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Monica Lewinsky And Me

Yesterday, Monica Lewinsky came into my home and made me cry. “That woman” reduced me to a crying mess as I prepared dinner for my family.

If you do not know Monica Lewinsky, she was the 22-years old graduate and Intern who fell for Bill Clinton. But, without me going into details of the scandal especially the semen-stained dress, Monica publicly paid for falling inappropriately for Mr President.

What Miss Lewinsky and Mr Clinton got up to was made public by her so-called friend who secretly recorded their conversation about the affair. The recorded conversation was handed over to a lawyer and voilà, we all knew what they were getting up to in the White House.

Monica Lewinsky

Monica Lewinsky

Not related to this but do you know what happened to that friend? If you do, Please let me know.

Anyway, after the scandal broke on-line instead of the more traditional route; Monica went into hiding but she was never forgotten as the “slut” who tried to bring an institution down. Mr Clinton, on the other hand was impeached but acquitted.

So yesterday, as Monica shared the pain of her shame with me, I stepped into her shoes and felt her pain with her. This pain made me very sad. I wept hard. And by the way, she was only 22-years old when she had to deal with all of this mess.

The empathy I felt for Monica made me cry so loudly, my husband and children ran into the kitchen to find out what was going on. I could not answer their questions immediately; I just pointed at the little screen sitting on my kitchen worktop and said “why”.

I was asking why we all treated Monica so badly. Why didn’t we all stand up for her? Why did she pay so heavily for her mistake? She was only in her early 20s- we all make mistakes at that age. An age where we don’t even know ourselves.

After a few minutes of composing myself, I was ready to listen to her again. But she had stopped talking about her ordeal of over 15-years ago, she was now preaching about the empathy deficit we are suffering from.A pitfall of social media. She further explained that the empathy deficit has now contributed to the growth of cyber bullying.

I could not help but watch, listen and connect with this person talking to me. This being,who was once known as ‘That Woman’. She wasn’t just talking to me alone, she was addressing the audience at her 2015 TED talk. (The price of shame)

The standing ovation after her talk made me cry even more. The effect of Monica’s story made me decide to empathise more and judge less.

I was 23 when Monica’s scandal broke in 1998 and without empathy; I judged her and threw stones at her since I liked Clinton. But, knowing what I know now, I should not have thrown those stones because I had no moral standing to throw them.

Thinking back to my 20s, like Monica, I made terrible mistakes too. I fell in love with the wrong men, made bad decisions about things, ran away from home and gave everyone around me hell. The difference between my mistakes and Monica’s is that Monica’s was public and mine private.

So for all the Monicas out there, I am sorry for shaming and not sympathising with you. And I do hope you can all forgive me for throwing stones at you.

 Yvonne xxx

5 Comments

  1. I think this is an excellent point. So often in these situations we are very quick to vilify the female, far more than the man. She will forever be known as That Woman, and will never be able to get away from it. I remember what I was like at 22, and I’m a very different person at 33.

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    • Thanks for your comment. Yes, we are quick to blame someone when an inappropriate affair is discovered. Unfortunately, it is always the woman and never the man. I hope this attitude towards women changes before my daughters venture fully into our world. Monica Lewinsky’s talk touched me, that I had to write this post. Thank you for reading it and taking time to comment.Have a fab day. Yvonne x

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  2. I feel bad for what happened to Monica, too. When I heard her story about how her whole life was ruined by this scandal, I felt bad that our society shamed her so dramatically. She couldn’t hold down a job, establish a career, or even have normal relationships, all because the Clinton affair followed her. When a man does spent big like this, it’s easily forgotten. For example, Tiger Woods is still golfing as if nothing ever happened. It’s a complete double standard.

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    • Hi Rebecca, thanks for your comment. You are on the ball as to how our society treat women when affairs go wrong. We are always the gender that loses out. The female gender are also to be blamed because we are not supportive of each other; we see ourselves as enemies. As long as this attitude continues between women, we’ll always have Monicas . Yvonne X

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