I have experienced so much sexism my entire life its hard to know where to begin. I will start with the most damaging. I was about 15/16 years old, a self-proclaimed feminist and wrote a feminist zine. It was the early 90’s and wearing vintage t-shirts was the fashion. I had a pretty amazing collection that I wore with pride to school. I had rather large breasts at the time (this was before they got a job) and had never felt self-conscious about my body. Our brief homeroom time was in the middle of the day instead of the morning and I usually just told the teacher I was here and then carried on to my next class early. On this day, wearing my new vintage T with pride I had to stay in homeroom for some kind of announcement. I sat down and waited. All of a sudden, during the announcement, this young man walks into the room and start yelling “oh shit! Look at her nipples! You can see her nipples, oh shit look at them!” He is pointing to me and now the entire class is staring and he is still yelling and starts yelling at kids in the hall to come in and see. The teacher says nothing. I stand up and tell him to shut the fuck up. The teacher tells me not to use that language and I tell him that I am leaving and it wasn’t my job to police my own sexual harassment. I felt ashamed of my body for the first time ever. I immediately found a sweatshirt to put over me (it was hot out) and suffered in the heat in an effort to cover up. Later that day I get called into a meeting with the vice principal. I told him what happened and he replied with “Well, the teacher said you were wearing a very tight shirt which you now seemed to have covered up, so you can see why the boy said those things to you. Maybe next time don’t wear such a tight shirt.” It took everything I had not to punch him. Instead I just said, “give me note so I can get back into class.” He got all flustered and said “well you can see my point right?” I just repeated myself about the note until he gave it to me. I went into the bathroom and cried, not because I was sad but because I was angry, and disappointed that the people who were in the school to protect me were also my harassers and had no interested in my welfare. I went home and told my parents (also both feminists) and they asked me what I thought the best thing to do would be. They offered to call the principal for me etc but I said I wanted to do this on my own. I wrote a letter to the principal and the vice explaining the event and my shock and disappointment over how it was handled. The principal met with me, apologised on behalf of the vice and told me she had talked to him about how he handled the situation. I told her I wanted a written and public apology from him and that he should be required to have sexual harassment training and a review by the school board and that the boy who did the harassing needed to be healed accountable for his actions. She said that none of that was possible and that I would have to settle for a school wide assembly about sexual harassment. The assembly did happen, but as you can imagine, it was met with giggle and laughter and not taken seriously at all by the teenage students. From that day on I lost all faith in the adults and people in positions of authority at my school, not to mention the students. I feel lucky that instead of this experience making me feel small and helpless, it reafirmed my feminist views and prompted me to speak out more. Sadly, it did make me feel self conscious of my breasts during my teenage years.