Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks to an audience at Johnson C. Smith University in North Carolina on Thursday. Clinton opened up about the sexism she faced in college and how it has affected her ability to connect with voters to the online interview project Humans of New York. Photo by Nell Redmond/UPI. | License Photo
NEW YORK, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Hillary Clinton opened up to the online interview project Humans of New York about the sexism she faced in college and how the resulting lesson of controlling her emotions has affected her ability to connect with Americans in the presidential campaign.
Clinton shared a vivid memory of having men taunt her and a friend as two of the only women in a large classroom in her senior year as they were preparing to take a law school entrance exam. The men, Clinton said, told her "you don't need to be here." Another said "if you take my spot I'll be drafted and I'll go to Vietnam and I'll die."
"It was intense. It got very personal," Clinton said. "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."
She went on in the post to talk about the challenges female candidates face in politics, versus male candidates. When women are emotional or angry they face a backlash, versus men who can be seen as "pounding the message and screaming about how we need to win the election" and crowds are thrilled.
"And what works for them won't work for you. Women are seen through a different lens. It's not bad. It's just a fact," Clinton said. "I've learned that I can't be quite so passionate in my presentation. I love to wave my arms, but apparently that's a little bit scary to people. And I can't yell too much. It comes across as 'too loud' or 'too shrill' or 'too this' or 'too that.' Which is funny, because I'm always convinced that the people in the front row are loving it."
Clinton spoke to the online interview project Humans of New York, which interviews average residents of New York City and presents their backstory in the subject's own plainspoken, often emotional terms, accompanied by a photo of them on the street. Participants frequently open up about the struggles they have faced in life and the project has the effect of humanizing strangers.
Humans of New York has 20 million followers on social media.