Local News

Hillary says Julia faced sexism

Hillary Clinton.
Mrs Clinton, whose new book, Hard Choices, is published today, writes that "many leaders choose to ignore the fact that they are dealing with a woman when they deal with me".
"But I try not to let them get away with that," she writes, adding that it is "an unfortunate reality that women in public life still face an unfair double standard".
"Even leaders like former Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia have faced outrageous sexism which shouldn’t be tolerated in any country," Mrs Clinton says.
Then Prime Minister Julia Gillard meets former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Perth in 2012.
Then Prime Minister Julia Gillard meets former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Perth in 2012.
Then Prime Minister Julia Gillard meets former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Perth in 2012.
In interviews to promote the book, Mrs Clinton this morning also directly addressed 'the Monica question' - in particular, an essay by Monica Lewinsky, that appeared in last month's Vanity Fair.
"She’s perfectly free to do that," Mrs Clinton said of the essay, in which Monica described her relationship with Bill Clinton as consensual, and criticised women for failing to stick up for her.
"She (Monica) is, in my view, an American who gets to express herself in any way she chooses," Mrs Clinton said.
"It’s not something I spend a lot of time thinking about. I dealt with at the time. I have moved on."
Diane Sawyer, of the (American) ABC network, asked what, if anything, Mrs Clinton thought about Monica. In response, Mrs Clinton said: "I wish her well. I hope that she is able to think about her future, construct a life that (has) meaning."
Bill’s affair had forced Hillary to become more resilient, but also "a deeper, more understanding, more open person," she told Ms Sawyer.
"Life is filled with disappointments," she says, and hers were "all played out in public. But … I respect anyone who when they’re knocked down gets back up.
"My mother used to say, you can be knocked down eight times, 10 times, 100 times … what matters is whether you get back up."
On the subject of sexism, Mrs Clinton revealed that she, like Julia Gillard, faced endless remarks about her hair and clothes as she travelled the globe – and she expressed frustration at the attention given to, of all things, her scrunchie.
"I was travelling (all the time) and I just decided, with my hair, I didn’t want to (spend time) styling it, I was going to grow it out, pull it back, get a scrunchie" and get on with the job, Mrs Clinton explains.
The scrunchie got so much attention that her staff joked that her book should be called '112 Countries - and It’s All About The Scrunchie'.
"There is a double standard. We live with a double standard," Mrs Clinton says, of the ways men and women in public life are treated. "People ought to think about their own daughters, their own mothers, when they make.
"When you’re in the spotlight as a woman you know you are being judged constantly. It’s just never-ending" but she, personally, is done with it.
"I am over it," she said. "I think I have changed. I just don’t worry so much about what other people are thinking (about her clothes) anymore."
Mrs Clinton speaks glowing of Australians in her book – with one exception: Julian Assange.
She was furious when the WikiLeaker decided to release top secret US cables, saying "people of good faith understand the need for sensitive diplomatic communications." Nevertheless, she believes the leaked cables generally showed US officials "doing their jobs well".
One of the first calls she made after it became apparent that the cables would become public was "to my friend Kevin Rudd, the Australian foreign minister and former Prime Minister".
He agreed that WikiLeaks could be a "real problem" and Mrs Clinton said it could have a "dreadful fall out".
She hit the phones, and says some world leaders were angry, some were upset, but one joked: "You should hear what we say about you."
Of all those who had their feelings hurt, the Italian leader, Silvio Berlusconi, who was described in the cables as a bit of playboy, was the worst.
He asked Mrs Clinton: "Why are you saying these things about me?"
She apologised again, saying: "No-one wished these words had stayed secret more than I did."
Her relationship with Australia's leaders was also good. One of the first people she called when she became Secretary of State was former Foreign Minister Stephen Smith.
She believed that Mr Smith, and former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Ms Gillard were key allies in the US strategy to expand its influence in Asia.
"Rich in natural resources, Australia was profiting by supplying China’s industrial boom," Mrs Clinton writes, "but Rudd also understood that peace and security in the Pacific depended on American leadership."
Mrs Clinton suffered a fall last December, and later spent some time in hospital, recovering from concussion and a blood clot.
Asked about her health in the Diane Sawyer interview, she said: "It’s very good, thank you. It was a serious concussion. (Because) of the force of the fall, I had double-vision for a short period, and I had some dizziness."
She had an MRI, which revealed the clot.
She was in hospital for three days, and will be on blood thinners, probably, for life.
Mrs Clinton also discussed one of her proudest moments: the decision to back the strike on Osama bin Laden.
Of the famous photograph, showing Mrs Clinton watching the attack on Osama’s compound in Pakistan with her hand over her mouth, she said: "My heart was in my throat."
Despite her husband being a former US President, she didn’t tell Bill about the strike before it happened.
"No, no. I take very seriously the obligations of secrecy," Mrs Clinton said.
She mentions Australia in passing when discussing a visit to Saudi Arabia, where she met King Abdullah, who told her that he did not personally like camels.
"I was surprised – imagine an Australian hating koala bears," she writes.
The 600-plus page book is published today. It is widely believed to establish the ground for Mrs Clinton – a former Secretary of State, New York senator and First Lady – to run for the White House in 2016.
Mrs Clinton talked about her dismay at losing the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama, who went on to win the White House in 2008, saying she had let people down, in particular "women and girls who had invested their hopes in me, but men and boys as well."
On the question of whether she will run, Mrs Clinton said: "I am going to decide when it feels right for me to decide.
"I really like my life, I like what I’m doing, I’m thrilled about becoming a grandmother. (Her daughter, Chelsea, is pregnant.)
"Of course, men have been serving in that position being fathers and grandfathers since the beginning … but I want to know how I feel."

read more from