(CNN)Hillary Clinton slammed what she called "endemic" sexism and misogyny in America during an interview with Fareed Zakaria, which aired Sunday.
Hillary Clinton: Misogyny is 'endemic'
Clinton, who was interviewed by Zakaria on his show, "GPS," said sexism was so inherent that she purposely hadn't highlighted her career history of fighting for women's rights when she ran for president in 2016. However, she admitted that with the benefit of hindsight, she "could have tried harder" to do so.
"I'm a middle-class girl from the middle of the country, and so I always struggled with like, OK, so what's my story. And it suddenly dawned on me that I was the beneficiary of these radical changes in, you know, women's rights and opportunities that began in the '60s and continue and that I could have and maybe should have tried harder to tell that story," she conceded.
"I never thought there would be that receptive an audience, " she emphasized.
This was in contrast, she pointed out, to former Presidents Barack Obama and her husband, Bill Clinton, whose stories were more appealing to the public.
"People immediately saw this arc of, you know, poverty in Hope, Arkansas, from a biracial family in Hawaii, how really impressive and exciting their stories were," she said.
Clinton said the election of Donald Trump, despite his "level of sexism," was "Exhibit A of what we're up against," and observed what she called "a backlash against women speaking out. "
"I think sexism and misogyny are endemic in our society," she said.
"You see it online, as women express an opinion and then are totally deluged. You see it in Silicon Valley, you see it in the media, you see it in a lot of places where women's advancement has gone very far, much further than it certainly seemed at the time when I was coming of age," she told Zakaria.
However, she noted that she had been encouraged by those who "push back" against sexism, especially men who are the "fathers of daughters, and husbands of wives," who "care about fundamental fairness," and who support female expression.
"There seems now to be a willingness by more and more women and girls to claim their rights in a very explicit way, not an apologetic way. Not like, 'Oh, you know, excuse me, let me express my opinion,' but 'No, I have an opinion. I want to tell you what that opinion is,'" she said.
However, Clinton lamented that the word "feminist" still seemed to be "a word nobody wants to use."
"Feminism is not about women having more rights. It's about women having equal rights, in the workplace, in the politics of a society, in the culture, having the right to be yourself and to be able to express that, and to have that both appreciated and providing a platform to go as far as your talent and hard work will take you," she said.