BUT don't those childhood memories really stay with you.

My early school recollections involve uniform strictures. Girls wore chequered dresses while boys wore trousers and shirt. For a brief time, possibly a cultural thing she'd brought with her from home, my mother sent me to school in a heavy knee length skirt, shirt and tie.

No one else in my Northern Sydney primary had ever seen a school tie before. Didn't even know they existed. A bit of pleading ensued and soon I had my own chequered dress with its neat white collar and asymmetrical red ribbon at the neck.

The light summer dresses came with their own mandatory accoutrements: scungies. Until quite recently I'd assumed everyone knew the word scungies. I'd no sooner have thought "scungies" unusual than "water" or "bread" but it turns out it's the "outwith" of Australia. It's unique to the Aussie dialect.

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Scungies, for those outwith the know, are giant pants. Hearty knickers, poofy bloomers. You're basically kitted out in modesty preserving double-undies. Real undies under and big polyester pant protectors over.

It was near year-round good weather, if you can fathom such a thing, and we were outside all the time, running about, climbing on the playground equipment.

I remember exchanges with my young male peers as we clambered up the metal climbing frame. "I can see your pants!" "That's not my pants, that's my scungies!"

Gas on a peep. I mean, it was all the difference of appearing in public in your underwear versus appearing in public in your swimsuit. It's the same bared flesh, but one covering is sociable attire and the other private, despite the two outfits being so similar as to the difference being all but semantics.

Thinking back on it only now, weren't those great big pants nothing but an early lesson in moulding girls to take steps to avoid the inappropriate impositions of boys. I can't ever once remember anyone calling back "Well, you shouldn't be looking."

No. It was incumbent on the girls to cover themselves. If you wanted to run and tumble and sit crossed legged, you must modestly avoid the male gaze, even aged six.

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But this is decades ago. We tell boys and men to mind their eyes and moderate their actions, of course.

Of course not. On Twitter this week I noticed a mother lamenting the fact her daughter's school had brought in playsuits for the girls. Not so they could romp around with the same unrestricted freedom as the be-trousered boys. No, because upskirting - little boys looking up girls' skirts to see their pants - is increasingly a problem.

I read this and my mind went to my scungie days of yore. The boys are causing a problem so let's solve it by covering the girls. We can't tackle the inappropriate behaviour so we'll remove the temptation by modifying the victim.

And there's the real problem with this messaging: it says to children, and the children in question here are also six, that girls are a temptation. They are there to be objectified. It says that boys shouldn't be expected to change and that girls are responsible for their behaviour.

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The mother, on social media, said she had challenged the head teacher on this policy and he'd sent her a link to playsuits on the M&S website by way of reply. What a missed learning opportunity that was.

It can take years before women first learn they can and then learn the confidence to stand up to men who want to impose themselves on their spaces, who want to push at their boundaries.

Every such opportunity should be taken to point out that, first and foremost, men should change.

An A&E doctor, Almas Ahmed, has been working since medical school to devise a make up that will withstand an acid attack. She had read about the ordeal of the television presenter Katie Piper, who survived a acid attack in 2008 that was orchestrated by her ex-boyfriend, and that 80 per cent of acid attacks worldwide are against women, and decided to create a "super make up" that would withstand being sprayed with corrosive liquid.

"People are still trying to destroy women’s lives," Dr Ahmed said. You can only admire her ingenuity and tenacity in developing such a product but you can only despise the social framework that lead to her creating such a product in the first place. Without trust that this abominable problem can be solved, women are pushed to find their own solutions.

From Avon and Somerset police's #JogOn campaign encouraging women to run in groups to avoid harassment and assault to the habit of focusing on whether women victims had been drinking, this persistently lingering tendency to focus on the behaviour of women and let men of the hook stunts positive change for all.

A "boys will be boys" attitude isn't good enough - for the boys themselves, as well as the girls. Boys can be generous, kind, responsible and respectful, and they should be told that from the earliest possible opportunity.

And by parents and teachers, though, not girls. Their lesson is that the only behaviour they are responsible for is their own.