This Week In Women: Hillary Still Getting Sh*t For Not Smiling
Honestly whyyyyy is this still happening? Why are people still telling women to smile? This should be a non-issue! And yet…
Hillary Clinton, arguably the most powerful woman in the United States, keeps being told she isn’t cheerful enough. Or warm enough. No one wants to grab a beer with Hillary, probably because she doesn’t smile enough.
During a particularly horrendous forum hosted by Matt Lauer, in which Clinton was barraged with questions and Donald Trump was allowed to lie through his teeth without being fact-checked, Hillary apparently didn’t smile enough for the Republican National Committee chairman’s liking. Great.
@HillaryClinton was angry + defensive the entire time – no smile and uncomfortable – upset that she was caught wrongly sending our secrets.
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) September 8, 2016
Because a woman should be grinning from ear to ear while talking about foreign policy. Better yet, a woman shouldn’t even be talking about foreign policy at all, just smiling and nodding dumbly as Trump talks about building a wall and his weird Vladimir Putin friendship fantasy.
Actually, that’s just what taking the office of President seriously looks like. https://t.co/Pyn92mesom
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 8, 2016
On Thursday, Clinton got her very own portrait on Humans of New York, in which she explained why she’s perceived as being so cold. “I had to learn as a young woman to control my emotions. And that’s a hard path to walk,” Clinton said. “Because you need to protect yourself, you need to keep steady, but at the same time you don’t want to seem ‘walled off.’”
In a second portrait, she compared herself to her husband and her former boss, both of whom are considered really cool, or at least, as cool as a president can be. “I’m not Barack Obama. I’m not Bill Clinton. Both of them carry themselves with a naturalness that is very appealing to audiences,” she said. Yet, when Clinton tries to appeal to audiences, she’s told she’s trying too hard—but she’s not the only one who tries!
“I’m married to one and I’ve worked for the other, so I know how hard they work at being natural. It’s not something they just dial in”
Give the woman a break. Criticize her for something else, something that isn’t related to her face or her hair or her age or her clothing. For once. Please.
Bomba Estéreo’s Makes Video For Nerdy Brown Girls Everywhere
Colombian band Bomba Estéreo’s new music video, shot in south Williamsburg, is a celebration of brown girl weirdness in all its forms. It’s maybe the most heartwarming and adorable thing you’ll watch all week—and it’s not just a good song, but a video that shows the importance of all kids of representation.
The band apparently asked their fans to submit video ideas for their song, “Soy Yo,” and ultimately chose a Danish director, Torben Kjelstrup. This may just be one music video, but its message is important: in a world that teaches little girls—especially little Latinx girls—they have to look and act a certain way, this video is basically “fuck that, do what you want” on a loop. And that kid is so cute! A+ video, A+ kid.
Harvard Rape Survivor Pens Op-Ed
A rape survivor at Harvard University wrote an op-ed in the Harvard Crimson about her alleged rape during her freshman year, in which she says the university did absolutely nothing to help her. She makes it clear from the beginning that she isn’t blaming the university for the rape itself: “Prevention is extremely difficult in cases of sexual assault, and honestly, the best we can do is try to change rape culture and raise children who understand consent and respect,” she writes. “But Harvard could have helped me afterwards, and they didn’t.”
Harvard isn’t the only school lacking rape kits, which are necessary tools for giving rape victims medical attention and collecting DNA evidence. According to a survey conducted by a Colorado University professor and reported by Rocky Mountain PBS I-News, of the top 100 colleges ranked by U.S. News and World Report in 2014, only four provide rape kits in their student health centers and 22 offer them in university-affiliated hospitals.
According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, sexual violence is more prevalent on college campuses than other crimes. Since many students don’t report sexual assault that happens on campus, it can be difficult to estimate how often it occurs. But a lack of rape kits on campus is a big deal, both medically and legally.
According to the author, the university hospital didn’t have rape kits on campus—she had to travel to a hospital in the city and wait nearly three hours for a nurse to arrive with a rape kit, and that was only the beginning. Days after the assault, she says, she was sent to the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response and informed by the Title IX coordinator that unless she went to trial, the university would not “intervene in any meaningful way,” meaning they would do nothing to keep her rapist—who was in one of her classes—away from her.
If this is how one of the most renowned universities in the country is handling sexual assault, they need to do better.
Lead graphic by Ashley Britton. Additional image via Humans of New York.
Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.