This week I was added to a chat group of journalists I worked with 20 years ago. This was prompted by some strong public words from a former colleague who spoke at a Senate hearing into media diversity.
These were women I had spent hundreds of hours with, but in just a few messages, we realised there was a lot we didn't know about each other - including our own career experiences. We watched the "golden boys" arrive and pass us on their escalator rides to the top - some excellent at their job, some not so much. But we also had our own stories about the things we were expected to do just to stay where we were.
One felt afraid after knocking a boss's offer back, others had stories of wandering hands and eyes. I had my own story at my earliest job of being told what I was supposed to be doing other than writing stories.
The astounding part was that we had not shared these experiences before. I can clearly remember my confusion about what was asked of me in my first job - we were in a recession, was this what was required to be a journalist? I was just 20 and pretty clueless.
A colleague in the group chat said that at least our own daughters would not have to put up with this. I'm not so sure.
What kind of world is it when you have to enact legislation for staff to treat each other with kindness and respect? Why is it necessary to pass laws to protect women, people with disabilities, people of different sexual preferences, big people, small people, people from different countries, anyone with anything slightly different about them?
Why is there still that arrogance - that meanness - that buries the spirit of other people?
How can I be confident that my daughter won't find her knee under the hand of someone she knows? That she won't feel the sudden attention of someone she trusts?
These are not hypotheticals. They are my story and the story of millions of other women. I hope with all my heart that the darkness of other people will not dim my daughter's own light. But that is not the way the world works. We all get the light beaten out of us a little along the way by those who never knew there was a light to start with.
There are, however, still people who make a difference. The man I met only once or twice who helped me hugely in my career, the people with an innate sense of justice - of right and wrong, the bosses who made decisions based on merit, the colleagues who supported each other.
There's only one world for the lot of us. We have to share it. It could be so much easier.
Marie Low is a freelance journalist based in Gunnedah, NSW.