Hillary Clinton Learned Early on to Control Her Emotions: "I Couldn’t Afford to Get Distracted"
You probably know Humans of New York from the popular Instagram page, featuring average New Yorkers' and sometimes other city dwellers' seemingly random stories that somehow we can all relate to in one way or another. Today, HoNY featured presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on their Instagram, to give their audience another perspective of the Democratic nominee and to let her tell her side of the story, #unfiltered.
“I was taking a law school admissions test in a big classroom at Harvard," Clinton began. "My friend and I were some of the only women in the room. I was feeling nervous. I was a senior in college. I wasn't sure how well I'd do. 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," she continued. "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."
Clinton then went on to talk about how this experience shaped her into the woman she is today: "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," she said, addressing one of the major criticisms of her campaign thus far.
"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."
Clinton discusses a dichotomy that too many women today face. If you're too open about your feelings, you're branded as overly emotional. But if you don't speak out enough and don't show enough of your emotional side, then you're "walled off."
In this rare personal moment, HoNY gave us all insight into Clinton's deeper personality, and how she became the successful politician she is today, something she worked hard for and fought for her entire life. She may have endured some heckling from unruly college boys, but seeing as she has the potential to make it all the way to the White House come November, clearly she did something right in the process, and perhaps keeping her emotions under wraps was one of them.