Hillary Clinton: ‘How Is A Woman Supposed To Behave…?’

Hillary Clinton And Sexism

Hillary Clinton and her fellow Democratic contenders will have their first opportunity to debate in the kick-off presidential debate Tuesday evening. She has been under attack over the continuous drip…drip…drip of her emails, leaked by a Republican committee that admitted it was out to get her. She has been in the public eye for decades. How will she deal with the double standard that follows any woman?

A Different Standard

In a BuzzFeed’s Another Round podcast, she said that “women are held to a different standard” and:

“You’re expected to be both strong and vulnerable at the same time. That’s not easy to do…It’s just so hard to get people to realize that, you know, we’re all different. We may all be women, but we all have our strengths, we all have our weaknesses. We get up every morning and do the best we can. And eventually people either get you or they don’t.”

Harassment On The Hill

Earlier this year, Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY admitted that her male counterparts sexually harassed her, but she “wasn’t in a place where I could tell him to go f*** himself.” Building upon Gillibrand’s statement, the BuzzFeed interviewerasked Clinton whether or not she had ever “told a male to “go f*** himself.”

“Yes, I have. I’ve encountered those kinds of situations over the years. And sometimes you just have to ignore what’s happening because there’s a larger issue you’re trying to deal with, and sometimes you have to confront it, and it’s almost a snap decision. But then, sometimes, you have to do what you have to do.”

In a recent Yahoo.com article, Clinton said:

“I remember I was in a situation where I was delivering some apparently unpleasant news to a group of men about an issue…and literally one of them reached over and grabbed my shirt, and said, ‘You can’t be telling us this.’ And I just said, ‘Get your hands ​off ​of me.’” 

“So I’ve been around a lot longer, and I’ve had a lot of challenges. But what I’ve found is that the vast majority of them can be dealt with by, ‘Come on, really?’ Basically saying, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. Did you just hear what you said?’ And not, you know, not accelerating it, making it an even bigger confrontation.

“When I got there [Capitol Hill] it was clear that there were some people that were just troubling,” she said, “And … you just wanted to avoid them.”

Hillary Clinton And ‘Be Yourself’

As Clinton said, each woman is different. It has been interesting to watch presidential candidate Carly Fiorina debating the men during the Republican debates. She performed so well that she jumped from the kiddies’ table to the grown-ups’ table. As a woman in business, how could she not have experiences with sexism? It will be interesting to see how Clinton’s debate performance compares to Fiorina’s. Clinton said:

“How is a woman supposed to behave? Well, how about the way she is. And then people have to figure out her as opposed to her having to figure out everybody else.”

Sexism In Business

I worked as a computer system implementation expert during the 1980’s. I was fortunate enough to have a magnificent female mentor who lent me the power of her position and gave me a hand up. Betty Mixon was one of three senior vice-presidents at a large, multi-medical center corporation.

That meant anyone who was sexist toward me soon felt the steel in Mixon’s velvet glove. Later, when I became a consultant, I found that the Fortune 500 and 100 companies that I worked for were enlightened. But many organizations were and continue to be extremely sexist. The men simply do not like to be told what to do (which is what consultants do) by a woman.

That makes me wonder about Fiorina’s GOP popularity and question whether or not any woman has a true chance of winning the 2016 presidential election.

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About Gloria Christie

Gloria Christie founded Gloria Christie Reports, a common sense column about liberal politics. She wrote for Addictinginfo.org, the Kansas City Star, Where High Technology Meets Politics for London’s IDG-Connect Blog and The Best Times. Her total readership is over 5 million. Christie has an MS in radio-TV-film and an MPA in business/government relations. She was a systemic problems consulting expert for Fortune 100/500 businesses here and off-shore. Christie invented and implemented the first computerized patient chart. She also worked on Howard Dean’s, John Kerry’s, and Barak Obama’s presidential campaigns. She is particularly interested in liberal politics, high-tech, complex systems, and change. Like her Facebook page, visit her website, and follow her onTwitter. Click here to buy Gloria Christie a vodka martini.

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