There are few women who can appreciate the significance of the #MeToo movement quite like Monica Lewinsky. The now 44-year-old Vanity Fair contributor recently penned a powerful essay in light of the 20th anniversary of Kenneth Starr’s investigation into her widely publicized affair with President Bill Clinton. In it, she discusses dealing with the scandal surrounding her relationship with the former president, and how her trauma has never been more relevant.
“As I find myself reflecting on what happened, I’ve also come to understand how my trauma has been, in a way, a microcosm of a larger, national one,” she wrote. “Both clinically and observationally, something fundamental changed in our society in 1998, and it is changing again as we enter the second year of the Trump presidency in a post-Cosby-Ailes-O’Reilly-Weinstein-Spacey-Whoever-Is-Next world.”
She went on to explain the effect the scandal had on her mental health. “Given my PTSD and my understanding of trauma, it’s very likely that my thinking would not necessarily be changing at this time had it not been for the #MeToo movement — not only because of the new lens it has provided but also because of how it has offered new avenues toward the safety that comes from solidarity,” she continued. “I now see how problematic it was that the two of us even got to a place where there was a question of consent. Instead, the road that led there was littered with inappropriate abuse of authority, station, and privilege.”
Readers have expressed their support for Monica and her dedication to the movement on Twitter. Years later, the public is kinder to the woman whose reputation was desecrated by the media.
We basically ruined @MonicaLewinsky‘s life and I am so ready for her to COLLECT and have a new amazing chapter. Get it, babe. We all owe you.
— Ryan O’Connell (@ryanoconn) February 26, 2018
20 years on, it turns out the classist figure in the whole Clinton-impeachment-scandal tale is Monica Lewinsky. https://t.co/2MpH16krka
— Jeff Greenfield (@greenfield64) February 26, 2018
I find @MonicaLewinsky endlessly impressive and admirable in how she’s found her public voice and reclaimed her public identity and dignity. What was done to her as a 23-year-old was shameful & traumatizing & now she’s an inspiration https://t.co/IqnsnuC41z
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 26, 2018
She concluded, “Through all of this, during the past several months, I have been repeatedly reminded of a powerful Mexican proverb: ‘They tried to bury us; they didn’t know we were seeds.’ Spring has finally sprung.”