Recently, a friend and I were discussing, of all people, Monica Lewinsky. As I was surfing the net, I saw her name and wondered what she was doing. One article I read said she remained unemployed after the nearly-20-years-ago affair with former President Bill Clinton, and now Lewinsky has penned a Vanity Fair essay, which will hit the newsstands on May 13.
You might wonder why my friend and I were discussing Lewinsky. Probably because we both have a penchant for cheering the so-called underdog on to victory. It’s incomprehensible that folks won’t allow this woman to live down a scandal, and I also wonder what the Lewinsky bashers get out of bashing her. Was it the sullying (no pun intended) of the Oval Office? For the record, there was other presidents who had extramarital sex in the White House. Doesn’t make it right, but it’s a fact. Maybe the Monica haters believe she set Clinton up by telling Linda Tripp. Lewinsky needed a friend, but, unfortunately, chose the wrong person.
Certainly, I realize the timing of the Lewinsky article could be viewed as suspect, but is it really? The GOP said the Clintons are behind the timing of the Vanity Fair spread. Don’t know, don’t care. Also, Lewinsky’s view that the relationship with former president Clinton was “consensual” does not register as a black mark against the Democrats or line up with GOP Sen. Rand Paul’s thoughts that Clinton is a “sexual predator.”
I’m a bit peeved and more than a little disconcerted about the world’s double standard for women, and the most flagrant promoters are we here in the US of A. If women are promiscuous, they’re labeled as whores, while men who bed down many women are complimented and stroked for their charm and likely finesse in the bedroom. In Lewinsky’s case, I suppose she should wear a T-shirt emblazoned with, “I sinned with Bill Clinton and I can’t live it down.” Have a little mercy, if you please. For the non-believing and Bible-believing, there’s a word for males who indulge with myriad women, ” whoremongers .” You’ll find it in the King James version of the Good Book, and you’re welcome. Surely , the words ” whoremonger ” and “whore” are the great equalizers between genders. Is not what’s good for the goose also good for the gander?
It was revealed that Clinton’s wife referred to Lewinsky as a “narcissistic loony toon.” The diary entry by Hillary Rodham Clinton [Unlink] ‘s then confidante, the late Diane Blair, was written when the scandal was exploding and any woman can understand Clinton’s outrage. But I wonder if when the flames cooled, the blame was laid clearly at the feet of Bill, the older and, supposedly, wiser and more responsible party.
Another friend and I discussed married women who curse and even beat the women their husbands cheat with. My friend said, “Why don’t they get angry with the man and beat and curse him? He’s the one who made the vows.” I responded, “Yeah, I’ve even heard of women killing the other woman. The one I’d be most angry with would be my husband who took vows promising to be faithful, then couldn’t keep his pants on because a skirt caught his eye!” We agreed that women often castigate other women, while empathizing with errant men.
In one article, Lewinsky said she is still paying for the affair, and that’s obvious. Just read the comments on some of the articles that allude to the Vanity Fair article. The haters are still hating on Lewinsky. She said what bothered her most was that Bill didn’t set the record straight, continued lying and allowing everyone to think their “relationship” was only about sex. Perhaps it was to the then president, but obviously, to an early 20-something-year-old Monica, it was more.
I think Bill should have used his presidential connections to help Lewinsky get a job – not because of their, uh, relationship, but because her name was blackballed and years after obtaining a master’s degree from the London School of Economics, she could not obtain gainful employment. He also should have apologized to Lewinsky for the havoc he wrecked in her life. There is no such thing as “consensual” when it comes to a sexual relationship between a president and an intern; although it’s Lewinsky’s story, I disagree with her on this. And by the way, where are the feminists supporting Lewinsky as she pours her heart out to the world? Maybe they’re where they were during the scandal: In hiding or reprimanding Lewinsky – not their beloved Bill.
If she doesn’t deserve to tell her story, who does? We all have one, and after the lies Clinton told under oath, I’d believe Lewinsky’s version rather than this. Despite her youthful indiscretions, on the matter of the affair, she’s the credible one. She says she wants to help those who are shamed and humiliated to the point of wanting to commit suicide, and I believe she can, because she’s lived through it.
A word from the wise, Ms. Lewinsky: If someone offers you a respectable job after reading your survival story, take it, make the most of it, and live your life. You said you’re sorry, so try hard to live without feeling internal condemnation. Everyone deserves another chance, and there are those with similar stories; the difference is they weren’t played out on the world stage. All the best, my dear.