I have had several experiences but the I have two experiences that stand out the most. This is the first time I remember having such an experince but I had just turnt 13 but had ended up in the behavioral hospital due to depression. An out-patient, who was 17, told me that I was “fucking gorgeous and if I was a year older he’d fuck me.” Super uncomfortable. The 2nd time was more recent. I do a lot of bartending at the local family entertainment place and was closing one night (at 2am) with two other woman – both older than me. I had several men make comments about me and grabbing my arm whenever I gave them their drinks; them checking out my tattoo and trying to get my number. I’m uncomfortable but I joke around with them, hoping that they’ll calm it down. Now they’ve left because we’re technically close and we’ve finished up; the two older woman go to have a cigarette and allow me to clock out. I do and walk to my car, key between my fingers and pepper spray ready like I do everyday – no matter what the time or place – and one of the dudes – who shouldn’t have been driving – waves at me. I smie and wave back since he’s leaving and to be polite; he’d probably yell at me if I didn’t. I leave after him, his car in front and I, of course indicate while he didn’t. He goes the same direction as my indicator and I try not to look too far into it. No sense in panicking myself; now we’re at the lights and it’s red. He has his indicator going left and mine isn’t on. Light turns on and he starts to turn left but I start going straight – which he then goes straight (still in front of me). Im slightly worried now. Now to the next light, which has the left turn lane and the straight/right lane. He’s in the exact middle. Light goes green and again, he goes straight. I go left and he then switches left. Im panicking, I’m in front of him and he’s obviously following me now. I slam on the gas and I’m going 60 in a 45, trying to loose him. I go the backway to my house and loop around my neighborhood 5 times (super confusing if you dont kmow the area). I pull up, lock my doors, keys between fingers and run into my house, locking the front, making sure the back and front lights are off before double checking all the doors are locked. Was not fun and I was on the edge of a panic attack.


I am an anaesthetist. When I went to see a female patient a couple of weeks ago the male gyanecoligist introduced me to the patient as this ‘lovely lady is going to see you now’. I responded immediately by saying ‘The anesthetist’. If I had been a male anaesthetist I’m sure he wouldn’t of said ‘this lovely man is going to see you now’

Sarah Bennett

While in hospital with daughter who I care for 24/7 asked by male pediatrician to get my husband ( who was at his work place) to sign a consent form for my daughter to have a procedure.


I had always trusted Doctors, though their role had change dramatically for me throughout my lifetime. Who once started out as parental-esk figures who I trusted, but was always nervous around, grew in to friends, humans I could laugh with, share my inner most workings with. People who listened to me about my body, trusted my judgement and brainstormed with me whenever we reached a cross roads. Having Cystic Fibrosis, that’s the way it has to be. We are on this lifelong journey together. That’s what made it even worse. “I would probably take your more seriously if you were 10 years older and had already had children. I just don’t think you’re ready.” The decision to not have children has not been a quick conclusion to come to. It has been years of research, literature, and telling myself that carrying my own children is not part of my future. It has never made me sad, honestly, I have truly never seen myself having children full stop. I have so many siblings that are going to make wonderful parents – I will forever be the cool Aunt, and that is SO okay. Through years of awful hormonal (and non-hormonal) contraception efforts, I decided to take the steps to make sure I never accidentally conceived a child – honestly, the decision to carry a child for 9 months and give birth, causing potentially irreversible damage to my heart and lungs is not one I think I could make, and the alternative is not something I want to go through. I had spoken to my GP and my CF specialists who all agreed it was a good idea, and offered their support wherever they could – a response I was used to. “Oh my goodness – forgive me, I didn’t check the name on your notes. You’re Hannah? I was expecting someone much older. Are you seriously here to discuss sterilisation?” Instantly I felt wrong. Over the next 30 minutes she picked apart my justifications, made my feel irrational, naive and uncomfortable. She made me feel like I was on trial for my own decisions. All of the trust that I had built around doctors quickly diminished. No matter how many times I said the word CHOICE she shut me down, telling me all of the feelings I would feel in 10 years time – regret, sadness, emptiness, unfulfillment. Apparently this stranger knew more about myself then I did. After butting heads for what seemed like ever, she caved. She said she would perform the surgery if I got a psyc evaluation. She ended our consultation with “Well, it’s a good job you have CF, because otherwise I wouldn’t perform the surgery at all.” Firstly – that is the most disgusting sentence. Thanks. And secondly – my heart sank. For every woman before and after me. For every woman who was told that her DECISION over her own body was not enough justification. For health issues, or because you just don’t want children – WHICH YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE. Reproductive health does not just encompass abortions, STD checks and picking up the pill. Reproductive health, for me, also encompasses taking the necessary precautions to ensure I don’t get pregnant so I (and my partner) NEVER have to go through the trauma of an abortion. I also NEED the relevant support from the healthcare team through a potentially difficult period. I had never felt like my decisions made me any less of a woman – but I did after that appointment.


