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, Clinton said on the popular blog
As a young woman applying to law school, Hillary Clinton learned a hard, everlasting lesson in gender dynamics that would help shape her public persona years later as a politician.
In a rare and deeply personal interview on the popular blog Humans of New York, the Democratic nominee said the publics view of her as cold and walled off is the result of having learned to control her emotions.
I know that I can be perceived as aloof or cold or unemotional, Clinton said. But I had to learn as a young woman to control my emotions. And thats a hard path to walk. Because you need to protect yourself, you need to keep steady, but at the same time you dont want to seem walled off.
In the post, Clinton recalled sitting down to take a law school admissions test at Harvard. She realized looking around that room that she was one of just a handful of women taking the exam. As she waited for the exam to be administered, a group of men began to taunt the women, shouting insults like: You dont need to be here and Theres plenty else you can do.
One of them even said: If you take my spot, Ill get drafted, and Ill go to Vietnam, and Ill die, Clinton said.
Clintons appearance on Humans of New York comes a day after the Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman, Reince Priebus, was roundly criticized for his musings on Clintons performance during the forum.
.@HillaryClinton was angry + defensive the entire time no smile and uncomfortable upset that she was caught wrongly sending our secrets, Priebus wrote on Twitter.
Clintons campaign fired back: Actually, thats just what taking the office of President seriously looks like.
Earlier this week, Trump drew sharp rebuke when he said during an interview with ABC that Clinton doesnt have a presidential look. Clintons campaign quickly pointed to Trumps record of making derogatory comments against women, including the Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.
This isnt the first time Donald Trump has had a problem looking at someone different from himself and actually seeing them, campaign spokeswoman Christian Reynolds said. He questioned whether a distinguished judge could do his job because of his Mexican heritage. He looked at a mourning Gold Star mother and he made assumptions about her silence in grief. He looked at an accomplished anchor and suggested she was a bimbo. And he looked at a sitting president and said he wasnt American. So its not surprising that Donald Trump doesnt think Hillary Clinton looks presidential.
Suggesting that Hillary Clinton cannot be president because she does not have a presidential look is gender card politics plain and simple, said Marcy Stech, a spokeswoman for Emilys List, which works to elect pro-choice, female candidates.
Asked during a press conference on Thursday if she believes that she faces a double standard because of her gender, Clinton told reporters: Im going to let all of you ponder that last question. I think there will be a lot of PhD theses and popular journalism writing on that subject for years to come.
Clinton dismissed Priebuss remark, arguing that a commander-in-chief forum on foreign policy and national security was simply not a venue for political happy talk. Her serious demeanor was commensurate with the topics being discussed: the war in Syria, the rise of Isis, the threat of terrorism and the high rate of veteran suicide.
I had a very short window of time in that event last night to convey the seriousness with which I would approach the issues that concern our country, Clinton said before turning back to her opponent.
Donald Trump chose to talk about his deep admiration and support for Vladimir Putin. Maybe he did it with a smile, and I guess the RNC would have liked that.
This is not the first flare-up over the ease of her smile or the pitch of her voice.
On Super Tuesday, Clinton gave a fiery victory speech in Miami that was barely audible from inside the raucous hotel ballroom where the event was held. Yet a chorus of male pundits weighed in online with advice to smile and refrain from shouting.