Hillary Clinton said she was harassed by a group of men who feared being drafted while she was taking a law school admissions test.
The Democratic presidential nominee relayed the story to Humans of New York — a blog featuring interviews done on the streets of New York — Wednesday.
“I was taking a law school admissions test in a big classroom at Harvard,” Clinton said. “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,” she added. “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.”
When Clinton recalled the story to New York Magazine in May, she said “that level of visceral… fear, anxiety, insecurity plays a role” in how America regards ambitious women.
“Unpacking this, understanding it, is for writers like you,” Clinton said at the time. “I’m just trying to cope with it. Deal with it. Live through it.”