'It can be unbelievably cruel'
It has been almost a year since Hillary Clinton was defeated by Donald Trump in the 2016 United States Presidential Election, but a lot of the world, in particular women, are still feeling a lot of pain – especially considering Trump’s thoughts on women’s rights.
While promoting her new memoir, Hillary Clinton, the 69-year-old opened up to the New York Times about the barriers that stopped her from becoming the first female president – something she outlines in her book.
While Clinton acknowledges her own mistakes and Russia’s interference as factors for her loss to Donald Trump, she has also spoken about the sexism she faced, explaining how deeply engrained misogynistic values are used as a tool to keep women out of positions of power.
‘The moment a woman steps forward and says, “I’m running for office”, it begins,’ she explained. ‘The analysis of her face, her body, her voice, her demeanour; the diminishment of her stature, her ideas, her accomplishments, her integrity – it can be unbelievably cruel.’
She continued: ‘This has to be called out for what it is: a cultural, political, economic game that’s being played to keep women in their place.’
Speaking of the pressures forced upon her in the spotlight, Hillary explained, ‘I’m also conscious of the continuing double standard – I have to be better than everyone; I have to work harder. There’s no margin for me when others have so much leeway. It’s a pressure cooker all the time.’
Hillary went on to explain how feeling pressure to fit certain stereotypes is common for women at the top, explaining, ‘That’s a weight around the ankle of every ambitious woman I’ve ever met. We get constant messaging our whole lives: You’re not thin enough, talented enough, smart enough. Your voice isn’t what we want to hear.’
‘It’s difficult for me to see my story as one of revolution,’ she concluded. ‘But I was part of the women’s movement that led to a revolution not just in laws, but in attitudes and doors that had been closed to young women opening.’
Clinton spread a similar message in her concession speech last year, addressing women and girls directly to tell them, ‘I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but some day someone will—and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.’
Roger that, Hillary Clinton.