Our Top Takeaways From A Conversation With Hillary Clinton

May 12, 2018


If you weren’t one of the thousands of people who gathered in Sydney last night to hear Hillary Clinton speak, we’ve gathered some of our favourite takeaways, in relation to women, from the evening. 

"Women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights"

"The only way we will get sexism out of politics, is if we get more women into politics."

"The research is pretty clear. For men, likability and success go hand in hand. In other words, the more successful a man becomes, the more people like him. With women, it is the opposite. The more professionally successful we are, the less people like us. Not only that, but women are seen favourably when we advocate for others, but unfavourably when we advocate for ourselves. And that struck a chord with me because, historically, people always say they like me when I am in a supportive role…but the minute that I, or any woman stands up and says, 'Now I’d like a chance to lead,' the approval starts to change."

"Just by being at the table you are bringing a perspective that might otherwise go overlooked and you have to fight for that perspective. You have to speak out about it and you have to be willing to maybe become a little less popular because you do so." 

"Michelle Obama commented...about the consequences of holding women to impossibly high standards. She said, if we still have this crazy bar for each other that we don’t have for men, if we’re not comfortable with a woman being President, then we have to have these conversations with ourselves. And I think she’s absolutely right. It’s something we have to explore and understand in order to change. And it’s something we have to keep in mind not only when we educate our girls, but also our boys."

"Compete for what you believe in and get into the arena." 

"In wondering around that little stage (in the second U.S. Presidential debate) it was very clear that Trump was stalking me,

 looming over me, trying to intimidate me. It was very deliberate. He was sending a message to the people watching. 'Look, I am the big person on the stage. This is what a President looks like. We’ve never had a President that looks like that.' 


To all the people who still had trouble envisioning a female president, that was a powerful message...I knew what he was doing and I thought it would be coming across, particularly to women as off-putting, but I was debating in my head, what do I do. Do I turn around and say, 'You love to intimidate women. You’re not going to intimidate me. Back up you creep?' 


But in the end I didn’t. And I didn’t because I thought no matter what I say or how I phrase it, it could very well look like I was angry as opposed to being in control and putting him down. And being an angry woman is a very dangerous position to be in...


Or I might come off as looking kind of defensive, like I couldn’t take it. And I imagined the headlines the next day. Clinton Proves She Can’t Take It. She Can’t Deal With Trump How Will She Deal With Putin? 


So this is what we go through isnt it? Maybe we will get to the point when it will be very natural because people will see more women in positions like yours (Julia Gillard's) and mine.


But this balance between how much emotion to show and how much to hold in remains a nearly constant calculation for women in high profile positions. 

"I think of all the things I could have done better and all the things that might have made a difference and obviously I hear everything that’s said. And people are saying why is she still talking about it? And I’ll tell you…in large measure because I was glad I did it...it’s way beyond my campaign and what happened to me personally, that’s water under the bridge. But I worry about what’s happening to our politics and our democracy and I am going to keep talking about how I see it."

And we want you to continue talking Hillary because, above all else, the overriding takeaway from last night's event was that we need more women like Hillary Clinton speaking out and putting themselves forward for high powered, influential roles. We need more people like Hillary Clinton to run our countries and to support and empower the women following in their footsteps. 



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