Given all that women are expected to live with – the leers that start when we’ve barely begun puberty, the harassment, the violence we survive or are constantly on guard for – I can’t help but wonder what it all has done to us. Not just to how women experience the world, but how we experience ourselves.
I started to ask myself: Who would I be if I didn’t live in a world that hated women? I’ve been unable to come up with a satisfactory answer, but I did realize that I’ve long been mourning this version of myself that never existed.
From chapter 1 of Sex Object by Jessica Valenti.