This photo documents my very first (yes, there are others) #metoo story. The following is going to cause controversy in my family - as all of the stories I have verbalised so far have. Regardless of the consequences, I speak up for myself as much as for all the women who are yet to find their voices. This is an incident I have never really spoken about before. As was the habit with my family, it was swept under the rug and not discussed. I was 8 years old. Let me repeat that, so it sinks in: I was EIGHT years old. I had been admitted to Nambour hospital, whilst on a family holiday, with severe dehydration. I was weak and could barely stand up without assistance. My mother was helping me undress so I could hop in the shower, just as she'd done the previous couple of days...and this is where things take a turn in my story. I was naked when I heard a 'click' sound and saw a flash go off from the corner of my eye. When I turned my head, there was my FATHER, holding a camera in his hand, and grinning as though he'd just told the best joke in the world. I was in shock. Somehow I managed to ask if he'd taken a photo of me, to which he replied he had. I told him I wanted the negative reel pulled out (this was the days before digital cameras). Can you guess how he responded? He laughed, told me I was being silly - "it's just a joke!" - then proceeded to take another photo. I started to cry and tried to hide behind my mother (I was weak and couldn't move fast). He continued to laugh and take photos. I became hysterical and begged him to stop. He did...once my mother finally told him to "stop being silly and leave her alone". I cannot remember how many photos were taken, but I do remember the feeling of utter helplessness, powerlessness, and vulnerability that stayed with me for a major part of my life.
P.S. the film WAS developed...and it was me who cut up and threw away the photos. Yep 😐 #metoo