Hillary Clinton said she “had to learn as a young woman to control my emotions” in a touching new profile for Humans of New York, the iconic photography campaign that documents the diversity and struggles of real New Yorkers.
Speaking with HONY photographer Brandon Stanton, Clinton shared her experience taking a Harvard Law admissions test in a deeply misogynist environment and how sexism has affected her life, her career, and her position as the potential future President of the United States of America.
Clinton said her lifetime of facing hostile opposition and bigotry sometimes gives the perception that she’s “walled off,” “cold or unemotional,” and that she “can’t blame people for thinking that.”
The Democratic nominee for president showed her social media prowess early on in her campaign, changing her logos to reflect an inclusive stance on LGBT equality during Pride month, and most recently, taking Donald Trump down with one classic millennial meme that got loads of coverage — and even more explanations — by mainstream media.
In July 2015, Clinton made headlines again for commenting on a Humans of New York post featuring a young gay boy who described being “afraid about what my future will be and that people won’t like me.”
Clinton’s comment, which was liked over 100,000 times, read: “Prediction from a grown-up: Your future is going to be amazing. You will surprise yourself with what you’re capable of and the incredible things you go on to do. Find the people who love and believe in you – there will be lots of them. –H”
You can read a full transcript of Clinton’s unprecedented HONY profile below:
“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.”