Hillary Clinton: I won’t live to see true gender equality

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Hillary Clinton (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Archive)
Hillary Clinton (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Archive)

Hillary Clinton has said she does not think she will live to see “true equality” between men and women.

The former US presidential candidate, 73, said the “so-called double standard” still exists and women in power are continuously scrutinised.

Speaking to historian Mary Beard on the BBC’s Inside Culture, Mrs Clinton said she calculated she had spent a total of 25 days getting dressed and having her hair and make up done over the two years she was running for president against Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton and Mary Beard (BBC Studios)
Hillary Clinton and Mary Beard (BBC Studios)

She said: “I did that because it’s one of the aspects of the so-called double standard.

“You know, men take a shower, shake their heads and go out and men come in all sizes.

“You have a Prime Minister who never brushes his hair. That’s perfectly charming, you know.

“And so part of the challenge is for women, you don’t want to spend your time being turned into a caricature.

“You want to be yourself, be who you are, convey that to people.

Mrs Clinton with Boris Johnson when he was Mayor of London (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Archive)
Mrs Clinton with Boris Johnson when he was Mayor of London (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Archive)

“But in order for them to pay attention, not saying, you know, “Mildred, what has she done to her hair? Or George I hate the way she looks,” you do have to somehow find that sweet spot. You will never please everybody.”

Addressing Beard, she continued: “I don’t think either of us will live to see true equality, because we have to deal simultaneously with significant institutional systemic reforms and internal attitudinal bias that both men and women have about women in power.

“And so when a woman, a young woman, is putting herself into politics, the questions are, well, why isn’t she married? Why doesn’t she have children?

“If she has children, why isn’t she taking care of them?

“When you get older it’s the whole litany of, well, you know, can you do that? Should she do that? Is she prepared? Can she manage all of that?

“So I think the institutional changes, you know, we keep plugging along, trying to make changes, but – long way to go.”

Inside Culture this Friday 1 October 8pm on BBC Two.

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