Monica Lewinsky and The Price of Sexual Shame

Monica Lewinsky has been shamed and publicly humiliated for decades now. She was blamed for the president’s shameful humiliation and dragged through a media storm never before seen in this country when she admitted, or was forced to admit, that she had a sexual affair with the then-president, Bill Clinton.

Although Clinton had a checkered past with other women, Lewinsky had become the focus of all of our public outrage about his affairs, and, what we learned from her recent TED speech, the brutalized victim of a new form of bullying, online attacks directly on her character.

After a decade, Monica recently stood up on the stage in Vancouver in front of a global Internet audience and declared that it was time to change her story.

And she did. She told us several things about her story that perhaps we didn’t know. Number one, she was in love with the president. She wasn’t just the party girl intern who thought it was cool to fool around with the big guy in the oval office, although I am sure that was part of the intrigue. And why not? It’s sexy to have an affair with a man in such a high place. But she had feelings for the man, and was hurt. She still thinks of her mistake as an “improbable romance.”

Her romanticizing of the relationship with the king of America makes her the girl who thought she could be queen, and may have almost helped her to justify her behavior, and yet from her speech we see more than that. We see a transparent, vulnerable, peek into the inner life of a young woman who became the butt of cruel jokes and unprecedented negative judgment. It was slut shaming at its finest.

Continue reading on HuffingtonPost: Monica Lewinsky and the Price of Sexual Shame

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