Tuesday marked the 20th year of the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky affair. Lewinsky took to Twitter to say she “survived” another year since the scandal broke and asked to hear from other “survivors” as a way to commiserate. But after reading through many harrowing responses from her followers, we’re left asking — what exactly did she “survive?”
Responses included those who survived cancer, brain tumors, divorce, escaped abusive families, amputations, paralyzation, losing loved ones, and on and on. Yes, they were on her side, but it was hard not to notice real, traumatic events these people have endured. Compared to Lewinsky, who had a consensual sexual relationship with the most powerful person in the world and became rich and famous because of it, just doesn’t seem like such a bad deal.
Twenty years ago, parents were having to explain to their young children before they were ready what “oral sex” was as it was a nightly topic on the news. They witnessed President Bill Clinton on television declaring he didn’t have sexual relations with “that woman” because he didn’t consider oral sex to be sex-sex. (Remember, you have to define what “is” is.) They were even taught that there are other places to put cigars beside one’s mouth. Then there was the unforgettable image of a semen-stained blue dress.
And even before she was performing sex acts in the Oval Office, Lewinsky was having an affair with another married man: her former Beverly Hills High School drama teacher, Andy Bleiler. In 1998, he described his ex-lover and former student as a sex-crazed homewrecker who was hell bent on infiltrating the White House to get her “presidential kneepads.” Bleiler told prosecutor Kenneth Starr that Lewinsky bragged to his wife, who she creepily befriended during the affair, about her other sexual trysts with powerful people in Washington.
So, again, what exactly did Lewinsky survive? Millions of dollars in endorsement deals? Worldwide fame and adoration? Guaranteed paychecks for the rest of her life?
Sure, her reputation was dragged through the mud at the time and that must’ve been embarrassing. But it appears she got over it! Now, she’s a so-called champion for anti-cyberbullying initiatives, claiming herself to be the first. When she's not doing that, she's jumping on the #MeToo bandwagon because NOW she’s a victim!