As. A. Mother.
They're the most loaded three words. The lead-in to a million mum-splaining statements about how the world looks so different after parenthood. You couldn't possibly understand, non-parent. Pat on the head for you.
"As a mother... it really upsets me to see children suffering."
"As a mother... I just had to dash out and grab that falling child's hand."
Eugh. I know. Provocative, patronising, boring.
But today, I'm doing it.
Watch: Be a good mum. Post continues below.
Because "as a mother", I don't know where to start talking to my children about this latest crowning wave of reckoning about sexual assault. Around schools. Around workplaces. Around the most powerful office in the land.
"As a mother", I'm specifically struggling with how to explain the news cycle to my 11-year-old daughter, who's interested in everything, all the time.
The radio's on in our house in the morning, playing in the kitchen while breakfast is made and lunchboxes are packed. I'm multi-tasking, being across the news is part of my job, and Brent is distracting himself from trying to untangle inexplicably looped shoelaces.
It's on The Quicky headlines, and it's on ABC news radio, and this week, neither of them have helped me when it comes to my daughter, who's skulking around, hoping to influence snack choice.
"Mum, what's rape?"
"It's sex against your will."
"Why would anyone do that, Mum?"
"I guess it makes them feel powerful."
"No. It makes them criminally dangerous. And cruel."
They're hardly big enough words for the weeks when we've heard that a young woman in Parliament House was found semi-dressed by security guards on the lounge of a Federal Minister's office with no trace of the man who brought her there, talking his way past the protectors.
As the nation now knows, that man allegedly raped Brittany Higgins and left. Apparently, no-one thought to ask where the woman he arrived with had gone.
The news is also on at bedtime, in that period when the kids are meant to be in their rooms but keep popping out, like meerkats, any time they sense there might be a tremor in the force... or a teaching moment that will keep them up and out of bed for a few more minutes.