Hillary Clinton Calls Out Sexism In One Outraged Email
On New Year's Eve, the State Department released a new batch of more than 3,000 of Hillary Clinton's personal e-mails from her time as secretary of state. Just like the other e-mail dumps, there were a few gems hidden among the mundane conversations between government employees, and Clinton called out sexism in one angry e-mail. As a female politician, Clinton is probably used to being doubted or treated differently solely because of her gender, but this e-mail proves that she still gets worked up about it.
In a message to multiple people — including her longtime aid Huma Abedin and Chelsea Clinton's alias, Diane Reynolds — on May 8, 2011, Clinton wrote: "The Jerusalem Post reported today that a NY Hasidic paper Der Zeitung published the sit room photo w/o me (or Audrey T) photoshopped out perhaps because no woman should be in such a place of power or that I am dressed immodestly!!" The Audrey she referred to is likely Audrey Tomason, the director for counterterrorism for the National Security Council at the time, and the photo in question is presumably the widely circulated photo of President Obama and his national security team in the White House Situation Room monitoring the capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden.
The subject line of the e-mail gets across how Clinton felt about the photoshopped image and perfectly described the stunt in one word — "unbelievable." Because Clinton and Tomason were the only women in the picture and the only people removed, it did appear to be a blatantly sexist maneuver. It clearly wasn't an accident, since Photoshop doesn't magically erase people in its own. Looking at the photoshopped version, it must have taken a lot of effort to remove the two women completely, especially since Clinton's body was blocking a few other people's.
As Clinton's sarcasm denotes, some people weren't ready to see a woman in such a high position of power in 2011. She's still fighting the same type of sexism while trying to become the first female president of the United States, and she isn't backing down.
After releasing the latest e-mails, the State Department said that it wouldn't meet the deadline for releasing 82 percent of Clinton's e-mails by the end of 2016. The agency said in a statement: "We have worked diligently to come as close to the goal as possible, but with the large number of documents involved and the holiday schedule we have not met the goal this month. To narrow that gap, the State Department will make another production of former Secretary Clinton’s email sometime next week."
America will have to wait for more insights into how Clinton handles sexism.