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Hillary Clinton to Gen Z: 'Be part of the changing culture'

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Photo courtesy of Getty

At Teen Vogue's Summit in Los Angeles, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke with "Black-ish" star Yara Shahidi about the state of politics today and the need for the next generation to exercise their voice.

"Vote. This is the most inclusive, diverse, thoughtful generation," the Hollywood Reporter reports her saying. "If you vote, we're going to win."

Taking questions from both Shahidi and the audience, Clinton spoke about a time in her career where she wishes she had exercised her voice more.

Hillary Clinton is interviewed by Mariella Frostrup (not pictured) at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on October 15, 2017 in Cheltenham, England.
Matthew Horwood | Getty Images
Hillary Clinton is interviewed by Mariella Frostrup (not pictured) at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on October 15, 2017 in Cheltenham, England.

In light of the recent wave of sexual harassment allegations against powerful men in politics, Hollywood and several other professional spaces, the 17-year-old actress asked Clinton if she regretted not speaking up when Donald Trump followed her onstage during the second presidential debate last year.

"I knew he'd be desperate because the 'Access Hollywood' tapes had just came out where he basically confesses to sexual assault," the former Secretary of State explained. "So I said, we have to be calm and I maintained my composure.

"But afterwards, I thought about that, and what would have happened if I spun around and said, 'You love to intimidate women, but back up you creep!' I think it would have been really satisfying. But I also think given the way women are covered...they would have said she can't take it...or we don't want an angry woman in the Oval Office."

She continued by warning the young women about the unequal playing field that currently exist and the need for them to help change the status quo.

"We have to make it not only safe for women, we have to make it possible for us to express a full range of human emotion…without being so negatively judged," she said. "Remember when he called me a 'nasty woman?' All of that stuff he did didn't end up hurting him that much because men are given a much broader range of emotions to demonstrate their authentic feelings."

Clinton's appearance at the Teen Vogue Summit was one of her latest book tour appearances for "What Happened." In the book she addresses details of her presidential campaign, the discomforting moments she felt while running against Trump and the advice Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg gave her about the sexism she would face.

Talking to the audience about her first-hand encounters with gender bias, Clinton advised the young leaders to "be part of the changing culture, so it's not viewed as disqualifying if you're standing up for yourself and speaking up for yourself."

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