Twenty years ago, President Bill Clinton admitted to having an affair with a White House intern named Monica Lewinsky. Lewinsky was in her early twenties when she and Clinton first started their affair and although Clinton would deny the relationship, he later would admit to having “Inappropriate intimate physical contact” with Lewinsky. This rocked the American country.
Fast forward to 2018, Monica Lewinsky is now speaking about her relationship with the president and why she believes that Clinton abused his power when it came to their affair.
Lewinsky feels that the power differentials between the two were huge and that although the affair was consensual and not an example of sexual abuse, she does consider it a “gross abuse of power”.
She’s right. Bill Clinton was 44 years old when he was President of the United States, which made him the most powerful man in the world. Lewinsky, on the other hand, was a 22 year old white house intern who was just trying to start her career. As an intern, you are expected to do most of the things the President would ask of you. Telling the President anything other than “yes” may affect your career. President Clinton knew this, and using that knowledge is an abuse of power.
Lewinsky stepping up after all these years is significant because of the recent MeToo movement. More and more women have been coming out with allegations against powerful men and creating a shift in the culture. Lewinsky has slowly emerged as a leader of the MeToo movement and to this day continues to inspire women by speaking about her “mistake” and how others can learn from it. This has forced the Democrats to look more into previous and current allegations because of the MeToo movement.
Although these allegations took place long ago, it is still important to hold Clinton responsible for his actions. There needs to be consequences for evil actions no matter how far back they took place.
It also needs to be said that for some women, it takes time for them to be emotionally and physically ready to present their allegations to the public. They know that there will be a big backlash and an angry mob of people ready to call them liars. But no matter what, women of the past should be believed and heard.
Coincidentally, the current President of the United States is also a powerful man accused of sexual assault. Like Clinton, he has also tried to hide a secret affair with an adult movie star, and has even been recorded saying that “you can do anything” to women and you can “grab them by the pussy”. This disregard is yet another reason why women should be believed and heard.
So although the Lewinsky-Clinton affair happened almost two decades ago, it is still very important to listen to not only Monica, but to all the women that come out with an accusation, regardless of how much time has passed. It’s time to hold individuals – including current and former presidents – accountable for their actions.