Clinton’s recent comments prove that the minds and bodies of women continue to be nothing more than unfortunate collateral damage in wars of power waged by men.
“And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”
For a moment, think about what it means that the above statement could likely have been said by not one, but two of the most powerful men in the history of the world — the Presidents of the United States of America.
This week, we learned, once again, that nothing much has changed in twenty years.
In an interview on NBC’s ‘Today’ show this week, former US President Bill Clinton said that he has apologised enough over the Monica Lewinsky scandal and he has no plans to personally seek her out for forgiveness.
When asked if he would do anything differently in light of the #MeToo movement with regard to how he handled his affair and its aftermath with Lewinsky, Clinton said that it wouldn’t be an issue for him. “Because people would be using the facts instead of the imagined facts. If the facts were the same today, I wouldn’t.”
His comments prove that the minds and bodies of women continue to be nothing more than unfortunate collateral damage in wars of power waged by men — in a world of men, by men, for men. For the likes of Democrat Clinton, Republican Trump, artistic visionary Harvey Weinstein, the liberal JNU professor ‘you liked so much,’ or a BJP MLA, it really doesn’t matter where they lie on the political spectrum of ‘correctness,’ because we are Monica Lewinsky, and we do not deserve, and will never be worthy of, an apology.
For what must be decades now, Clinton has managed to deny and deflect multiple allegations of sexual assault and harassment made against him. But the landscape is different now. The #MeToo movement, which exposed the likes of Harvey Weinstein, empowered women like Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones — three of the women who had accused him.
“It’s like me and Juanita and Kathleen have been screaming for years for someone to pay attention to us on the liberal side, and it’s like no one would hear us,” Jones told The New York Times in November.
Clinton clearly isn’t listening. He said he did the right thing by “defending the constitution,” and implied that he had also paid for his actions. For Clinton, who vehemently denied the affair before it was proven, short of calling Lewinsky a liar, the entire saga resulted in a tainted presidency, bad rep for a few years, and a hefty bill from his lawyers.
On the other hand, Monica Lewinsky was once hustled into a hotel room by a group of FBI agents and threatened with 27 years in prison unless she cooperated. Her face was plastered across every major news channel in the nation with the words ‘Sexgate’ flashing across the screen. She was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. She was shamed, silenced, and called a liar. But, Clinton’s wife, who ‘forgave’ him, was running for president a second time.
The same Republicans who waved righteous fingers and cried human injustice to impeach Bill Clinton when his illicit affair with Lewinsky came to light in 98, now rally behind an incompetent, racist, and outspokenly sexist American president, who deports immigrants, cuts funding to abortion services, objectifies his own daughter, and grants himself the luxury of a permanent ‘self-pardon.’ And the Democrats, the wolves of social justice in sheep’s clothing, are the same men who dismissed and justified the nationwide gaslighting of then 25-year-old Monica Lewinsky as the expected fallout of having a ‘consensual relationship’ with a married man.
One was the president of the United States who had an affair with an intern in her twenties working at the White House. And then there was another — a big-shot film producer with hands in pockets deeper than the eye could see. And his victims were struggling actors trying to find footing in a man’s democracy — equal work for equal pay right? Land of opportunity!
The American dream really is beautiful if you don’t have a pussy to grab.
“I now see how problematic it was that the two of us even got to a place where there was a question of consent,” Lewinsky wrote in the March issue of Vanity Fair. “Instead, the road that led there was littered with inappropriate abuse of authority, station and privilege.”
In India, if you’re a Muslim girl that was raped by a Hindu man, the ruling party’s elected representatives will organise protest rallies to defend the man that raped and then killed you. In this chess-board of power politics, the rules are pretty much the same — protect your King, sacrifice the Queen.
This is not to equate all forms and degrees of sexual assault and harassment, but to highlight that women’s truths and bodies will continue to be sacrificed for what is politically convenient at the time.
The fact is, the world would have continued to believe that “there is not a sexual relationship, an improper sexual relationship or any other kind of improper relationship,” as Clinton said of him and Lewinsky, had it not been for the copious amounts of recorded proof presented in court. Lewinsky’s truth was always inferior to his, and up until the #MeToo movement, the assumption for women has long remained ‘liar, until proven trustworthy.’
For leaders of nations, the power to make or break the truth is a matter of opening their mouths.
“Do you think President Kennedy should have resigned?” Clinton asked interviewer Melvin. “Do you think President Johnson should have resigned?”
Yes, Mr. Clinton. If they harassed, gaslighted, and exploited women from their position of power, and then lied about it for years, then they really should have.
Clinton, and many others who have used their power and positions to seek sexual favors, are undeserved to be in any positions of influence. Abuse of both is unacceptable, particularly if it extends to sexual favors that your position affords.
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