I heard about the Monica Lewinsky essay in Vanity Fair earlier this month, and knew I’d pick up a copy. Monica is 6 years older than me. When she fatefully was interning at the White House, I was in my freshman year of college. I remember when the Starr report hit the web (then, still a novel new communication tool) and how the men at the school newspaper were drooling at the details. I was far too naive to listen to those words being read aloud in public.
I later dressed like Monica for Halloween and have certainly laughed at my fair share of jokes at her expense. I’ve also thoughtfully considered how daunting it would be at age 24 to be seducing and/or seduced by the President of the United States. Would I have had the willpower to walk away from “the world’s most powerful man?” I’ve made my fair share of bad decisions when it comes to dating.
My curiosity was piqued by this essay. What could she possibly have to gain by speaking up now, when another Clinton is headed toward a presidential campaign? How could her story be worth telling?
What I wasn’t expecting to read was her laments on how feminists didn’t stand up for her in the heat of the impeachment debacle, one that would follow her in the blue dress and beret. There was the predictable too — her life has been fairly miserable, the relationship was consenting and oh — by the way? She did not apologize.
I’ve been sitting on this response for a couple days. Who really cares what I have to say about Monica Lewinsky? (All five of you reading, thank you.) But here is why this continuation of a story needs to stop being published: she isn’t contrite, and she should be. She had a sexual relationship with a married man, which she calls consensual. And while I don’t doubt Willy used his influence to beguile women inappropriately, or that he is also in the wrong for participating in such actions when married to someone else, this feminist is loudly saying — NO.
No, Monica, you don’t get me to stand up for you. You embarrassed yourself with a married man. And today, you want us all to feel sorry for you in Vanity Fair because your actions, nearly two decades later, still embarrass us. I don’t feel sorry for you. I have no reason to forgive you — you both agreed to make this bed. But now I highly recommend you take this feminist’s advice and slide into a life of anonymity. Not because it is good for the Clintons, but because it is good for you.
Cut your hair, change your name and maybe move to another country. Start over, away from the shadow of this nonsense. Make a life of yourself that doesn’t link back to one dumb thing you did with one dumb man in your early twenties.
You did the deed, you saved the dress and now you have written the essay. Take that Oxford degree and go abroad. We are never going to stand up for you the way you so desire.