At the Women in the World Summit in New York on Thursday, Hillary Clinton spoke to encourage young women and touched on the misogyny that women with ambition often face — especially if that woman is running for president of the United States.
Clinton sat down for a conversation with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, where they talked about her mission to encourage young women to run for office. As she knows firsthand, women who want to climb the ladder are often labeled as "bossy," "demanding," and even "bitchy," whereas men who go out and get what they want are considered leaders. She said, "With men, success and ambition are correlated with likability, so the more successful a man is, the more likable he is. With a women, it's the exact opposite."
Clinton also talked about some of the factors that led to her loss in the fall election. Undoubtedly, she said, some of it had to do with misogyny. She told Kristof,
In this election, there was a very real struggle between what is viewed as change that is welcome and exciting to so many Americans and change that is worrisome and threatening to so many others. You layer on the first woman president over that, and I think that some people — women included — had some problems.
It was certainly difficult for some women to see President Donald Trump's sexist behavior be dismissed or explained away as "locker room talk," as he did during the campaign when an Access Hollywood tape revealed that he bragged about grabbing women. The fact that he won against Clinton despite actions like that was a clear blow to women and a signal that disrespecting women wasn't a disqualifying factor from becoming the leader of the country.
She also told women to take criticism seriously, but not personally. She said, "Part of the attacks, the personal attacks, part of the bullying, part of the name-calling is to crush your spirit, to make you feel inadequate, to make you doubt yourself. And I just refused to do that. And that infuriated them even more." It was truly an inspiring moment from a woman who had worked so hard to make history as the potential first female president but ultimately was defeated but won't let that stop her from moving on with her life and doing other great things.
Now that she's taken some time to heal from the election, hopefully we'll be seeing more of Clinton. Last week Clinton spoke of women's equality at the Professional BusinessWomen of California's annual conference.
Unfortunately, Clinton also said that she is not planning to run for office again. Though, honestly, you can't really blame her after all that she's been through the last decade, politically. At least we'll have the opportunity to take in more of her wise advice as she comes back into the public eye.