There’s something repulsively Freudian about the way men worry about their daughters and sisters. Once puberty hits, things start to grow, peers start to leer, and male family members collaborate to ensure their precious lady-folk survive adolescence as white, unsullied flowers of sexual virtue. It’s weird.
On the other hand, my family didn’t have to worry excessively about my sisters. Between the three of them, puberty wasn’t exactly perfume, brooding and breasts. Instead, there were orthodontic braces, underbites, gangly limbs, perms, severe myopia, orthodontic plates, rainbow glasses and thick eyebrows. To seal the deal, Dad insisted they all keep their hair short, to the extent that one of my sisters was once ushered out of female toilets and into the men’s. Adolescence didn’t coincide with a sultry Lolita-esque sexual discovery for them. No, they had scoliosis instead.
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