Warning: I am hopping mad today. Proceed with caution into my rant.
What has me so upset? Monica Lewinsky.
I never thought I would read about her again since her affair and all the press that followed. We all remember, Ken Starr, the impeachment hearings. Did he have sex with her or didn’t he?
I was living in Washington DC at the time and I’m only slightly older than Monica. I remember the day the Ken Starr report hit the internet and everyone logged on to read it. I remember clearly crashing the internet at our office as all of my co-workers logged on with the rest of the world to read all of the sexy details. “CNN was scoring an as-yet-unheard of 300,000 clicks a minute. MSNBC tallied nearly 2 million hits — a one-day record — and about 20 million people read the report within two days.”http://www.wired.com/2009/09/dayintech_0911starrreport/
I spent a lazy summer reading her book. I walked the same streets in DC that she did. I shopped at the same mall.
So now she is back telling her story all over again to Vanity Fair. What has me so upset isn’t that she wants to retell this story, it’s that she is claiming FEMINISM FAILED HER!
I was a young feminist back in DC during that time and I’m now a much older feminist. The issue isn’t that feminism failed Monica, it’s that Monica failed feminism.
What did she expect us to do?
First, she may have been an “intern”, but I think that term is what is throwing people off. She was 22 years old. In other words, a grown ass woman. We aren’t talking about a 16-year-old intern here. At 22, my mother was married and starting a family. Monica was old enough to know right from wrong.
Think about all of the young feminists out there working hard during that time. Many got hit on by their bosses. Many did the right thing and say no. Feminists stand by those women who, with a clear head and regardless of the consequences, say no to inappropriate sexual advances. Think about all of the other young women interns and how bad her actions reflected on them. Her actions resulted in people asking “Are all young interns easy? Do they all just want to sleep with their bosses?” Monica owes feminism an apology instead of the other way around.
Do I feel bad for her and her hardships she has faced? Do I think there was a double standard for Bill? Yes and yes, but ultimately Bill showed us that he is the master politician and able to recover. That has nothing to do with feminism. That is the unjust court of public opinion.
There are many times that feminism doesn’t stand up when the time requires, but this isn’t one of them. Feminism should have been yelling louder for the US to get involved when the 200 girls were kidnapped in Nigeria. We owe those 200 girls an apology.
Feminism failed those 200 girls.
Feminism didn’t fail Monica.