After I watched the Monica Lewinsky TedTalk, something came to my mind right away: she is so brave. That’s right. I called a woman who had an affair with the president brave. She is brave because she spoke out and told her story after years of being “slut” shamed. For those of you who may not know the story, I will give a recap. In 1998 Monica Lewinsky had an affair with President Bill Clinton at the age of 24. This story emerged when the internet was just starting to get big. As a result, the story spread like wildfire and social media began destroying her. She has been “slut” shamed ever since. I cannot imagine having my face plastered all over the internet with headings filled with hurtful nicknames. She mentions in this article that she does not understand how this whole story started to revolve around her being labeled as a “slut”. She went on to argue that there were two people involved; it was a mutual relationship. Why do women get labeled with such horrific terms in incidents like this? There seems to be a sense of pride that goes along with a male having affairs. Which sounds horrible, doesn’t it?
At the beginning of her TedTalk she mentions that she is mentioned in over 40 rap songs. Well I was interested to see which songs she was in and what was said about her. Looking back, I somewhat wish I didn’t! The things that were said about her were horrible! If you want to take a look for yourself, here is the link. But I warn you that there is offensive language.
Now I want to make it clear that what happened between Monica and Clinton is very wrong. Instead of being stuck in the past and playing blame games, I am reflecting on this story as a thing from the past. What happened, happened. There is no going back and erasing the past, so why keep dwelling in it? It is for that very reason that instead of labelling Monica Lewinsky as a slut, home wrecker, etc, I am labelling her as brave.
The rest of the world can also learn from this story. To quote her “with every click, we make a choice.” Whatever we put on the internet, stays there forever, whether we know it or not. Therefore as an educator I need to ensure that my students know how to properly use the internet. They need to become aware that there are many positives to the internet, as well as many negatives.