A cardiologist giving a seminar to GPs (family physicians) told proudly how he had been instrumental in appointing two female cardiologists to the cardiology team of a teaching hospital. ‘Can you tell that I’ve got three daughters and five sisters?’, he asked. Like someone on this site has already said, if having daughters and sisters were a sign of non-discrimination then the world would naturally be a better place. And how might a female cardiologist be different in providing a tertiary level service I’ve wondered. Surely they were appointed on basis of qualifications, and merit.


Earlier this month I went to the Nairobi Women’s Hospital. I was looking forward to accessing healthcare at a clinic that tailors to women’s health concerns. I felt safe. The doctor I saw was a man, and I didn’t think anything of it. I figured he was well-versed in treating his patients with respect. I was bloated. I wanted him to address the issue. He asked if he could feel my stomach. I had a brief moment where I worried he would take advantage of me – it happens, after all. But I told myself I was being paranoid. “Let it go, Caro.” It was fine. He sent me to the lab to do some tests. I felt vulnerable. Scared. When I returned to his office with the test results – as instructed – he simply looked at them and laughed. Laughing at someone’s test results is not exactly the path to rapport-building. Finally, he looked up at me with a sardonic smile. “Everything’s fine.” Now, how much longer are you in Kenya for?” 2 months. “Does that mean I won’t be able to take you out for dinner or a coffee?” I wanted to spit in his face. To tell him he was being unprofessional. To storm out. But I froze. He was about to fill out a prescription for me and I worried that if I told him to fuck off, he would prescribe me something else – something completely useless, or harmful. Paranoid, perhaps. But you never know. Finally, I spoke. “I’m in a relationship.” “That doesn’t matter,” he said. “You’re a very beautiful women. It only makes sense that I would ask you.” I felt like puking. Just an hour earlier I had gone to this women’s clinic, excited to be in a place that purportedly caters to its patients needs, that respects them. This was clearly not the case. Had I known that he was so unprofessional, I wouldn’t have let him touch my stomach. I wouldn’t have even shaken his hand. I told the only woman staff member I saw on the way out. She said “I’m sorry.” I’m looking into who I can report this to.


I’m a medical student on a paediatrics placement. My group of 4 was being taught in Paediatric Assessment, a kind of A&E. A couple had been kind enough to let us visit and examine their son. We discussed his development, and why he was in hospital, and I comforted his anxious older sister whilst we examined him. We left them, and my male colleague said “mum was hot”. ‘Mum’ had been so kind to us to enable our learning, was shattered from looking after a baby in respiratory distress, and had a toddler. She did not need to be objectified. It made me feel sick to think this is how my colleague thinks about his patients.


When I was 20 I got an abscess on one of my buttocks which I had to have a small operation under a general anaesthetic to drain. At a follow up outpatient appointment, I was seen by a male doctor that I hadn’t seen before and I did not have a chaperone. The Doctor got me to take my underwear off so he could examine me and then whilst I was lying down, he rammed a gloved finger hard into my rectum whilst asking me how I had got the abscess. Saying that I must have done something to cause it and generally shaming me and not accepting it when I said that I had no idea why I had got it. At the time I felt guilty, embarrassed and ashamed. It was only years later that I realised that the doctor had sexually assaulted me.


When I was 21 I took an overdose and ended up in a psychiatric hospital for a few days. When I was admitted, the doctor who admitted me insisted on giving me a physical examination and spent what felt like hours examining my breasts. I felt very uncomfortable and was praying for it to end. At the time I accepted this as normal practice. But now years later, I’ve had many breast examinations and I realise that I was being sexually assaulted.CHARRO


After Med School a man become a doctor. A woman become “nurse! Hey nurse!!! Harry up! So rude you didn’t answer at First!”, or “sorry miss, where is the doctor? Oh, you?! I expected a man”. 8 times over 10, even if I’m interviewing them, I’m in doctors room, I’m wearing a white coat with “DOCTOR” in Italia, that’s what happens.