"Lennie does look like she would be utter filth in the bedroom, the little minx. Yup, choker necklace, deep red lippy, tousled hair, black lacy see-through top and a bit of BDSM thrown in for good measure – utter filth."

I’ll give you three guesses as to what kind of content this online comment was left under. If you guessed an article written about the Scots language in this newspaper, congratulations! You might just be as jaded as me.

I phoned my mum to tell her about The Herald article, a serious topic in a serious paper, and she said she’d got my dad to buy the physical copy, and that they'd do this every time I write so they could read it over and over again together.

I felt instantly relieved – physical papers don't have comments sections, and this way I could avoid my parents having to read men their age discussing their sexual fantasies about me.

The comment was removed as soon as The Herald moderator spotted it and the man who left this most inappropriate post was banned from commenting further.

Sadly, these kind of comments are not isolated; it’s not so much the exception to the rule as much as it is the rule itself. I’d like you to imagine this was said to you at work, every day, used not only to devalue the opinions you express, but your very right to occupy space and express them at all, and consider what your initial response would be.

As the aforementioned Lennie, I can tell you my immediate reaction was to try and rationalise the comment, and to think up a cleverly worded reply to make the commenter see they really had the wrong impression of me. If only they understood my top was only fringed in lace, the rest of it was entirely opaque and not inappropriate at all, the lipstick only looks so dark because my skin is pale, and I'd taken the picture myself in my poorly lit bathroom.

I wanted to convey to them that when I took the photo I was a 19 year old student working in hospitality and I really couldn't afford to get professional headshots. I then realised I was laying out, in great and unnecessary detail, a plea to be treated as a person and not a sexual object. This is how it feels when someone inappropriately sexualises you.

There’s an initial, gut reaction to defend, to explain, to make them see you weren’t meaning to attract sexual comments and that it must be some kind of mistake, miscommunication on your part. There is sometimes an instinct within us to see the good in others, which often leads us to first see the bad in ourselves.

In truth, regardless of how much make up, which style of clothing or jewellery, how I wore my hair or smiled or didn’t, there are no steps I could have taken to remove myself from the sexual context within which that person had placed me.

I know this, because I’ve tried it. I've been making online educational content for over two years now with my Scots Word of the Day. It didn’t take long for me to start getting sexualised and when it did, I was immediately demoralised

Instead of the daily content I was producing, people focused on how I looked, what I wore, and what the combination of those things made people want to do to me sexually.

Even press coverage of my work seemed physically unable to refrain from mentioning my ‘dazzling red hair and irresistibly photogenic wardrobe’. I started wearing less make up, my boyfriend’s jumpers, hoping the comments might match the content, but they seemed to only get worse, talking about how much more desirable I was now I’d ‘ditched the slap’.

I asked politely, assertively, blocked, muted, reported, all the things well-meaning strangers advise me to do in a situation they themselves have never been, and the comments kept coming.

When I asked people what they thought I should then do to mitigate the sexualisation, they overwhelmingly said I should remove myself from the situation entirely. They had no response when I informed them that in every workplace I’ve been in, a similar culture could be observed, and that this problem wasn’t specific or exclusive to me.

No matter what I did in my videos, there would be someone around to sexualise it. The prime example of this was knee-gate.

A bit of context for you, I have hypermobility which causes intense chronic knee pain. Not the sexiest of conditions, but I digress. I often sit in ways which relieve pressure, or apply it, depending on my needs at a specific time. I did this once in a video, I was having a pain flare-up and didn’t want to let it distract me from my work.

From the angle of the video, and the lighting, my knees slightly resembled breasts, something I realised and acknowledged halfway through the video. Cue one of the most bizarre comments I’ve ever received, a comment that if I paraphrased, I could not do justice: ‘I’m 73 – I’m male – I like your stuff – you made the choice about the ‘knees’ as an illustrative point – wrong choice – we’re hard-wired visual, rather than aural.’

Now, I’m not one to shame anyone for the things they enjoy in the privacy of their own home, including genuphilia (sexual attraction to knees), but the accusation that I had deliberately placed my knees in such a position as to evoke breasts – rather than simply use the actual breasts of which I happen to be in possession – in order to titillate my viewers would’ve made me laugh if it wasn’t so deeply sad. I should note the comment was left under a video about the sexualisation of women.

I’m not going to end this article by imploring people to refrain from sending unsolicited sexual comments, or reducing people to their appearance, because in all seriousness they know what they’re doing is wrong. They do it because they want to make us feel as if we have done something wrong in occupying space, deigning to speak, to write, to exist.

All we can do is keep doing all of these things and more, despite the utter filth.