For nearly 20 years, Monica Lewinsky shared the responsibility for her affair with former President Bill Clinton and insisted it was consensual, but now says she’s rethinking the issue of consent in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
In a new Vanity Fair article, the former White House intern says she now sees the affair as an “inappropriate abuse of authority, station, and privilege.” Lewinsky has always maintained that their relationship was consensual and that the only abuse she endured came in the aftermath of it becoming public, but the #MeToo movement has made her look at it differently. She says, “Now, at 44, I’m beginning to consider the implications of the power differentials that were so vast between a president and a White House intern. I’m beginning to entertain the notion that in such a circumstance the idea of consent might well be rendered moot.”
Lewinsky says the fallout from her relationship with Clinton left her with post-traumatic stress disorder.
- If such a relationship happened today, people would definitely accuse Clinton of sexual abuse and see Lewinsky as a victim.
- At the time of their affair, Lewinsky was the one receiving most of the attacks by the media.
- She is right about the #MeToo changing the idea of what is considered consent.