Last week at an interview for a technology company in Dublin, Ireland, I was asked if I was married, if I had children, and how I would feel working in a “male dominated workplace”. I am 26. How many 26 year old men are asked their marital status and if they have/plan on having children?


I am a university student working weekends at a night club in a city, so I am no stranger to harassment. However, one night in particular saw two consecutive incidents that made me feel genuinely worthless. First of all (not that it matters) I was covered from head to toe in black clothing, the only skin visible was my head in which I had a pair of large dark headphones. To say I was not provocatively dressed is an understatement. At about 2am I began was walking towards my bus stop when a man walked towards me, grabbed me, lifted me off my feet and proceeded to bring me over to a group of his friends. He told me he loved me and that I was the most beautiful thing he had seen. Not only did I feel out of control I just felt generally powerless and unsafe. I did not find it as funny and jovial as he or his friends did and once he had put me down he tried to reason with me and shake my hand. As I reached forward with me hand he attempted to pull me in for a hug and subsequent kiss. About 10 minutes later as I stood waiting for the bus another man similarly about 15-10 years older came over to me and asked for a lighter. I responded politely that no I couldn’t help him, all the while leaving my headphones on. This man was evidently intoxicated and stood inches from my face. He showed no regard for my disinterest in talking to him and he stayed for a long time questioning me. He asked me from what part of the country I was from and acted surprised when I told him because he ‘didn’t think there were good looking girls’ from where I was from. During these two incidents not one person batted an eye or intercepted. I mean, what was I to expect as a female teenager walking the streets late at night on my own? I understand that a lot worse has happened to young women but I think that over years of feeling objectified and having these things happen completely out of my control scared me greatly.