I was 9 when I walked into an ice cream parlor alone. The nice man behind the counter gave me 3
“Can I touch your breasts?”
I was 10 when I was first asked to cook dinner for the family. I didn’t do a very good job.
“God, this girl can’t even cook properly! Who will marry her?”
I was 11 when I was shepherded into the school auditorium. I sat amidst 200 girl classmates,
waiting to hear the special announcement.
“Don’t wear sleeveless clothes and come to school; you will be to blame if something happens.”
I was 12 when a swimming pool opened 5 minutes away from my apartment. My grandma and I
were sipping tea on the porch.
“You can’t go swimming; you will get dark then nobody will marry you.”
I was 13 when I returned home after hanging out with a guy friend. My mother was there to receive
“You’re a slut.”
I was 14 when my uncle was seeking a bride. We met a beautiful, smart, accomplished woman who
was a doctor. He rejected her.
“She wasn’t willing to quit her job after marriage.”
I was 15 when I got The Sex Talk.
“You husband will kick you out of the house if he finds out you’re not a virgin. Nobody wants an
I was 16 when I applied to college. I was discussing the application process with my family.
“Education is a nice hobby, but remember that the focus of your life is to serve your husband and
I was 17 when I wore shorts at my uncle’s house.
“Don’t dress like a whore. A woman’s body is her greatest asset.”
I was 18 when my dad’s colleague molested me.
“She wanted it. I could tell she wanted it.”