There’s an old saw (with many variations) that often goes like this: Women give sex to achieve love, men express love to get sex. It’s an interesting juxtaposition, and as with all such sayings, there are those who insist the saying is true while others contend vehemently that it’s false. In my view, the saying appears to have some basis in fact but isn’t true across the spectrum. Will Ferrell (below) creates a third option that might be preferable for some.When I read about Monica Lewinsky’s most recent foray into the public spotlight yesterday (October 19th), I have to admit my impatience. I expressed my initial thoughts about her re-emergence in the Spring when Lewinsky promoted herself via a Vanity Fair first-person article. These short months later, she’s retelling her story to more than a thousand young entrepreneurs and achievers who participated in the Forbes’ 30 under 30 Summit being held in Philadelphia.
Let’s get a few things straight first. At forty-one years of age, Lewinsky is a far cry from the target under-30 audience to whom she spoke. Second, much as I respect Forbes Magazine, I’m disturbed their web article with a transcript of her twenty-five minute speech begins by asserting Lewinsky “broke a decade-long silence on Monday morning” with her speech. People paying attention know her May 2014 piece in Vanity Fair, an article titled “Shame and Survival” certainly made a noticeable splash … could Forbes have missed that issue?
Those of us who were familiar with the 1995-97 Lewinsky affair … and who, long before that sordid tale, were already well aware of Clinton’s personal proclivities during the days when he was governor … have no desire to rehash the details.
ASIDE: I remember an occasion when the “boy wonder” was running for his second term as governor (having been defeated after serving one term). We saw him at a local festival and my Beloved decided to talk with him. Already cognizant of his lack of character, I stayed some distance away as my Beloved walked up to the former (and future) governor, shook his hand and spent about ten minutes in polite conversation. I would not have shaken the man’s hand myself … and I worried at the time the Governor might have transmitted his cooties to my Beloved. Ugh!
So without actually rehashing the matter of the President and his Intern, I feel compelled to object to Lewinsky’s specially-varnished retelling! In her speech, she asserts, “I fell in love with my boss in a 22 year old sort of way.”
No, she did NOT! Servicing (as she did) a powerful, older, married man/Svengali figure – yes, even a President of the United States – is hardly a display of “love.” This wasn’t the tender intermingling of two souls. It was the lustful expression of animal domination and subjugation. It was the most powerful man in the world pleasuring himself via a vulnerable and smitten puppy who deluded herself into believing his lies. It was never love and to permit that descriptor is to cheapen the word for all time!
Whatever Lewinsky’s reflections have taught her over the last twenty years, she is still terribly narcissistic and short-sighted. Blaming The Drudge Report website for her humiliation is a handy blame-shifting technique. Of course, with these 30 under 30 individuals, perhaps her reshaping of the narrative is believable … but it’s wrong. Lewinsky’s puppy love and loose character made her easy prey for a predatory President.
When she talks about 1998 release of the online Starr Report, she also reveals her ridiculous sense of self-importance. She states: “I knew, as I painstakingly read each word that there was not a connected person in the world who wasn’t reading it too.” No, Miss Lewinsky, even connected people had better things to do than focus on the lurid details of this report. The majority of us had jobs and responsibilities … under-the-desk shenanigans in the DC White House didn’t rank high in importance.
Reminding her audience how much she detested the New York Post’s habit of calling her the Portly Pepperpot, Lewinsky now appears to have found her cause as she equates the events of her life to cyber-bullying and relates her newly-discovered mission to eradicate the perceived online cruelties some have endured. She also ponders which came first, “the coarsening of the culture or the worsening of behavior.” How thoughtful! How perfectly introspective of her! Is this her way of suggesting she’s adopting an analytical approach in her advanced years?
May I posit that the coarsening of our culture and the worsening of behavior are close byproducts rooted in the Lewinsky affair? Though I would not by any stretch of the imagination blame her fully, if not for the semen-stained blue dress, Monica Lewinsky would have been utterly steam-rolled by behind-the-scenes Clinton apparatchiks. She could not be destroyed by innuendoes (like “trailer-park trash”) or discredited as long as she had that blue dress. And yet even today, she shifts blame away from the central figures involved.
According to some reports, Lewinsky has made numerous efforts to find meaningful work and relevancy. She hasn’t had a full time job since 1997 and the marriage she’d once desired has been equally illusive. I suppose her Forbes speech was meant to further her relevance with the under-30 set. I can’t speak for that age demographic, but I’m unconvinced. As long as she reaches backward to her past, she’ll be the poster girl for vapidity and the silent scream of desperation for bubble heads everywhere. She labeled it correctly: shame.