When I was 17, I saw a “hiring” sign in the window of a local bakery, and decided to apply for the job. That afternoon, I put on my most professional outfit, and headed to the bakery to see if I could fill out an application. When I got there, however, the owner looked me up and down and told me all positions had been filled. But when another girl walked in behind me and requested an application, she was handed one immediately.

I knew better than to be surprised. By 17, I was accustomed to strangers treating me as if I were subhuman.

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