NEW YORK — Hillary Clinton pushed back against one of the most frequent criticisms she faced as a candidate last year — a lack of “authenticity” — agreeing with an interviewer that it amounted to a “bulls***” and sexist double standard. Her comments came on an episode of “Call Your Girlfriend,” a podcast popular with millennial women, released Friday.
“One of the things we talk about on the show a lot is how authenticity can really be a bulls*** concept when it comes to women, you know, and the double standards,” said Aminatou Sow, who co-hosts the podcast with journalist Ann Friedman.
“Amen. Amen, sister,” replied Clinton, who is in the midst of a book tour for “What Happened,” a nearly 500-page look at her run for the presidency as the first-ever major-party female nominee.
In the book, Clinton told Sow, “I try to be as candid as I can. And some reviewers have said, ‘Oh, her guard is down’ and, you know, ‘She’s pulled the curtains back and we get a behind-the-scenes look’ — all of which is great, if it helps people understand two things:
“I have been a pretty consistent person my entire life, and I have been an advocate and an activist and then later came to politics. … But through it all I’ve talked about the same things — women, children, families, fairness, justice, our democracy — and I have tried to be as clear as I could, but, as I write, I was always taken aback because interviewers would always ask, ‘Why are you really running for president?’ I didn’t see them asking Marco Rubio or Bernie Sanders or Ted Cruz, ‘Why are you really running for president?’
“I always was struck by that,” Clinton added. “What do you mean, ‘really’? ‘Oh, if only she’d be her authentic self.’ Well my authentic self is what you see is what you get. And I was not going to be enticed or berated into being something that I’m not.”
The routine questioning about motivations “was a constant stress for me personally,” Clinton said. “But the larger point is it comes in part from the double standard and the remaining confusion about women in the public arena. … If you’re too strong and aggressive, people don’t like that. If you’re too soft-spoken, people don’t like that. If you change your hairstyle people are going to notice.”
“People are definitely going to talk about that,” Sow chimed in.
“Endlessly,” said Clinton. “And the list goes on. … There’s still a lot of…