The popular Facebook page Humans from New York features candid stories from mostly everyday people about their lives. Often the stories are centered around important life moments that reflect the good and the bad in humanity.
Every once in a while, a story from a “not so everyday” person appears on the page’s wall. Today is one of those days.
Hillary Clinton spoke of her experience as a young woman applying to Harvard Law School. She was grossly outnumbered by male peers who made their opinions known that she had no business being there, taking away a seat from a man. How dare she? She said:
“One of them even said: ‘If you take my spot, I’ll get drafted, and I’ll go to Vietnam, and I’ll die.'”
She then went on to explain her means of coping with the “pile on” which was basically keeping her head down, focusing on the task at hand – passing that exam.
The most important take-away from her words is how she addresses the perception people have of her as being “aloof or cold or unemotional.”
Being a strong woman in a man’s world, going up against the “good old boys club” is certainly tough business now, but I dare say even tougher decades ago. Showing emotion could be taken as a sign of weakness, and it could be career suicide for a woman.
Perhaps this is a political ploy to “humanize” Hillary Clinton. That’s what naysayers say, anyway. Or, perhaps *gasp* Hillary Clinton is an actual human being with all the feelings and emotion and passion needed to drive social change. I certainly saw strength, emotion and passion in her speech to the United Nations which produced the famous “women’s rights are human rights” line.
The funny thing is, people who call Hillary “cold” and “unemotional” are likely the same people who would claim a woman couldn’t possibly be president because she is too emotional. How many times have we heard the trite rhetoric that PMS makes women unfit to be president?
Trumped-up scandals to discredit Hillary Clinton have been part of the barriers created to derail her career. The foundation of those barriers is firmly rooted in a misogynistic society.
Perhaps the “wall” people see built around Hillary isn’t one she created, but one that was built by others long before she ever took the stage.
Featured image via Facebook/Humans of New York