Hillary Clinton Talks Persona With Humans of New York

September 8th 2016

Almie Rose

One of the frequent criticisms you'll hear about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is that she's "too cold."

But an interview with the Facebook page Humans of New York reveals there's a sad reason why this public perception of her exists.

"It got very personal."

Hillary Clinton Humans of New York

The former Secretary of State recalled a particular incident in her life that seemed to change how she would carry herself from that point on. Clinton was taking a law school admissions test and was already feeling nervous when she noticed that she and her friend were the only women in that room taking the test.

She describes what happened next:

"[...] And while we’re waiting for the exam to start, a group of men began to yell things like: 'You don’t need to be here.' And 'There’s plenty else you can do.' It turned into a real 'pile on.' One of them even said: 'If you take my spot, I’ll get drafted, and I’ll go to Vietnam, and I'll die.' And they weren’t kidding around. It was intense. It got very personal."

"But I couldn't respond."

Clinton continues:

"But I couldn’t respond. I couldn’t afford to get distracted because I didn’t want to mess up the test. So I just kept looking down, hoping that the proctor would walk in the room."

She's aware of how she's perceived.

"I know that I can be perceived as aloof or cold or unemotional. But I had to learn as a young woman to control my emotions. And that’s a hard path to walk. Because you need to protect yourself, you need to keep steady, but at the same time you don’t want to seem 'walled off.' And sometimes I think I come across more in the 'walled off' arena. And if I create that perception, then I take responsibility. I don’t view myself as cold or unemotional. And neither do my friends. And neither does my family. But if that sometimes is the perception I create, then I can’t blame people for thinking that."

Women resonated with Clinton's sad lesson of learning to have to "control emotions" — even those who don't support Clinton.

HONY Hillary Clinton

Some even realized how they've been "conditioned" to chide Clinton for her tone.

Hillary Clinton won't be the first — or last — to face this double standard.

Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina revealed one way that double standard is presented when she said in a debate that the media tells her she doesn't "smile enough."

Women are also accused to having "resting bitch face" far more often than men are, which is really another way of subtly shading women for appearing, like Clinton, "too cold."