Lewinsky made the decision to have an affair with a married man who also happened to be the President, and for this she suffered personal consequences. The relevant public issue in my view, was not the infidelity, but rather that Bill Clinton, a lawyer and commander in chief of the world’s most influential democracy, lied under oath in his impeachment hearing and, not only got away with it, but continued to enjoy his position of enormous power and privilege after doing so. Without integrity, civilized society breaks down. When leaders are seen to subvert justice and benefit from it, they harm the very foundation of democracy. For me, this saga will always immortalize the many double-standards not only between men and women, but also between figureheads and the rest of us. Lewinsky’s recent Ted Talk is thought-provoking on many levels.
“Public shaming as a blood sport has to stop,” says Monica Lewinsky. In 1998, she says, “I was Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously.” Today, the kind of online public shaming she went through has become constant — and can turn deadly. In a brave talk, she takes a hard look at our online culture of humiliation, and asks for a different way. Here is a direct video link.