"I Can't Hire You Because I Want To Fuck You" — This Woman Shared A Sickening Story About How She Lost A Job Opportunity Because The Hiring Manager Was Too Turned On By Her, And It's A Sad Reality For Women In The US Workforce

·6 min read

Unfortunately, it shouldn't come as a surprise when we say that many times, women are treated differently at work than men.

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In addition to double standards women face while their male colleagues get passes, they are also often assigned “female duties” in the office.

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And even more terribly, women face verbal and physical aggression that often get swept under the rug at workplaces across America. This is something that a woman named Kathryn Hofman faced when she was just starting her career at 22 years old.

Kathryn standing against a mural
Kathryn Hofman

Now, as a 30-year-old woman, Kathryn explained what happened on TikTok. "Once upon a time in corporate America, I was a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed 22-year-old and I got my first big girl job straight out of undergrad working for a company that sold shit tickets — literal toilet paper. I was super excited, great company name, good things," she said in her video, which has over 2.5 million views.

  @kmhofman / tiktok.com
@kmhofman / tiktok.com

"Well, when I got hired, I got hired to take over a territory in Washington, DC and then the company did a reorg and that territory went away, so I made the decision to participate in the inside sales organization they were building out until a territory that I wanted in the field came up and I was up for promotion."

a woman giving a presentation
Maskot / Getty Images

"So, that happened, ultimately. And during my first ever sales kickoff with this organization, I was up for promotion and the Texas team in Dallas was looking to potentially hire me in that role. So, I spent the week participating in a sales kickoff with that team from Texas to see how I fit in the organization and the team, etc."

People networking on a rooftop
Maskot / Getty Images/Maskot

"By the end of sales kickoff, it was really evident that I fit in really, really well with the team. But the hiring manager and I had a conversation during the very last night during the end of kickoff. You know, cocktails and band there — all that kind of jazz. And he informed me, verbatim, that he could not hire me because he wanted to fuck me. Literally said the words to my face, 'I can't hire you because I want to fuck you.'"

  @kmhofman / tiktok.com
@kmhofman / tiktok.com

"Now, as a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed 22-year-old, my natural instinct — and the first thing I did — was to burst into tears and run into the bathroom, sobbing. Because what else do you do in that situation? Well, what that manager chose to do in that situation was chase me into the bathroom and I physically had to make him leave."

  Peter Cade / Getty Images
Peter Cade / Getty Images

"Then I brought that to their HR team, and I'm not going to tell you how that turned out because that's not the moral of the story. It didn't turn out well for me...we'll just say that. But that manager did not get disciplined. He ended up leaving the company for a competitor and all of the hiring managers from that point on were forced to sign a non-compete."

  Photoalto / Getty Images/PhotoAlto
Photoalto / Getty Images/PhotoAlto

"That was the resolution to that man leaving and going elsewhere, not actually punishing him. Now, I say all of that to say that I'm guessing if you stuck around this long, you're a woman. Unfortunately. Now, if you're a man, I would love to hear that you heard this whole story in the comments. Please, please let me know."

  Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images
Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

"But if you're a woman, if you're a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed 22-year-old, I want you to know that is never your fault. Your clothing, your energy, your demeanor, your positivity has absolutely nothing to do with the amount of respect you are owed in a professional setting."

  Marko Geber / Getty Images
Marko Geber / Getty Images

"When — and I say when because unfortunately it is when — when that happens to you, what I want you to do is go find the curmudgeon old lady. I'm 30 now. I am the curmudgeon. Go find me in your team, because we're going to have your back because that's important and we've been there."

You can watch the full video here.

You can watch the full video here.

@kmhofman / tiktok.com

BuzzFeed spoke to Kathryn, who said if she could go back in time, she would do two things very differently. "I wouldn't have reported to my employer immediately. Instead, I would have gone home and written every single thing I could remember about the incident down," she said.

  Kathryn Hofman
Kathryn Hofman

The next thing Kathryn would have done is hire a good attorney and do exactly what they advised.

<div><p>"Doing this was terrifying to me at the time, I truly believed suing my employer would be a stain on my permanent record for the rest of my life. Not only is that a victim-blaming mentality, but it's also fundamentally not true. These are things you learn with the benefit of time and experience, which is why my top piece of advice for any person in a situation like mine is to find an ally. Someone older who can help guide you personally and remind you you're not at fault." </p></div><span> Maskot / Getty Images/Maskot</span>

"Doing this was terrifying to me at the time, I truly believed suing my employer would be a stain on my permanent record for the rest of my life. Not only is that a victim-blaming mentality, but it's also fundamentally not true. These are things you learn with the benefit of time and experience, which is why my top piece of advice for any person in a situation like mine is to find an ally. Someone older who can help guide you personally and remind you you're not at fault."

Maskot / Getty Images/Maskot

When this situation happened to Kathryn, the first thing that went through her head was that she did something wrong. "Everything from 'was it my dress' to 'did I smile too much in the team meetings' went through my mind."

  Salim Hanzaz / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Salim Hanzaz / Getty Images/iStockphoto

"The gift of a patriarchal society is victim blaming and internalized misogyny that we all must unlearn. I'd love to say there's one single answer to the question 'how did this impact you after,' but the unfortunate reality of being a woman in corporate America is my experience is not unique and it's most definitely not the only example of sex-based discrimination in my (relatively) short career. This story just happened to be my first experience. The work I've done for myself to unlearn my own internalized misogyny has been critical for me to stand up for myself in instances where 22-year-old Kathryn would have felt at fault," she said.

An illustration of several fingers being pointed at a woman

"Being a 'safe' leader is not enough. You know the leader who is abusing their employees, you know the folx who think 'locker room talk' is just a joke. Use your voice and your power to be an active ally for the women and minorities on your team. Uplift their voices and their careers. Or get out of our way."

Ponomariova_maria / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Kathryn said the responses to her viral video solidified that she is not alone in her experience.

One person recounted how a manager said they couldn't focus on work because their pants were too tight
@kmhofman / tiktok.com

"My story is not unique. So many people experience abuse in corporate America. Be it sex-based discrimination/harassment or race, gender, or any minority identity — what I hope is that more people become the ally they needed. Slowly, we can change the world together."

Kathryn smiling
Kathryn Hofman

You can read more about workplace discrimination and your rights here. In addition, here are some helpful resources if you're currently facing discrimination.