Hillary Clinton has opened up about why she can seem so “cold” in a gut wrenching anecdote from her college days.

In the candid post on the popular Humans of New York Facebook, Clinton gave a more personal statement than we’ve ever seen before.

In the anecdote the Democrat runner explained that she was taking an admissions exam for Harvard Law school and was one of very few females in the room when a group of men made it very clear they weren’t happy to be competing with females.

The men threw insults at Clinton, saying things like “you don’t need to be here” and “there’s plenty else you can do.” One man even blamed her for taking his spot and leaving him to be drafted and killed in the Vietnam war.

The verbal abuse got “very personal” but Clinton kept her head down. She added: “I couldn’t afford to get distracted because I didn’t want to mess up the test.”

The former New York senator said the memory is just one of the many experiences she came up against that led to her learning to control her emotions by shutting down. She said this is why she can be perceived as “aloof or cold or unemotional.”

Through her decades in the public office Clinton has faced criticism for seeming “walled off” and many have called her a ‘corporate career politician’. However, The former Secretary of State acknowledged that competing to go into male dominated roles as a young woman taught her to protect herself.

“I had to learn as a young woman to control my emotions. And that’s a hard path to walk. Because you need to protect yourself, you need to keep steady, but at the same time you don’t want to seem ‘walled off.’” she said.

Hillary Clinton is the first female presidential nominee for a major political party in US history and is opening up discussion on real social issues concerning women in America and across the world.

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