If anyone knows anything about foreign affairs, it’s Fiona Hill. As an intelligence analyst under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and then Deputy Assistant to the President under President Donald Trump, Hill has become one of the nation’s leading experts on Russian and Eastern European issues. However, because she is a woman, her justifiable anger has been shut down by officials.
On October 14, Hill testified for 10 hours before a closed-door committee of the United States Congress as part of the impeachment inquiry against President Trump. By the time Hill gave public testimony in front of the same committee on November 24, she was tired of the blatant sexism of the committee and revealed that they have repeatedly dismissed her for being too emotional.
“I hate to say it, but often when women show anger it’s not fully appreciated. It’s often pushed off onto emotional issues, perhaps, or deflected on other people,” Hill testified in front of the President.
This is in response to Gordon Sondland, a wealthy Republican donor turned European Union ambassador whose role in shaping the President’s Ukraine policies has become integral to the impeachment hearings. Hill was upset after Sondland broke diplomatic policymaking protocol by using a backchannel to coordinate with Ukraine, but Sondland dismissed Hill’s claims, calling them “an outright fabrication.”
Hill is not the only woman whose thoughts have been dismissed due to antiquated, sexist ideas about anger. Studies have shown that women who show signs of anger are looked down upon, while angry men are seen as more persuasive. We need women’s voices to be heard now more than ever, but in a world that rewards men for their anger while punishing women for being too emotional, women’s opinions are valued far less than the opinions of their male counterparts.