexy'” I “fitted the definition” He later went on to asking for my number which I politely refused to give, this angered him and resulted in him calling me antisocial and unable to accept a compliment. I told him I wanted to continue as I was by listening to my music and sitting through my bus journey alone so I plugged my headphones back in and let him continue to speak about my ‘antisocial behaviour’ and inability to take a compliment to which he left to sit upstairs after a couple of minutes. I turned around to look for a face of support from the woman who was sitting behind me and I received a look of disgust as if the entire thing was my fault and realised that it is so important for women to support other women. This made me think back to a few months ago when the girls and boys in my class were having a debate on why everyone should be feminists and the boys couldn’t come to terms with the word feminism due to the word having stemmed from ‘femme/female’ despite arguing that all men and women should be equal. Whats worse was that some of the girls and most of the boys were labelling me along with the group of girls who were explaining why feminism was important as scary, aggressive, man-hating and most hated term of all ‘feminazi’s’. When I got home earlier today I watched Laura Bates’ TED talk on youtube and decided to voice my opinion and gratitude as I feel deeply inspired, empowered and most importantly feel as though my voice matters because I no longer want to wake up in a world where an 8 year old is getting groped or someone thinks they are entitled to someones phone number because they called them ‘sexy’. And I especially don’t want to have to face these problems in the workplace where I am just as skilled as any other man in the office but I am treated like an object purely hired for the viewing pleasure of someone else. I don’t want standing up for myself to be seen as making a fuss or being too sensitive. THIS IS WHY WE NEED FEMINISM.