Hannah Martin, No Not The Porn Star

Job hunting isn’t easy when employers think you are an adult film star.

Dear Potential Employer,

My name is Hannah Martin. I recently graduated from a prestigious mass communications program at a large state school. While in attendance, I held various managerial positions as a member of the student media and completed several impressive internship programs. Please consider me for your open position.

P.S. I am not a porn star.

I remember the first time a professor told me to Google my own name. She said young communicators have to be aware of their electronic footprint and manage their brand. To my horror, when I searched my name, X-rated photos filled my screen.

Since that moment, I have made it my mission to separate myself from Hannah Martin, the porn star. My professional website, resume and works all specify that I am Hannah R. Martin, note the R. Click on my LinkedIn account, and you will see the professional head shot of a fully-clothed woman. Scroll down, and my resume says I have been busy earning a degree, working a part-time job and completing internships…in a very non-sexual way.

Still, despite my best efforts to prove myself as a hardworking, respectable young adult, I received this email yesterday from a potential employer.

Email Reads:

Potential Employer:
“Are you the Hannah Martin from Babe Station on YouTube?

Hannah Martin (non-porn star):
“I don’t know what Babe Station is, but if you are asking me if I am the adult film star Hannah Martin, no I am not.”

Potential Employer:
“Truly sorry if I offended you. I usually Google candidates who send me their resumes just to see what’s out there on them. There is a Hannah Martin that (I thought) looks like you on a YouTube channel called Babe Station.”

End Email

Offensive? Yes. Rude? Yes. Sexist? Yes. But what can I really do about it? After talking the situation over with a few law school buddies, the answer is nothing. I could file for sexual harassment or sexism, but nothing would come of it. Honestly. I just want my voice heard.

I hate to play the “sexism” card, but I’m playing it. If I were a man, would this employer have ever, even for a second, thought the XXX star and I were one and the same? Probably not. So why do I have to defend myself against such offensive accusations? Do I deserve it because I am a mildly attractive female? A few of my friends have suggested I dye my hair or even put on a few pounds to make sure the confusion never happens again. Do I really need to change my looks just so people won’t assume I am adult film star? One would think an lengthy resume and a scholarly GPA would do the job, but maybe not.

The fact is I am a 21-year-old blond who shares a name with a porn star. I refuse to change my hair color, weight or anything else about my appearance to ensure people don’t confuse me with Hannah Martin, the porn star. I also refuse to work for anyone that makes such poor assumptions about women.

As the old adage goes, you know what happens when you assume. You make an an ass out of you and me….Or maybe just you.

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