It’s good to know that three decades after the national embarrassment that was the Anita Hill hearings, we’ve finally figured out the true victims of sexual harassment in the workplace: people who have to deal with the whiny women who’ve been harassed.
Monica Lewinsky was back in the news this week after agreeing to pen a piece describing how the scandal affected her life in Vanity Fair. After having been declared the national slut by both the right and left back in the 90s, I would have hoped that now, over a decade later, we’d be willing to view Lewinsky as what she always was: a victim of workplace sexual harassment by someone who appears to have made a habit of it.
So, exactly how far have we come as of today?
Maureen Dowd blames Lewinski’s infamy on her “reckless” behavior. Dave Weigel’s only take away, as best as I can tell, seems to be that she’s an attention whore. NYMag’s Maureen O’Connor has decided that the most pertinent question to be asked isn’t why we continue to reward the family that victimized her, but rather to what degree the word “whore” does or doesn’t apply to someone like Lewinsky. The Washington Post’s Nia-Malika Henderson provides cover for the absurd argument that feminists leaders didn’t leave Lewinsky out to dry, while her colleague Ruth Marcus sets back sexual harassment education back by about 60 years by declaring that harassment couldn’t have occurred since Lewinsky acknowledges it wasn’t rape. Think Progress adds more fuel to that fire, saying “you shouldn’t tell Monica Lewinsky if she was raped,” because apparently in 2014 if a woman feels “empowered” then her male superiors are excused for whatever. Wonkette has decided (natch) that what Lewinsky really needs most is a healthy dose of snark. The Huffington Post, in what appears to be an attempted argument that it should never taken seriously again, is trying to create a fem-celeb cat fight between Lewinsky and Beyonce. Other liberal blogs are circling the wagons to simultaneously both defend and sidestep questions of why they support the Clintons. (The comments sections to these blogs are far worse, with people using the Rape Apologist Greatest Hits Playlist to focus the blame on Lewinsky and give the Clintons a pass.)
So anywho, that’s how far the Left has come. (The Right, of course, is being the Right.)
Look, I don’t know how to put this any more clearly: The Right’s defending Herman Cain while tarring his victims wasn’t wrong because it was the Right. It was just wrong period.
Democrats are right — there really is a war on women. Sadly, it looks like it’s being waged by pretty much everyone.
And now that I’ve said my piece, I will leave it to all of you to tell me why pointing this out is “hippie punching.”
Actually, it turns out that at least one person on the Left actually gets it. Here’s the blogger Truthseeking Missile from Daily Kos saying what more people with the power of the pen should be saying (emphasis mine):
Monica Lewinsky is, and always will be, a central figure in American history and she has a right to be heard on any issue on which she chooses to speak. Her freedom of speech is enshrined in the Constitution. The problem is there are certain establishment interests that would like to rewrite Bill Clinton’s history and pretend he did not defile the Oval Office with his predatory sexual behavior. They are more concerned with protecting the legacy of one of our richest and most powerful men, than allowing a young woman the space and time she needs to resurrect herself from an ugly life experience.
Monica Lewinsky needs to stay in the spotlight for a number of reasons. Her shame is also our collective shame because of the way we, as a society, treat our women. She is a reminder of our discomfort with all things sexual, even as we splash nakedness across the internet and television.
We have celebrated and adored Bill Clinton, a man who may have seduced this young woman or even used his power to sexually coerce her into having relations with him. We will never really know. The reality is that she was a very young, unpaid intern and he, the President of the United States, was her boss. Clinton came out unto a public stage and denigrated her as ‘that woman’. Now these so called pundits, many of them women, are yelling at Monica to shut up and go away. It also highlights the way women repeatedly run to the defense of men behaving badly, to the detriment of their own gender.
America is still a male chauvinist bastion. While we do not have marauding terrorists kidnapping our women and selling them into slavery, we are more focused on shaming those who have been sexually victimized than highlighting so many gender related atrocities going on in our country. It is not a coincidence that we have so few female CEOs in corporate America. A recent report by PBS highlights the unbearable cost of day care which is forcing women who desperately want careers to stay home with their children.
That’s only a part of the post; you should really read all of it. And not just you — that post should be required reading for everyone.