The Me Too Movement has fundamentally changed how we, as a society, talk about sexual assault, harassment and inappropriate behaviour. We were much overdue for a reckoning and in the year since Harvey Weinstein was outed by the New Yorker and #MeToo got going online, we’ve all learned a lot about what constitutes sexual harassment and how to recognize when a situation veers from normal into an abuse of power.
There were famous sexual assault cases before Weinstein’s blew this thing wide open, but in most of those cases, the female accuser ended up with the consequences, often by being ostracized from society and criticized by the general population. One such woman was Monica Lewinsky.
At the time the “Monica Lewinsky Scandal” was revealed, Lewinsky herself said that the affair was consensual and that she and Bill Clinton were equally to blame. In the light of Me Too, however, she’s walked that back. In a March op-ed, Lewinsky said that she’s realized that there is no way a relationship between a 22-year-old intern and her boss, the president of the United States, is not an abuse of power.
“Now, at 44, I’m beginning (just beginning) to consider the implications of the power differentials that were so vast between a president and a White House intern,” she wrote. “I’m beginning to entertain the notion that in such a circumstance the idea of consent might well be rendered moot. (Although power imbalances—and the ability to abuse them—do exist even when the sex has been consensual.)”
Bill Clinton had his opportunity to react to Lewinsky’s piece — and did so veeery poorly — and now Hillary Clinton is taking a swing at it. Spoiler: you’ve probably already heard this.
Appearing on CBS This Morning Sunday, Clinton briefly answered questions about the affair and her roll in the character assassinations of the women who accused Bill of misconduct. When asked if she had any role in the takedown of those women, she denied any involvement.
“None. No role,” Clinton said. “I take responsibility for my life and my actions.”
She also said Bill should “absolutely not” have stepped down as president in light of the affair and “no” the relationship was not an abuse of power because Lewinsky “was an adult.”
Retweet if you think @BillClinton, @MonicaLewinsky was an abuse of power.@CBSNews: Do you think Bill should’ve resigned in the wake of the Monica Lewinsky scandal?@HillaryClinton: Absolutely not.@CBS: It wasn’t an abuse of power?
— Oliver McGee PhD MBA (@OliverMcGee) October 15, 2018
“Let me ask you this,” she added, “Where is the investigation of the current incumbent against whom numerous allegations have been made and which he dismisses, denies, and ridicules?”
She is, of course, referring to the number of sexual assault allegations made against President Donald Trump — clearly a relevant point, but still a deflective and unsatisfying answer.
The Clintons announced last week that they will be embarking on a 13-city tour from November 2018 to May 2019, including dates in Toronto and Montreal. While some fans of the duo are excited for the chance to attend “An Evening with President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton,” others are ready to put the enthusiasm for problematic couple to bed.
Hillary Clinton going on tour with Bill in the #MeToo era is an absurd miscalculation. Girl, leave your man at home.
— Kimberly Nicole Foster (@KimberlyNFoster) October 14, 2018
Hillary Clinton’s feminism is problematic to say the least. What a tone-deaf statement in the #MeToo era.
With every cash-grab media tour, she is doing more and more damage to the Democratic Party that is rebuilding after her candidacy left it in ashes. https://t.co/s8mGOzEPt2
— Emma Vigeland (@EmmaVigeland) October 15, 2018
Bill & Hillary Clinton, trading on their political celebrity, connection and fandom, have made $240 million In the last 15 years at least. I honestly don’t understand what motivates people at that point to keep tirelessly working to take money from others. https://t.co/9a3YFqcysl
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 9, 2018
If you still want to see a former First Lady speak to a stadium of people, might we suggest Michelle Obama’s upcoming book tour? Just a thought.