Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was featured Thursday on the Humans of New York Facebook page, discussing why she may come off as cold—a criticism hurled her way on a daily basis. Clinton rarely gives personal interviews to the press, but she opened up on the millennial-centric Facebook page to talk about experiences with sexism she encountered before starting law school.
Clinton explained that she knows she "can be perceived as aloof or cold or unemotional" but says this is the result of needing to "learn as a young woman to control my emotions." By way of example, Clinton is quoted discussing her entrance exam for Harvard Law School, where men taking the exam heckled women in attendance:
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. 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 also gave her first press conference in 278 days on Thursday. The interview for Humans of New York coupled with the press conference could be a move to better her relationship with the press as the countdown to election day continues to shrink.
The full quote accompanying Clinton's Humans of New York photo reads:
I was taking a law school admissions test in a big classroom at Harvard. 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. 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. 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.