@ Christopher Katsarov/Canadian Press

Hillary Clinton in Toronto voices the importance of democracy and advancement of women in politics, while repeatedly criticising Trump and his administration.

At the sold-out “What Happened” book tour event, within seconds of the first speaker taking the podium to introduce Hillary Clinton in Toronto, the crowd was erupting into cheers. The speaker, taken aback by the overwhelming praise for essentially every phrase she spoke, barely had a chance to get a single complete phrase out. It became immediately clear that the demographics of the “What Happened” audience was made of avid Hillary supporters cheering loudly at every given opportunity.  In contrast, the moment Trump’s name was mentioned, the crowd synonymously booed. Again, to not much surprise.

Hillary Clinton In Toronto
What Happened,” describes Clinton’s  loss to Republican Donald Trump in 2016 election.
What Happened,” describes Clinton’s  loss to Republican Donald Trump in 2016 election.

Hillary Clinton in Toronto began her speech by sharing praise to Canada and its leader, Prime Minister Trudeau. She called him a “caring and compassionate leader”, and specifically paid heed to Canada’s respectable and positive treatment towards immigrants and human rights by stating “I especially appreciate Canada’s commitment to an open and diverse society that welcomes immigrants”.

The remainder of the speech she spent discussing her life after the election, her thoughts on the current Trump administration and their decisions, and of course, her memoir “What Happened”.

The most striking moments during her speech were in some way related to criticisms of Trump, his administration, or his campaign. At points, the book tour promotion event definitely felt reminiscent of Hillary’s campaign speeches, but again, that’s no big surprise – Trump, clearly, sells with audiences. A lot of this criticism was direct, but some were disguised by comments stressing the importance of protecting democracy in today’s world.

Both in her book and in her speech, Hillary claims to be “letting her guard down”, after a near-lifetime spent in the public eye. This did not appear to be the case. Her many years spent as a lawyer and public servant did not seem to have evaded Hillary. She stood and spoke with the same poise and eloquence that can only be attained after years of practice in giving speeches.

I found myself, at points, dubious of the genuineness of Clinton’s remarks. Perhaps that’s a result of months of media (and Trump) rhetoric that did its very best to taint Hillary’s credibility and integrity in the public’s eye. Or perhaps it’s because, at her core, Hillary truly embodies a politician.

Of course, Hilary Clinton in Toronto event was part of an international book tour “What Happened”, which at the end of the day, is a marketing ploy to sell books and charge the audience for coming to see her by introducing the price list for tickets. So as much as I desperately wanted to believe Hillary and her repeated self-proclaimed commitment to continue fighting the fight to advance women in politics, part of me was questioning whether the things she was saying she truly meant, or if it was just a way to rally the crowd to erupt into cheers again.

Her oration, in particular, was a striking difference between herself and Trump. The mannerisms, hand gestures, the way her voice would gradually but deliberately rise in octaves when she was trying to hammer in a point to the audience… everything was strategic. Even in comparison to former President Obama, Hillary’s oration appears much more calculated and prepared, which can cause a blow to her ‘credibility’ factor among audiences.

Hillary Clinton in Toronto and what it means to be a woman in politics

As I thought further into why it was that Hillary came off in this particular way to me, I realized a lot of it has to do with the fact that she is a woman. From the day we’re born, most girls are taught to act, speak, and think a certain way, in fears of not appearing ‘lady-like’ or proper.

Pursuing professional careers only magnifies this conditioning. Women have to constantly be conscious of what they’re saying, how they’re speaking, their physical gestures, every tiny minute detail pertaining to self-presentation that most men, even politicians, probably don’t care about. The worst part is, they have to think and act like this, because if they don’t, chances of professional success, be that in the field of politics or commerce, is not very likely.

One wrongly worded phrase or comment and your entire reputation can be tainted, people will no longer see you as a ‘respectable woman’, and all your hard work has gone to waste. So even though I found myself criticizing Hillary for being so calculated and premeditated, I fully understand why.

Hillary Clinton wasn’t as genuine or authentic as Trump because she couldn’t be if she wanted to win. If she had let her guard down, not spoken like a politician, not presented herself the way she did, from the get-go she would have lost most of the support she had. People (myself included), unfortunately, are far quicker to judge a woman than they are a man.

That’s where the difference lies between Trump and Hillary. Despite Trump’s ostentatious behavior, you never think he is not being genuine. Even when he states or shares misinformation, he truly believes the misinformation is the truth. For better or for worse, Trump does not try to hide his true self from the public. In terms of mannerisms and behavior, Hillary perfectly embodies what we’d expect of a President, which, unfortunately, is why she lost.

So do I believe Hillary was saying the truth? Not really. But even if I think she isn’t genuine and doesn’t really believe in the causes she says she does, I respect her for ‘lying’ for the greater social good. I’m sure there were many people in that audience that wholeheartedly believed every word she said. But what’s the harm in that?

Hillary Clinton in Toronto: “The only way to get sexism out of politics is to get more women into politics,” Clinton, said. “I want more women in politics so our politics is more representative.”

Hilary Clinton in Toronto was advocating for unity, encouraging women and girls to get involved in politics, and did not speak badly against any group or person (except Trump). The way I see it if you’re going to be a “puppet politician”, may as well be one that contributes to the greater social good, be that superficially or genuinely motivated.

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