I'm going to confess something.
When I began my career as a writer just over a decade ago, I wasn't prepared for how much unsolicited feedback I'd receive from men.
Mainly because, I've never actually written about men.
I make a point not just because the internet is already saturated with male-centric content (women make up just 24 per cent of the voices seen and heard in popular news media, according to a Global Media Monitoring Project report), but because it always struck me as presumptuous to commentate on the lived experiences of men when I'm not, you know … a man.
Regardless, it became apparent a few years into my career, men were religiously consuming my work and taking offence to it (just not enough to stop reading, as it were).
A woman discussing pleasure through an exclusively female lens is a confronting thing for a lot of men.
Perhaps because it touches at a very real fear of their own sexual inadequacy, or maybe – a little more darkly – it might encourage women to enjoy and pursue sex; something which makes guys who've historically gotten off on coercing us into bed, deeply uncomfortable.
More often than not, the men who are most triggered by my work use my inbox as a dumping ground for their unfettered misogyny.
And for the most part, I let them scream aimlessly into the void, repeat-hitting delete. (There's quite literally a guy rage-tweeting me at the moment whom I refuse to block, simply because at this point, it's become a social experiment to see how much longer he'll go before he realises he's been talking to himself the entire time.)
But a message that landed in my DMs this week hit me differently. It was from a man who, on the surface at least, appeared to be an average reader. He mentioned he'd read my work and enjoyed it, before continuing on to express something unnerving.
"I saw one of your smiling Instagram posts, 'Maybe she's born with it, maybe she just has a good vibrator'," he wrote, quoting my post caption (guilty connoisseur of dad jokes, here).
"Don't you understand how men will respond to that? Do you not understand the hypocrisy? I am an intelligent guy and I understand the humour, but many others do not see the humour, they only see you objectifying yourself and encouraging their sexual advances," he concluded.
I was struck by the fact his profile revealed his full name, and pictures of what appeared to be a wife and daughter. He didn't fit the cliche of the typical male troll whining impotently from behind a faceless account.
And for this reason, I found the message all the more unsettling. Because, in my experience, it's men like this who are the most dangerous to women.
Men like this will always insist they can't possibly be misogynists. Misogynists don't have wives and daughters! No … they LOVVVE women. They're "one of the good guys", they'll assert. They can even find the humour in women's jokes! (Because they're "intelligent", you know?) But they also seem to implicitly understand the danger men pose to women in a way only a man who has harmed women before can.
More often than not, it's these same men who'll warn their daughters about boys. They are the fathers who will brag about greeting their daughters' boyfriends at the door with baseball bats, because they believe boys can't be expected to be held responsible for what they do when they're around girls.
And who'll condition their daughters to believe there's a certain way of dressing and acting around men – a certain amount of alcohol that can be consumed around them, and a certain way of dancing around them – that will keep them safe (it won't).
In truth, the answer to keeping women safe from sexual harassment doesn't lie with women no longer making jokes about sex or smiling in Instagram posts (or with any of the other terrible advice men have given us on how to protect ourselves from them).
It's in teaching boys and men to conceptualise women as fully autonomous human beings who don't exist for the purpose of decorating their worlds.
Ironically, the post I made the "Maybe she's born with it, maybe she just has a really good vibrator" joke in (which I stand by as a piece of comedy gold) was one of the first times I published an image of myself without Facetuning out my scars – physical reminders of a mental illness I spent years concealing for fear of judgment.
It captured a moment of pure joy, at a time I was abandoning that shame and reclaiming my body and the pleasure it could feel. And no amount of unsolicited feedback from men can ever take that away from me.