Citations: Stanton, Brandon. “Humans of New York.” 8 Sep. 2016, 1:11pm. Facebook. Web. 13 Sep. 2016.
Featured photo credited to Lauren Wein @desideratasaur :
@desideratasaur. “Are you #DIETLAND ready? #JenniferLives #subway #vigilante #endbodyshaming @QueSaraiSera @HMHbooks.” Twitter, 9 Jul. 2015, 7:45 am, https://twitter.com/desideratasaur/status/619155446310547458
@desideratasaur. “Are you #DIETLAND ready? @QueSaraiSera @HMHbooks #Underground #JenniferLives.” Twitter, 29 Jun. 2016, 7:52 am, https://twitter.com/desideratasaur/status/615533284664213504
The Humans of New York (HONY) project, started as a smaller project in 2010 by New Yorker Brandon Stanton, takes the stories of those around New York in the hopes to shed light behind the scenes of a city filled by millions. One of Hony’s recent posts features the first woman major party nominee for president, Hillary Clinton. In Brandon’s post of their interaction, he includes only Hillary’s words and a photo of her in an envy green pant suit;
“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.”
(I changed the text color of a few sentences or utterances above that I found to be especially important! More of them are examples of how mannerisms that strong women are criticized for, are in fact created by the patriarchy itself!)
Clinton speaks about one of the most vital parts of her past, the day she sat in a room on the Harvard campus to sit for the law admissions test, arguably the beginning her career. Though she was not the only woman in that room, she was part of the small minority, which got tormented and bullied because of their gender. Hillary was told that she was undeserving because she, one, she was a woman and women had better things to do, and two, she was not in danger of being drafted- her future was not as important as those men taking the test, which was probably only to avoid the draft. Ridicule from the men in that room made her assume an emotional state, which Hillary faults her seeming “aloof or cold” present self. If Hillary had taken the test in another room, in another time period (not during the Nam draft), or in a setting with more women, maybe she would not have been forced to bunker down; avoid the tormenting of men who shadowed and scapegoated their problem-some sitautions onto women. The worthiness of those women’s lives in that room were questioned because some men were afraid to ‘man up‘ and fight for a war started by men. Though its important to look at the gendered discrimination of this anecdote, I believe, its also important to talk about the fact that women couldn’t even serve their country militarily at this point in history even if they wanted to.
So in the wake of this admission it may also be fair to say that Hillary’s cold and unemotional appearance, found to be manly, may have been created by the same men who now shame her for being too masculine, too emotionless, or unfit to run a country because women are not ‘there yet.’
**Hillary is saying these are learned, ‘she had to protect herself,’ maybe we can think of some gendered biases that we feel we had, were forced, to learn.**